Roses - Knowledgebase Question

Fletcher, No
Avatar for momanddadb
Question by momanddadb
January 20, 2011
My roses turned yellow at the end of the summer and I read an article in the gardening section of the paper and it said that if you put wood chips around them it will draw all of the nitrogen out of the soil and this is possibly what caused this discolorasation. What type of fertilizer can I use to help this problem?

Answer from NGA
January 20, 2011
Yellowing leaves can have all sorts of causes from over or under watering to diseases, insect feeding or nutrient deficiency so I wouldn't be too quick to blame the wood chip mulch. It's true that as fresh wood decomposes it uses nitrogen but unless you've used raw sawdust around your roses, I don't think that's what caused the yellowing leaves. Roses are heavy feeders and appreciate being fed every 6 weeks during the growing season. You can use a liquid or a granular formulation. If you use time release granular fertilizer, brush back the wood chips, apply the fertilizer to the soil and gently rake it in. Then move the mulch material back into place. Double check your roses for signs of insect feeding and/or diseases such as black spot or powdery mildew. If you nip these problems in the bud by pulling off infected or infested leaves you rose bush will remain healthier throughout the growing season. Hope this information helps you determine just what might be going on with your roses!

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