Which Fertilizer Is Best for Roses?

Written by tom don
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Which Fertilizer Is Best for Roses?
Fertilisers must contain nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium in the correct ratio (rose image by Freddy Smeets from Fotolia.com)

Roses are popular flowers around the world and are available in all forms, colours, shapes and sizes. However, growing these flowers can be a challenging task, because they need proper nutrients and soil to thrive. The need for a good fertiliser cannot be ignored. For roses, a slow-release fertiliser is required as harsh ones may burn their roots.

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Should Contain Necessary Nutrients

Whichever fertiliser you choose for your roses, it should contain all the three nutrients necessary for their growth. These are nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium. Nitrogen helps in promoting growth of leaf and stem, gives deep green colour to the leaves and stimulates the growth of the plant in early spring season. Phosphorus proves to be helpful in the growth of the root and production of the flowers. Potassium is an essential nutrient which helps in regulating metabolism of the flowers and provides hardiness, good colour, disease resistance power and vigour to the plant. The fertiliser that contains all these three nutrients is a complete one for the rose.

Ratio of Nutrients

The fertiliser that you choose for roses should have a nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium ratio of 1-to-2-to-1, 1-to-2-to-2 or 2-to-3-to-1. Relatively lower ratios of nitrogen will keep your rose plant from producing green leaves and will also suspend the production of flowers.

Slow-release Fertilizers

The rose is a delicate plant and a harsh fertiliser may burn its roots completely. Whether you are choosing an organic fertiliser for your rose or an inorganic one, it should be a slow-release fertiliser which releases its nutrients over a period of three to nine months. Most of these fertilisers need to be applied only once in a year and the release is activated by high soil temperature and soil moisture. In order to know whether a fertiliser is of slow release type or not, you should look at the percentage of water insoluble nitrogen on its label. If it is 30 per cent or more, then it can be considered as a slow-release fertiliser and can be safely used for the roses.

Liquid Fertilizers

Liquid fertilisers are not considered good for roses that have been planted in the ground. This is because they need to be applied at least once or twice in a week, which may not be convenient. Mostly, liquid fertilisers are used for roses as supplements only. But liquid fertilisers can be a great choice if you have planted your roses in pots as they are water soluble, act quickly and release nutrients almost immediately. So, if you water rose plants frequently, the nutrients will be released quickly and the plants will gain nutrients almost immediately.

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