How to Grow Beautiful Roses

Article written by Saturday6TM blogger Noelle Johnson from AZ Plant Lady.

Do you love roses? You aren't alone. Roses are the most popular flower in the world. Growing roses can be incredibly rewarding, especially when your rose bushes are covered in beautiful, fragrant roses. If your roses aren't looking as great as you would like, don't worry. You can grow healthy rose bushes and increase the amount of roses they produce by adding rose fertilizer and a few other special amendments.

Roses do best in fertile soil, which helps to promote healthy, green foliage and large flowers. The easiest way to achieve this is to fertilize and amend the soil around your rose bushes. The ideal fertilizer is specially formulated for roses, which will include the basic nutrients (nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium), as well as micronutrients that roses need to grow their best. Your rose fertilizer should be added along with the following 'special' amendments in spring, once your rose starts to produce new growth in spring.

All you need to get started, is a broom (yes, I said a broom).

  • Grab your broom and use the handle to make six holes, 8 inches deep around each rose bush. The holes should be equally spaced and about 1 foot away from the base of the rose bush.
  • Combine rose fertilizer (follow package directions on how much to apply), 6 cups of compost, 3 cups of composted manure (I use steer manure), ½ cup of Epsom salts and 2 handfuls of alfalfa pellets per rose bush.
  • Pour your mixture into each hole, which places it right where the roots are located. Work any extra mixture into the top inch of soil around the base of your rose bush.
  • Water your rose bush deeply after applying.

You may be wondering how this mixture helps you grow beautiful roses?  The compost helps to improve the soil texture, feeds microorganisms in the soil and increases the amount of oxygen present around the roots. Manure is a natural source of nitrogen along with other nutrients that roses love and improves soil texture.

It's hard to believe that an ingredient like Epsom salts belong in the garden, but they contain magnesium, which roses love and helps them to grow dark green, healthy leaves. Alfalfa pellets aren't just for feeding animals; alfalfa releases an alcohol (tricantanol) that roses respond to by growing more canes (branches), and it increases the amount of roses produced and the size of the blooms.

By adding rose fertilizer and these special amendments, your garden will soon will be filled with rose bushes covered in masses of beautiful flowers. Soon your neighbors will be asking you what your secret is to growing beautiful roses.