Roses are high-maintenance, heavy feeders with entire gardens devoted to them. They catch diseases, need pruning, want feeding and require sun—yet it seems to matter not. People just can’t quit roses.
You don’t have to be a devoted rose-head (not a thing) to understand the appeal of roses. They’re beautiful, aromatic and can live a long time. Also, there’s a certain pride one feels when successfully growing a notorious plant.
Whether you’re planting bare-root roses in early spring, or shrubs straight from a container in summer, rose care awaits you. We’ve taken the guessing out of the Garden Center and rounded up our top six rose care products to protect and feed your roses.
Neem oil is the best natural line of defense for all kinds of problems. I say defense because it’s often hard to rid yourself of anything once it’s there. Use this spray before you see any signs of disease to stave off blackspot, powdery mildew, rust, spider mites and more.
Safer 3-in-1 Garden Spray
Being certified by the Organic Materials Review Institute (OMRI) is no small feat; it’s a difficult distinction to receive. Safer Garden Spray uses potassium salts and sulfur, with fatty acids to act like a sticking agent, to fight mites, fungus and insects.
No amount of chemical or organic rose-care products will do your roses justice if you don’t have good sheers. Use bypass sheers to remove spent flowers and any dead or diseased foliage. Dip the blades in a bleach/water solution after every cut to reduce the spread of disease.
G&B Organic Fertilizer
Roses are what we in the garden biz calls, “heavy feeders.” That means they need regular feedings of high-phosphorous fertilizer throughout their growing season in order to achieve maximum bloom-age. Organic fertilizers like G&B’s (4-6-2) can be reapplied every six weeks.
Lilly Miller Rose & Flower Food
All fertilizers are marked with three numbers. Those numbers tell you the NPK. Nitrogen (N) helps grow lush leaves; phosphorous (P) aids in forming buds; potassium (K) supports overall health. Synthetic fertilizers like Lilly Miller’s (5-8-4) should be reapplied every four weeks.
Protecting roses isn’t all leaf sprays and clipping away. A systemic product, like Bayer’s (6-9-6), works its way up through the roots. The granules provide nutrients and disease-fighting in-organic materials to feed and protect plants. Use systemic compounds early, before you see signs of disease.