When it comes to providing the best for plants like your roses, you need to start at the root. This means considering everything from where they’re planted to soil quality and using the best rose fertilizer.
Fertilizer for roses is important when you want to make sure your roses get all the nutrients they need. That’s why you may also see these fertilizers referred to as rose food or food for roses.
The good news is that with the right fertilizer, gardeners of any skill level can grow beautiful roses. However, not every rose fertilizer out there is the best option for you.
This can make it fairly overwhelming to find the best option for your roses. Don’t worry, though, because we’re here to help you!
Here, we’ll go over everything that you need to know from product options to a buying guide. Keep reading to learn it all!
The 11 Best Rose Fertilizers
1. Miracle-Gro Plant Food Shake ‘N Feed Rose and Bloom Fertilizer
When it comes to garden care, Miracle-Gro has a lot of options, including a natural fertilizer for roses. This particular option has kelp, earthworm castings, feather meal, and bone meal to help nourish your soil.
Aside from helping your soil, this fertilizer is aimed at a specific problem with roses. If you notice that your roses aren’t blooming as they should, this is a great fertilizer for a boost.
It will help to strengthen the roots of your rose plants too. This is thanks to the micronutrients that the fertilizer releases into the soil to enrich it.
You can even depend on this fertilizer to help you out for quite a while. While it varies depending on climate, this fertilizer feeds your plants for up to three months.
The applicator cap also makes it easy to distribute this fertilizer accurately as needed. Miracle-Gro only recommends using ½ cup of fertilizer per 10 square feet of soil.
For the best results, you should also lightly mix this fertilizer into the soil. To start the feeding, you’ll need to water the soil as well.
2. Great Big Roses Organic Rose Food Fertilizer
You can’t get more dedicated to the growth of roses than the brand Great Big Roses. This particular fertilizer is made to help increase your flower set and retention.
The fertilizer does this with a variety of natural and organic ingredients. This includes kelp meal, humic acid, and various micronutrients to improve the soil quality.
Once you apply it, it won’t take long to start seeing improvements in your roses. You should see your rose plants start to benefit from expanded root growth, bettered soil structure, and increased nutrient uptake.
You should also notice that the buds on your roses are bigger and more varied in size. They’ll also grow more vibrantly.
This is a concentrated fertilizer, so you’ll need to dilute it before use. You can do this easily with about a gallon of water per every 4 ounces of fertilizer.
You can expect one part of the mixture to work for each plant. That is a single-use amount of four ounces.
Depending on how many rose plants you have, you can order different amounts too. This specific fertilizer is available in 32-ounce, 1-gallon, and 2-gallon containers.
3. Down to Earth Organic Alfalfa Meal Fertilizer Mix
If you’re looking for something natural and organic to depend on, this fertilizer mix is a great choice. The Down to Earth fertilizer primarily relies on the use of alfalfa meal to nourish plants and soil.
Alfalfa meal is great as a soil conditioner and provides organic growth stimulants. This specific fertilizer is even listed as a reliable choice for organic production by the Organic Materials Review Institute (OMRI).
The fertilizer is both sun-cured and milled fresh in the production process. This boosts the nutrient value it retains and transfers to your roses.
The formula is even GMO-free with additional minerals you can rely on. This includes trace minerals as well as amino acids, Potash, and natural plant hormones.
On top of this, it’s important to consider the N-P-K ratio. For this fertilizer, that measures out to 2.5-0.5-2.5.
As we’ll cover, this isn’t the standard recommendation for roses but plants do tend to vary. It’s a good idea to test your soil quality and see if this is the ratio you need.
This goes a long way as well. With a single order, there is a total of five pounds of fertilizer.
4. Espoma RT18 Rose Tone
The Espoma fertilizer is made to work specifically for roses and flowers. It’s an all-organic option that is approved for organic gardening.
This fertilizer uses a variety of organic components to give your roses everything they need. In all, you can depend on this fertilizer to help deliver 15 essential nutrients to the roses.
As for the N-P-K ratio, it’s broken down on the back of the bag in percentages. This includes 4.0% total nitrogen, 3.0% available phosphate, and 2.0% soluble potash.
This is also a long-lasting option. Once you apply it, your rose plants will start to thrive and the effects will stick around.
This is because this is a slow-release formula fertilizer. This means you’ll likely only need one round of fertilizer for a whole growing season.
For individual plants, you only need to apply about 1 ¼ cups of fertilizer around the plant. For full rose beds, you’ll want about six pounds of fertilizer for every 100 square feet.
You also have options as to how you use this fertilizer. No matter if your plants are potted or grown outdoors, this is a great fertilizer to rely on.
5. Ross Rose & Flowering Shrubs Fertilizer Refills for Ross Root Feeder
This fertilizer is intended for use with the Ross Root Feeder. That being said, it’s also a fertilizer that you can rely on in general as well.
Ross offers a variety of fertilizers but this one is aimed specifically at roses and flowering shrubs. This means it’s catered to what roses, in particular, need to thrive.
The refills have an N-P-K ratio of 15-25-20. This kit includes an option of either 12 or 54 refills, depending on how much fertilizer you need.
These are recommended with their root feeder to reduce run-off and waste. With this method, the fertilizer that you apply works without as much waste.
This particular fertilizer works best on freshly planted roses when they’re fertilized in the mid-summer. This process should be repeated every two weeks.
For flowering shrubs and rose bushes, it’s a good idea to feed them in the late summer as well as early spring. This will help boost their growth the most.
In general, this fertilizer is aimed at helping your roses grow strong roots. That’s one of the reasons that the root feeder is implemented – to get the fertilizer exactly where it needs to go.
6. BioAdvanced All-in-One Rose & Flower Care
The BioAdvanced formula is made to cater to all of your roses’ needs. This includes a three-in-one formula that covers multiple jobs with a single application.
Alongside fertilization, this also aims to help with insect control and disease control. BioAdvanced says that with a single proper application, you can depend on six weeks of protection.
The disease control includes protection against common problems like black spot, powdery mildew, southern blight, rust, and more. The insecticide is aimed at common pests too like aphids and leafhoppers.
Looking specifically at the fertilizer, it’s aimed at helping with a few different problems. In particular, it’s meant to help strengthen the roots of your roses and boost bloom production.
As a granule fertilizer, this is also a slow-release option. That’s why you can get away with periodic fertilizing rather than high-frequency options.
You don’t have to worry much about climate-related issues changing its lifespan either. It’s coated to be rainproof, so an unexpected rainfall won’t wash your fertilizer away.
For roses, it’s suggested to fill the cap up until the top of the inner circle. This will treat a single rose plant.
7. Jobe’s Organics Rose & Flower Granular Plant Food
As it says right on the bag, this rose fertilizer is meant to help your bloom yield. Specifically, you’ll start to notice a higher quantity of healthy blooms.
As the brand name suggests on top of that, this is an organic option. You won’t need to concern yourself with the fear of using something harmful to your plants or the environment.
This is even listed by the OMRI for use in organic gardening, confirmed by the USDA.
The main promise of this fertilizer for roses is to help your roses grow more and bigger blooms. However, it also helps with a variety of other challenges.
This includes improving soil conditions, repelling insects, and reduce the risk of disease. It’s even designed to help reduce the risk of the results of drought during the growing season.
They also include the N-P-K ratio to help you find the right fit for your soil. It measures out to 3-5-3.
For the best results, it’s crucial to use fertilizer on schedule. Jobe’s Organics recommends using their fertilizer at planting and every six weeks after that.
8. Down to Earth Organic Rose & Flower Fertilizer Mix
We already looked at one Down to Earth fertilizer option but that isn’t all they offer! Your roses can also benefit from their Rose & Flower Fertilizer Mix.
This formula offers a boost to your roses with a blend of nutrients that you can depend on. This includes a boost of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium.
In all, the N-P-K ratio for this plant is 4-8-4. It also offers ingredients such as bone meal, blood meal, seabird guano, alfalfa meal, kelp meal, rock phosphate, and more.
Altogether, this formula works to boost overall growth of your plants as well as ensure their overall health. This makes it a great general boost for your roses’ health.
These ingredients are completely natural as well, making this a great organic choice. You can even use it on edible plants such as garlic or onions too.
You can even use this in different plant environments. Its suitable for garden bed use or contained houseplants.
If your feeding growing plants, add only two to four tablespoons to each plant twice a month. At about five to six pounds of fertilizer for every 100 square feet of soil.
9. Burpee Organic Rose and Bloom Granular Food
The Burpee Organic fertilizer is an option in granular form. This means that you can mix this straight into the soil as instructed rather than diluting a concentrate.
It’s a great source of organic nutrients too. The OMRI has liscenced this fertilizer for organic gardening.
Taking a look at the specifics, this Burpee fertilizer has an N-P-K ratio of 4-6-4 listed.
This fertilizer is a versatile choice as well. It works well in garden beds as well as potted plants.
Overall, the formula is meant to start working quickly so your roses don’t have to wait. Yet, it also sticks around, giving your roses the continued nutrients that they need for up to three months.
With the use of this fertilizer, you’ll notice quite a few positive changes in your roses. This includes more blooms, stronger roots, and more vibrant color.
You can depend on this fertilizer to cater to more than just your roses specifically, though. The fertilizer is also targeted at improving overall soil quality in your garden or gardening container.
10. Scotts Rose & Bloom Food
If you want to boost your roses’ bloom production, this Scotts formula is for you. It feeds your roses the nutrients they need to thrive and produce beautiful flowers.
This is a non-burn formula as well. As long as you use it as directed, you won’t need to worry about damaging or burning your plants.
To get into technical specifics, the N-P-K ratio for this fertilizer is 12-4-8. This gives you a good balance for your roses that you can rely on.
When you use this fertilizer as directed, it also gives your roses long-term feeding rather than releasing instantly. After the initial, proper application, this fertilizer can feed your roses for up to two months.
This is thanks to the “continuous release” formula. This basically means that this Scotts fertilizer is a slow-release fertilizer that will nourish your roses over time.
On top of that, it’s easy to use! The fertilizer includes more specific directions but since this isn’t a concentrate, you don’t have to worry about diluting it.
11. Dr. Earth Total Advantage Organic Rose & Flower Fertlizer
When you want an organic option, another choice you have is this Dr. Earth Fertilizer. It’s made specifically for flowers, including roses, as the name states.
You can rely on this fertilizer to help your roses in general. However, it’s specifically designed to help with bigger and more plentiful blooms on your roses, giving you a gorgeous yield.
It’s also rich in pre-biotics. This means that it will help improve the quality of the soil for future planting as well.
A single application goes a long ways too. Once you apply it, its effects last several months but you’ll achieve the best results by reapplying it every two weeks.
As a concentrate, you won’t want to put this directly on your soil. Instead, it’s crucial to mix it at a ratio of four tablespoons per gallon of pure water.
This is also a safe choice to use around your home no matter who you live with. It doesn’t pose a danger to children or pets since it features an all-natural ingredient list.
Rose Fertilizer Buyer’s Guide
Finding the best rose fertilizer isn’t just about knowing what the best products out there are. It’s also important to know what to look for when you’re looking at a list of products.
A big part of this is understanding what roses need and what certain features mean. That’s why this section will take a look at everything you need to know about assessing a rose fertilizer option.
Nutrients to Look For
When you’re looking for fertilizer, you’ll notice that a few letters show up again and again. Most fertilizers showcase their own N-P-K ratio on the bag.
This refers to the ratio of nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), and potassium (K). All plants, including roses, need these nutrients to thrive.
Nitrogen is essential for building chlorophyll, a necessary compound inside the plant. Yet, it gets washed away from the roots, sometimes requiring a boost from the fertilizer.
Without the proper amount of nitrogen, your roses will visually suffer. Low nitrogen presents in yellowing leaves while high nitrogen can produce a low yield of blooms.
Phosphorus helps to keep the roots strong and healthy. With too little, you’ll notice signs like dull blooms, wilting or falling leaves, and weak stems.
Finally, potassium helps with a lot of factors. It’s involved in chlorophyll production, bloom rates, regulating photosynthesis, and as an immune system boost.
With so many worries about being too high or low, what’s the best balance to look for? Most rose gardeners want a ratio of around 6:12:6 for their roses.
In an effort to address all of the issues that roses can come up against, there are specialty fertilizers. Some are aimed at addressing specific issues with your roses.
For instance, do you struggle with low bloom yields? Then, you should consider using a fertilizer aimed at bloom boosting.
Similarly, if you have weak stems, a potassium-rich fertilizer will likely be the best way to go.
For an all-around improvement, look for a fertilizer that offers plenty of nutrients to the soil. After all, there’s nothing quite as helpful to roses as a strong foundation.
Understanding Quick-Release and Slow-Release Fertilizers
When you are purchasing fertilizer, you have two primary options for release times. This includes slow-release and quick-release fertilizers.
Quick-release fertilizers or water-soluble nitrogen (WSN) offer immediate relief. Depending on your climate, these fertilizers last around three to four weeks.
Slow-release fertilizers or water-insoluble nitrogen (WIN) are a more long-term offer to your plants. Depending on climate, they last around eight weeks in sulfur-coated varieties and as long as 12 weeks for polymer-coated varieties.
There are also liquid fertilizers that would fall under the category of quick-release fertilizers. These are typically concentrates that you mix with water and are quickly absorbed into the plant.
These need to be applied with a little more frequency than a standard quick-absorbing fertilizer. You’ll want to reapply these every two to three weeks for the best, most consistent results.
Considering Natural Fertilizers
Of course, like many gardening products, you have plenty of options including natural fertilizers. These fertilizers are designed to give you worthwhile results with fewer chemical and inorganic ingredients.
Some of the most common options for natural fertilizers include the following:
- Peat moss
- Composted manure
- Fish emulsion
- Bone meal
- Blood meal
Finding Out What Rose Fertilizer You Need
The best way to see what your soil is missing is to do a soil test. This will give you a general breakdown of the status of your soil and they’re easy to find and complete.
This will help you understand what levels you need to control with your fertilizer. In all, it’ll help you get a more accurate picture of what might be causing your rose plants’ strife.
Rose fertilizer is a great way to give your roses a boost and help them thrive. For the best results, you need to find the best rose fertilizer for your garden.
There are a lot of options, so it’s easy to get overwhelmed by all the options that you have. Not after you’ve read this guide, though!
Now, you’re armed with all the knowledge that you need to find the best rose fertilizer, you’re ready! You know exactly how to choose the best rose fertilizer for your needs.
So, go forth and good luck gardening your roses with your new fertilizer!