How to Care for Roses

Fertilizing and Watering Roses

Fertilizing and watering are among the first steps to growing a healthy, beautiful rose garden.

Fertilizing Roses

When you mix abundant organic material into the planting soil, you establish a good basis for healthy growth. Occasional applications of fertilizer rich in phosphate, however, can be useful if your soil is low in phosphorous. Wait until growth has begun in spring before fertilizing. A second application can be made in midsummer. Avoid fertilizing in the fall since it can promote late growth, which reduces hardiness.

Rose soil should be moist but not wet.

Watering Roses

Recently planted roses should be watered carefully to make sure they don't dry out. Keep the soil moist but not wet. Established roses are more resilient but still require watering during periods of drought. In dry climates, regular irrigation may be necessary. Apply water slowly over a period of several hours so it soaks deeply into the soil. Frequent, brief waterings will not moisten the plant's entire root system. An organic
mulch, applied in early summer at the base of the plant, will help keep roots cool and moist, even during periods of moderate drought.

Keep reading to learn about pruning roses.

Want more information about roses? Visit these links:

  • Rose Gardens: Learn all you need to know to plan, plant and care for your rose garden.
  • Gardening: We answer all of your general gardening questions in this section.