Rose blooms do not come easily. The rose plant requires lots of attention and hard work in order to survive, but that labor is handsomely rewarded with breath-taking flowers.
Using fertilizer is an essential part of rose maintenance, and making sure you use the best rose bush fertilizer is clutch.
Rose bush fertilizer will provide a boost of nitrogen and potassium to your plants, fortifying them against weather swings and pests. There are lots of fertilizers out there, so read on to find out which is the best rose bush fertilizer for your crop.
Types of Rose Bush Fertilizer
There are four types of fertilizer, each working a little differently.
Granular fertilizer has the consistency of sand. It is sprinkled over the soil and mixed in. Granular fertilizer is slower to activate, but because of its time delay, you don’t have to replenish as often.
Liquid fertilizer works like laundry detergent. Mix it with water before applying over the soil. Its liquid nature means that it works faster to enrich plants, but it needs to be replenished more often, around twice a month. Liquid fertilizer is not suited for grounds that receive heavy rain because the soil won’t be able to absorb the solution.
Spray fertilizers come in a spray bottle and are spritzed on the leaves of the bush, not into the soil. The leaves absorb the solution. Make sure not to overspray your bushes, as this could lead to potential fungal infections of your rose bush.
Spikes? In gardening? It’s true. These pellets look like mini stakes. They’re inserted into the soil by hand where they slowly dissolve and release vital nutrients over several weeks. Some gardeners dig holes for the spikes to avoid breaking them when inserting.
What is NPK?
You’ll notice that all rosh bush fertilizers come with an NPK value, e.g. 10-10-10. An NPK value measures the concentration of nutrients in the fertilizer. The three numbers stand for nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), and potassium (K, from its periodic table moniker).
You can choose your fertilizer based on what nutrients may be deficient in your soil. Sandy soil usually has a potassium deficiency, so you’ll want to find a rose bush fertilizer with a higher K-value.
For growing roses, you want a fertilizer that has a substantial phosphorus value, which aids in producing vibrant blooms.
The 6 Best Rose Bush Fertilizers
Okay, onto the main event. Here are some of the best rose bush fertilizers to explore.
Overall Best Rose Bush Fertilizer
Dr. Earth Total Advantage Organic Rose & Flower Fertilizer
Dr. Earth takes holistic care of your garden. It’s the only fertilizer on the market that is 100% non-GMO, and it has multiple organic certifications. That means you don’t have to worry about what you’re putting into the soil. No toxic chemicals that could poison other plants and wildlife or leak into water sources to cause havoc.
Its blend of alfalfa, cottonseed, and seaweed extract combines into a multi-mineral and protein-enriched formula that releases into the soil quickly. Dr. Earth enriches the long-term health of the soil and plant through several growing seasons. It’s the best rose bush fertilizer for growing perennials, ensuring they have consistently fertile soil year after year.
What you’re left with are vibrant buds and blooms that produce brilliantly colorful roses.
Best Rose Bush Fertilizer for Pet Owners
Espoma Rose-Tone Organic Rose Plant Food
If you are a pet owner, you might be worried about what chemicals you’re putting into your garden. Dogs love to sniff and eat whatever they can get their hands on, and we all know what happened to the cat when it got curious.
If you have pets that will roam outside near your garden, you want to ensure you’re using organic rose bush fertilizer that won’t be toxic to them. Espoma Rose-Tone Organic Rose Plant Food is an ideal choice. It’s great for your roses. Along with its 100% natural and organic solution, Espoma is enhanced with bio-tone microbes that provide fecund earth for your roses to flourish in. It’s the brand regularly recommended by professional rose growers who use it to grow prize-winning blooms.
And most importantly, it’s safe for people and pets. So let your dog and cat roam free without worrying about coming into contact with the soil. Now, as for keeping them away from rose thorns, that’s a different topic for a different article.
Best Rose Bush Fertilizer for Bigger Blooms
Hi-Yield Rose Fertilizer
Bigger is better. If your goal is to produce the largest, most vibrant blooms in your garden, then you want to pick a rose bush fertilizer that can give your bulbs the best chance of success. Hi-Yield Rose Fertilizer is packed with phosphorus. Its NPK value for the element is 8, a very high number. As mentioned above, phosphorus is key to delivering big blooms.
Hi-Yield proprietary formula is a mix of nutrients that are calibrated specifically to create big blooms and healthier stems to support the weight. It stimulates the bulb to grow big and tall. Make sure to cultivate and prune your rose bushes so that nothing stymies their growth. It’s long-lasting, too, so you only need to feed your roses about once per month. One cup per bush should do the trick.
Best Rose Bush Fertilizer for Beginners
Dr. Earth Organic & Natural Root Zone Starter Fertilizer
We all have to start somewhere. If you are new to growing roses, you want to give your seedlings the best chance of success. Dr. Earth’s Root Zone fertilizer is a fantastic starter product formulated to help new bulbs and seeds survive the transfer from the container into the ground.
With its dialed back NPK value, it won’t over-saturate and over-stimulate your new buds. You’re not Vin Diesel. You don’t want to go too fast and too furious with adding nutrients into the soil for new plants. That could stifle their growth or even lead to your roses not surviving.
As with all Dr. Earth products, the contents are all organic and non-GMO. They only use nutrients organically found in plants and mined minerals from the earth.
The special sauce here is its TruBiotic microbes, which ensure nutrients are broken down in a way that enables roots to properly absorb them. By caring specifically for the root, it fortifies your fledging roses, making sure they are strong enough for the transfer to the garden bed.
FoxFarm Organic Big Bloom Liquid Plant Food Concentrate
Best Rose Bush Fertilizer for Troubled Roses
If your roses are having trouble growing and you need a fast-acting solution, then check out FoxFarm Organic Big Bloom Liquid Plant Food Concentrate. Since it’s liquid, it gets absorbed into the soil immediately, providing instant rehabilitation and care to your rose bushes.
FoxFarm uses organic ingredients to create its signature concentrate. It’s actually a blend of different fertilizers that can support a wide variety of rose blooms and seed formations. FoxFarm is gentle enough to use throughout all stages of rose bush growth and works on any age of bush. All you need to do is add into your watering can for an even spread across your rose bushes.
FoxFarm also uses bat guano, one of the world’s first fertilizers, used by tribes for millennia. For thousands of years, it has proven to be nature’s perfect fertilizer. Any Ace Ventura: When Nature Calls fan knows the power of guano.
Best Rose Bush Fertilizer for Tough Climates
Monterey Fish and Guano Liquid Fertilizer
Depending on where you live, you may not have the ideal climate for growing roses. Especially with the climate becoming more volatile, it can be hard to gauge how your flowers will perform each year. If you do live in a zone that has greater weather swings, you want to look into a strong fertilizer that can work overtime to keep your soil healthy. Having nutrient-rich soil can help roses survive bad bouts of weather.
Monterey Fish and Guano Fertilizer is packed with a high-yield NPK concentration which can provide a steady stream of nutrients to your rose bushes. It’s best to apply in the early morning or late afternoon to avoid damaging petals.
Though it contains natural products, it’s not technically certified organic. It’s best to avoid using near a water supply, and don’t apply after a heavy rain when the soil is already full. With its chock-a-block mix of nutrients, Monterey can be the balm to get your roses through a rough season and come out the other end with full, magnificent blooms.
Final Word on the Best Rose Bush Fertilizers
You have more options than ever before with rose bush fertilizers, but in our opinion, Dr. Earth’s Total Advantage provides the best all-around care for your roses while protecting the environment around you. If you want to learn more about caring for rose bushes, check out our reference page on Rose Bush Maintenance.