Fertilizing roses - it's easy!

Roses are plants that can grow in poor soil conditions, provided they receive enough nutrients necessary for their healthy growth and development. Therefore, one of the most important treatments in the cultivation of roses is a balanced fertilizer.


The most important nutrients for roses include:

  • nitrogen (N) - essential for the growth and development of roses
  • phosphorus (P) - affects the development of the root system and the formation of flower buds
  • potassium (K) - ensures the production of high quality flowers, helps in the lignification of shoots at the end of the growing season so that shrubs do not freeze during winter, and increases plant resistance to adverse weather conditions (especially water shortages) and disease 
  • sulphur (S) - deficiency causes inhibition of plant growth and abnormalities in the flowering process
  • magnesium (Mg) and iron (Fe) - responsible for the healthy coloration of green parts of plants
  • manganese (Mn) - has a significant impact on photosynthesis, respiration and other metabolic processes that influence plant health
  • boron (B) - responsible for the healthy development of flowers; deficiency causes distortion or premature drooping of flowers immediately after bud-opening

All nutrients in fertilizers should be present in appropriate ratios to each other so that they can be efficiently used by plants. For roses, the best ratio for nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium is 1 : 0.8 : 1.8.


Roses may be treated with organic or mineral fertilizers.

The use of manure or compost has a beneficial impact on soil structure and temperature conditions. However, the ratio of macro-and micro-nutrients in these organic fertilizers are not always suitable for plants. A more effective and efficient treatment for roses is to use multi-component mineral fertilizers, as these contain all the required components in the correct ratios.

In addition, some of these fertilizers are long-acting products, providing gradual release of the micro-and macro-nutrients to the substrate over a long period of time. This prevents excessive soil salinity which can adversely affect the plants. The use of suitable fertilizers ensures the good condition of shrubs and abundant annual flowering.


Roses should be treated with fertilizer twice each year.

The first stage of fertilizing is carried out in early spring, when the soil is not frozen or snow-covered,  directly after mound raking and shoot trimming. Spread a quantity of fertilizer, as recommended by the manufacturer, around the shrub, but not directly at the shoots. Gently mix the fertilizer with the top layer of soil using a rake. The plants must then be watered generously to facilitate dissolution of the fertilizer and ingress of minerals in the direct vicinity of the plant root system.


The second stage of fertilizing is carried out in the summer, immediately before first flowering. Fertilizing of plants before the first flowers have emerged encourages abundant flowers and a long flowering season. If nitrogen-containing fertilizers are used in the summer, the treatment should be stopped by mid-season, otherwise the plants will not lignify before temperatures drop, causing plants to freeze in the winter.


Well-nourished roses will show their gratitude with beautiful, magnificent flowers that attract attention from the furthest corner of the garden. Possibly, they will also become the object of envy of neighbours. Therefore, when choosing an appropriate fertilizer for roses, opt for proven and reliable brands such as FLORAMIX, HORTIFORM or VITAL SHOWER.