I beg of you, I am pleading with you: I am on my knees keying this: UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES USE ROSE FOOD – liquid, granular, powder. If it says “Rose Food” put it back, don’t touch it, run away, sneer and scoff loudly so the store owners hear you. Save
your money for a bird bath. USE COMPOST, ORGANIC STUFF, COFFEE GRINDS.
If you have followed the previous post Planting Roses, you have provided your rose with a long lasting buffet of nutrients it requires from the compost and good earth and ambient watering. Your rose (and all other plantings in any garden vegetable or flower) will select what it needs when it needs it from soil that is rich in natural organic matter – rich in the nutrients the plant needs. A plant’s uptake system is fail proof, wise, savvy, smart and really perfectly suited to its blooming and living a long long long time. HONESTLY….TRULY… DO NOT USE ROSE FOOD. All it does is mess with the plant’s chemistry, flooding it with chemicals which induce all kinds of problems. It is equivalent to force feeding which is like gorging on empty calories – satisfying for a short time but costly. (A moment on my lips forever on my hips.) It is just like you when you are hungry, eating chips – no nutrition, no substance, all bad. And rose food will cause lots of problems short term and long term: It will drive the rose to produce way too much sugar and end up attracting aphids (ugly little white and green thingys that stick to new buds and lay eggs like crazy and suffocate your rose. ) You may get a flush of HUGE blooms but at a HUGE cost – you are short-circuiting the plant in every way and without a doubt shortening its life.
If you feel the deep and abiding need to ‘feed your rose” pour your old coffee dregs on it once a week or dump coffee grounds around that gully you made and water them in. You can get bags of coffee grinds from most coffee shops for free. They just toss them out. You can use them. Do not do this every day as it will make the soil way to acidic. Just once a week is great.
You want that rose to be with you and your friends and family a long time. Give it a rich soil and it will look after itself. It knows how to feed itself and what to feed itself. Let it do its miraculous work and it will give you deep and abiding pleasure for years to come. Truly. You wouldn’t stand in the way of a miracle would you?