I have witnessed the difference rose fertiliser can make to rose growth and health and I want to share this story with you.
My wife and I love roses for the vibrant colours of the flowers and the fragrance.
Recently we moved onto a property that has very poor soil, mainly clay. Housing developers in Auckland have this annoying practice of removing the topsoil, which they sell and leave the new homeowner with poor quality subsoils.
The result is, homeowners battling to grow decent plants.
The first year on our property we planted half a dozen roses and when it came time for them to flower they performed badly and battled with pest and disease infestation.
I believe given the right nutrients and growing environment, any plant will maximise its growth and increase its ability to ward off pests and disease. Clearly, this was not the case with our roses.
I don’t use any synthetic chemicals to control pest and disease and I try to bolster the plants' natural ability to do this.
The 2nd year of rose growing has produced a much better result and surprisingly very little disease and pest infestation compared to the previous years.
My objective for the second growing season was to increase the mineral and nutrients available to the roses and thereby increasing the propensity of the plant to grow and increase resistance to pest diseases.
The foundation of my rose nutrition programme was the regular application of Dyna-Gro Nutrient Solutions (Fertiliser).
This website contains articles and information about Dyna-Gro products.
The main reason for using Dyna-Gro Nutrient Solutions is:
Their formulation contains the 16 essential nutrients required for plant growth and health in an easy to use 1 part liquid formula. Typically most fertilisers supply half a dozen or so of these essential nutrients.
Quick absorption of the nutrients by plant roots. Instead of the roots using energy to search for nutrients, the energy is used for rose growth.
Most flowering plants have two main phases, a growth phase and a flowering phase. I have structured my rose fertiliser programme to align with these two phases.
The growth phase starts when the rose plant comes out of winter dormancy and is signalled by the development of new shoots forming. At this time the rose bush will put all its energy into developing new growth and it is accepted that you feed the plant with a fertiliser that has a high nitrogen value.
Nitrogen is used by the plant to promote stem and leaf growth. The ammoniacal and nitrate forms are used directly by the plant for stem and leaf growth. However be careful as too much nitrogen can delay or affect the onset of rose flower production.
At every watering I include silicone. Silicone is a component of cell walls and enhances resistance to sucking insects and fungi. Foliar sprays reduce populations of aphids on some plants. Silicone also enhances leaf presentation; improves heat, drought and cold tolerance; improves photosynthesis and extends bloom life.
I also support the plant by providing additional nutrient support with a weekly foliar application of nutrients to the leaves. The main purpose of the foliar spray is to feed the leaves with low nitrogen and to boost the magnesium, sulphur, silicon and potassium levels which are nutrients that will encourage the initiation of flowers and help promote the development of large, vibrant and aromatic blooms.
Drench the soil around the roses root zone every two weeks with the following:
Dyna-Gro Liquid Grow 7-9-5 diluted at 1 ml Dyna-Gro to 750 ml water (1:750).
Dyna-Gro Pro-TeKt 0-0-3 diluted at 1 ml Dyna-Gro to 1 500 ml water (1:1 500).
Apply weekly to both sides of the leaf and green stem area with the following:
Dyna-Gro Mag-Pro 2-15-4 diluted at 1 ml Dyna-Gro to 1 500 ml water (1:1 500).
Include a wetter or sticker to improve the spread of water over the surface of the leaf.
Once the rose plant is growing well and is starting to produce a few rose buds the emphasis of the rose fertiliser programme should be to encourage the production of and increase the size of the rose flowers. It is at this time that you switch to the flowering phase programme.
To achieve this change to using a fertiliser with a lower nitrogen value by substituting Dyna-Gro Grow 7-9-5 with Dyna-Gro Bloom 3-12-6. The programme shown below reflects this change of product.
Drench the roses soil root zone every two weeks with a mixture of the following:
Dyna-Gro Liquid Bloom 3-12-6 diluted at 1 ml Dyna-Gro to 1: 1 500 ml water (1:1 500).
Once in a while, you can substitute Dyna-Gro Liquid Bloom with Dyna-Gro Mag-Pro.
The takeaway points from this article are:
Use a fertiliser that has all 16 essential nutrients required to support plant growth and health.
Fertilise regularly. It is better to use a little fertiliser often.
Feed the roots (Soil Drench) and the leaves (Foliar Spray).
Experiment with dilution rates and frequency, i.e. you may want to apply fertiliser once a month instead of fortnightly or change your foliar dilution rate to 1:3 000, etc.
The important takeaway, is for you to experiment and to find out what works for you. The above is only a suggestion and is considered a starting point for developing your own rose fertiliser programme.
Light + Air + Water + All Essential Minerals = Award Winning Plants
Happy Rose Growing
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