pH pH is defined as minus the decimal logarithm of the hydrogen ion activity in a solution.
pH pH is a measure of the acidity or basicity of a solution.
pH A pH of 7 is said to be neutral. A pH greater than 7 is said to be basic or alkaline. A pH less than 7 is said to be acidic.
pH A pH of 6.2 – 6.8 is ideal for growing roses. The pH can be lowered by adding sulfur. The pH can be raised by adding limestone.
pH A proper pH doesn’t guarantee the presence of desired nutrients. The importance of a proper pH is to provide maximum availability of nutrients.
Fertilizer Primary nutrients that are added to the soil are referred to as fertilizers.
Fertilizer Chemical fertilizer – synthetically produced. Organic fertilizer – comes from natural sources.
Fertilizer Almost all fertilizers, both chemical and organic, tend to lower the pH or make soil more acidic.
A nutrient is anything that nourishes or promotes growth. Nutrients
As much as 95% of a plant is made of carbon, hydrogen and oxygen which are obtained from the air and water. All remaining nutrients are obtained from the soil.
Nutrients The six most commonly used nutrients after carbon, hydrogen and oxygen are called macronutrients. The elements needed by plants in lesser amounts, and rarely devoid in most soils, are called micronutrients.
Nitrogen Stimulates growth of tall, strong canes, good blooms and rich dark foliage.
Potassium (Potash) Promotes root growth and bloom color.
Calcium Holds cell walls together and promotes stability and early growth. Makes a sturdier plant.
Magnesium Promotes chlorophyll formation and interacts to produce greener foliage and healthy, disease-resistant plants.
Phosphorus Stimulates root growth, producing quality plants and big blooms. Also hastens plant maturity adding to winter hardiness.
Sulfur Raw material for amino acids and proteins needed for plant health. Also lowers pH.
Micronutrients Iron Manganese Boron Copper Zinc Molybdenum Chlorine
Micronutrients Only small amounts of micronutrients are needed in a rose’s diet, but a lack of one or more may cause a serious decrease in the availability of macronutrients.
Element Components Of A Typical Plant Oxygen45% Carbon44% Hydrogen 6%
Element Components Of A Typical Plant Nitrogen2% Phosphorus.5% Potassium1% Calcium.6% Sulfur.4% Magnesium.3% This represents 99.8% of the components.
Soil Analysis The only way to know the makeup of the soil in your garden is to have a soil analysis performed by a laboratory.
N:P:K Most commercial fertilizers contain the three main nutrients needed for growth, nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P) and potassium (K). Nitrogen is expressed as the percent of the single element (N), phosphorus as the percent of phosphoric acid (P 2 O 5 ), and potassium as the percent of potash (K 2 O).
Mills Magic Rose Mix N:P:K analysis(6-5-1). Combination of alfalfa meal. Fish meal, steamed bone meal, cottonseed meal, blood meal, activated sludge and an organic compost activator.
Monty’s Joy Juice (WS) Yellow Label: N:P:K analysis (8-16-8). Orange Label: N:P:K analysis (2-15-15).
Green Light Super Bloom (WS) N:P:K analysis (12-55-6). Iron.
Bayer All-In-One Rose Care (WS) N:P:K analysis (9-14-9). Also contains a systemic insecticide and systemic fungicide.
Osmocote N:P:K analysis (19-7-10). Time release fertilizer.
Three Big Questions What fertilizers do I need to use? What dosage do I need? How Often do I feed?
What Fertilizer Do I need To Use? Check the pH and add necessary amendments to bring the pH into the range of 6.2-6.8. Get a soil analysis and add any amendments suggested. Use fertilizers that bring the macronutrients into proper balance. Ask rosarins with a similar soil for recommendations.
What Dosage Do I Use? How Often Do I Feed? Use the manufacturer’s suggested dosage. Ask rosarians in your area for their suggestions. Experiment on your own as to what works best for your roses.
VERY IMPORTANT! In three years time, you should have developed a plan that works for you. Once you have a successful feeding program, DON’T CHANGE IT!