When Should You Fertilize Roses?

When Should You Fertilize Roses?

In order for the graceful roses to thrive and develop their decorative flowers every year, they should receive enough fertilizer. However, they can do without a lot of fertilizer, and therefore should not be overfertilized in any case. Therefore, in order for rose bushes to have a long, healthy life, it is important to fertilize them only at certain times. Therefore, the following article also deals with the ideal seasons for fertilizing.


In order for the graceful roses to thrive, develop a beautiful flower and strengthened against diseases, they need different nutrients. These should also be given at different times of the year. Thus, the plants need fertilizer, but only a little and well distributed throughout the year. Therefore, three fertilizer applications a year should be enough if you use the appropriate ones. The different times look like this:

  • Spring
  • May/June
  • August

Each time for fertilization has its justification and is intended to strengthen the roses in a different respect. Therefore, it is also impossible to fall back on a general fertilizer, and none of the three fertilizations in the year should be omitted. With each fertilization, it is also necessary to pay attention to the individual nutrients and minerals that the plants need at the particular time of year.

Spring fertilization

In the spring, when the first warm temperatures are expected, the roses should receive their first fertilization. For the timing, it is also necessary to take into account the particular climate zone in which the roses were cultivated. In some areas it is already at the end of February, in others not until March. Since fertilizing in the spring is intended to help the roses with the administration of special nutrients for new shoots, the ideal time is directly after pruning the rose bushes. In this case, the following should be taken into account:

  • ideally use compost
  • or cow dung
  • contains all the necessary nutrients
  • work in directly in the root area
  • needs a lot of phosphate for the formation of flowers
  • also nitrogen for good growth
  • for this purpose add horn meal
  • also potassium
  • soil analysis can help
  • after that suitable fertilizer can be chosen

Tip: If you do not have compost available and also can not get cow manure, then you can also get pellets from dried cow and horse manure in stores. The pellets will then dissolve back into the soil when water is added, releasing the natural nutrients to the plants

Fertilizing in May/June

As a rule, most rose varieties remontage. In this process, after the first bloom on other new shoots, more buds are also formed, which still open in the summer. As a rule, these roses that bloom more often are pruned after the first bloom in May or June. In this way, new budding can be encouraged. To support this, the roses should be fertilized again immediately after pruning, because the new shoots cost the plants a lot of energy. Here, the following procedure should be followed:

  • quick effect of the fertilizer desired
  • use a mineral product
  • blue grain is ideal
  • dose only a little
  • not more than 20 to 30 gr/qm
  • liquid fertilizer for roses can also be chosen

Attention: if you give too much fertilizer in May/June, the shoots of the plant will not be able to lignify in time before winter and will be much more susceptible to possible frost damage

August fertilizing

Fertilizing in August is meant to strengthen roses for the cold season. Therefore, it is important that you choose the appropriate nutrients and special fertilizers here as well. The fertilizers, which were given in spring and summer to promote new shoots and flowering, are not desired now. For the winter, on the other hand, the roses need a fertilizer that helps to ensure that the rose shoots can still harden sufficiently and thus become frost resistant. Here, the following should be considered when choosing a fertilizer:

  • potassium-emphasized
  • little to no nitrogen content
  • nitrogen leads to the formation of new shoots
  • no longer desired after August
  • Potassium stimulates plant metabolism
  • cell fluid in roses does not freeze so quickly
  • use special fertilizer from the trade
  • alternatively spread compost or mulch around the plants
  • nutrients can thus constantly reach the roots
  • also provides protection from cold

Note: You can do without the last fertilization if your rose bushes grow on a very nutrient-rich soil, which you can easily determine with a soil analysis. Because then this last fertilization could be too much and overfertilize the plants. Sometimes you even have to weigh whether a single fertilization with compost in the spring is not enough