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Fertilize roses in spring: From when, how often and what fertilizer garden roses and potted roses need

Surely there is hardly any amateur gardener who does not have at least one rose in the garden. The magnificent queen of flowers makes hearts beat faster and also scores with relatively simple care. Nevertheless, of course, this garden plant also requires certain attention and fertilizing roses in the spring is also part of it. After all, if you want to enjoy stunning blooms in the summer, you should provide your roses with the necessary nutrients to give it strength. Here’s what you should know when fertilizing your roses in the spring.

When to fertilize roses in the spring and garden?

From when to fertilize roses in spring in the garden

The rule is that rose bushes need fertilizer twice a year – once in spring and once in summer after the main flowering. Roses sprout in the spring, then form buds and their characteristic flowers. For all this, of course, you need power in the form of nutrients – so fertilizer is essential right at the beginning of the season!

When to fertilize roses in the spring?

Fertilize roses in spring - March or early April is the best time

In principle, it depends on the weather, but usually you can do it as early as mid-March, after giving the bushes their spring pruning. A good indicator that it’s time is the new shoots. So, if the plant starts to sprout, you can take care of the right fertilizer. If you missed March, you can also fertilize the roses in April, but just as early as possible.

Which fertilizer?

Fertilize roses in spring with compost and manure

Slow-release fertilizer is best, because the soil absorbs its nutrients only gradually, which means that the plant is supplied for a longer period of time. Reach for a fertilizer that consists of plant (e.g. compost) and animal ingredients (e.g. manure). Horn shavings and cattle manure are wonderful, especially the latter has an optimal nutrient composition for roses, but should not be used fresh, but should rot through half a year.

Organic or mineral fertilizer for rose plants in tubs or beds


If you fertilize the roses in the spring, also make sure that the fertilizer contains more potassium than nitrogen. Nitrogen promotes the formation of leaves and shoots, but not flowers. If, on the other hand, you want to promote new shoots, use more nitrogen. If you want to be on the safe side, you can also simply fertilize your roses with a special rose fertilizer in the spring. This is tailored to the needs of the plants.

How to fertilize?

Fertilize roses in spring - work organic fertilizer into the soil

It is important that organic fertilizer is always worked flat into the soil. To do this, spread the selected fertilizer around the root areas of the rose bushes. Then loosen the soil with the help of a hand rake/rake or hand shovel, mixing fertilizer and soil. Proceed gently so as not to injure the roots.

Fertilizing roses in tubs

Fertilizing roses in spring - tips for the right time and fertilizer


Compact rose varieties such as dwarf roses, bedding roses or small noble roses can also be cultivated in tubs or flower pots. And, of course, you also need to provide them with nutrients, because these dwindle quite quickly in the limited space. What should you consider when fertilizing roses in pots in spring?

Fertilize potted roses properly in the spring

Proper care of the rose guarantees many flowers

Slow-release fertilizer can be administered as soon as you plant the roses in the pot. If your plant has been in its pot for some time, May is a good time to do it when flowering begins. Keep in mind that roses have fairly high nutrient needs, so you can and should fertilize them more often in the container. So after you fertilize your roses in the spring (May), regular applications of fertilizer are important and beneficial and can continue until September. If you use slow-release fertilizers, it is quite sufficient to fertilize container roses two or three times a year.

Organic or rather mineral?

Provide rose bush with nutrients during the new shoot

Organic fertilizers are preferred, but they are also absorbed more slowly by the soil, since the natural microorganisms in the soil must first decompose the raw materials. This variant not only promotes soil life, but also the formation of humus. In addition, this way you get a wonderful slow-release fertilizer, which provides the rose bushes with nutrients evenly for up to five months. This even makes the second application of fertilizer in the summer unnecessary.

Properly care for roses in the garden or pot

Mineral fertilizers, in turn, offer the advantage that the nutrients are immediately passed on to the plants, as they consist of water-soluble minerals and fertilizer salts. For example, if you suspect a nutrient deficiency, a mineral fertilizer is the perfect solution to quickly provide the plants with everything they need. However, this type of fertilizer is also available in the form of a slow-release fertilizer. To slow the release of nutrients, the fertilizer beads are sealed in a layer of resin that only dissolves over time due to moisture and temperature. This fertilizer can supply the plants for up to six months.

Give roses fertilizer as a slow release fertilizer in the spring to the plants