Your roses can bloom continually all summer
Why doesn't my rose bloom more? Here's the answer.
Yes, that sounds like something you’d hear on a late-night TV infomercial for a “miracle” plant: “Roses that NEVER stop blooming!!!” That I can’t guarantee. No one can -- unless the roses are artificial, of course.Skip to next paragraph
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With no “miracles” involved, I can promise that if you take a few simple steps each month, your rosebushes should bloom over and over every six weeks from spring until the middle of fall.
And I know from what people tell me, that’s probably much more flowering than you’re getting now.
OK, I’ll confess that there are three caveats to my promise – the “buts” you knew were coming. However, they don’t affect the majority of roses or the moderate-summer areas where most Americans live. More on this in a bit.
As soon as your roses stop blooming, cut off the dead blooms. Do it right away and do it a particular way: Look below the stem for a cluster of five leaves on a stem Cut there. The recommended way is to cut at a 45-degree angle about one-fourth inch above the five-leaf cluster.
After you’ve cut off the old flowers properly, you’ll need to fertilize. Roses are called heavy feeders. That means they like plenty of food – fertilizer. So instead of fertilizing the bushes once in the spring, you feed them more often. After all, you wouldn’t want to eat just once a year, would you?
As with many things, rose growers have different opinions about fertilizer. My experience is that it’s good to alternate liquid or water-soluble fertilizers with a granular product.
The reasoning behind this is that the effects of granular fertilizers are long-lasting but slower-acting. Liquids give you quick results but don’t hang around. Think of them as fast food and a sit-down meal.
You wouldn’t want to live all the time on fast food, and neither does a rose. But if you combine the two, you get the best of each.
What does this mean in terms of how often to fertilize? In spring, pull back the mulch around your bushes and spread the recommended amount of granular rose fertilizer. Replace the mulch and water.