Knowing the best time to fertilize your roses can save you both time and money. By applying fertilizer only when your rose truly needs the nutrients, you can save yourself from applying fertilizer that will go to waste. And you won't waste time applying fertilizer to your rose, hurting it, and then having to shop around for a suitable rose replacement. These tips for fertilizing your roses are the easiest way to ensure that your roses get the nutrients they need to provide you with beautiful blooms all season long.
After pruning your roses in the early spring, apply a deep layer of much, such as dried manure or compost. This is a slow-growing, organic fertilizer that will slowly seep into your roses and provide nutrients over a long period of time. As soon as your roses develop their first set of leaves, apply a granular fertilizer. Sprinkle the fertilizer directly on the soil, gently work it in with a garden fork and apply water to allow the fertilizer to melt into the soil. Repeat this application every other month during the growing season, but stop applying fertilizer one month before the first frost is scheduled to arrive in your area. This will signal to your rose that it's time to head into a dormant phase.
Be sure that your plant is well hydrated before you apply fertilizer. Giving fertilizer to a rose that is dehydrated and wilted can cause the roots of the rose to burn, and can kill the plant. Similarly, new roses should not have fertilizer sprinkled directly on their roots. Fertilizers are too harsh for direct application in this way. Instead, apply mulch and wait for the leaves to emerge, as stated above. This gentler approach will ensure that your plants get the nutrients they need while you avoid doing damage to sensitive systems.