Question: What kind of fertilizer is best for roses? When should it be applied?

Answer: There are many excellent specialty rose fertilizers. Most are high-phosphate types, aimed at promoting flower buds. While that’s good in principle, be certain the soil actually needs all that phosphorus. Have a soil test run every couple of years to monitor progress of the stored nutrients, and don’t be surprised if the test suggests you apply only nitrogen via a high-quality, lawn-type fertilizer. If you’re using granular materials, fertilize monthly, starting in early spring and continuing into late summer. Liquids will be applied more often.

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