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Best Fertilizers for Roses

If you want a beautiful rose bush bloom, you will need the best fertilizer on the market. Too many fertilizers found at your local gardening store does not work as advertised. They lead to lifeless roses. If you want better chances at success, try some of our recommendations with our guide below.

Our top recommendation is…

Greenpinky’s top pick:
  • Perfect nutrient balance
  • Quality ingredients
  • Great price
Check Amazon for Best Price

Did you know that using the proper fertilizer is one of the most critical components of raising healthy roses? Buying the right fertilizer is not as simple as going to a local gardening supply store and buying whichever fertilizer bag has a rose on the packaging. Luckily, I’ve done the hard work for you to find the best fertilizers for roses. Keep reading below to see our recommendations.

Comparing Our Top 3 Recommendations for Rose Fertilizers

Osmocote Smart-Release Plant Food Plus Outdoor & Indoor, 8 lbs
GreenPinky's Top Pick
Jobe’s 09423  Organics Flower & Rose Granular Fertilizer with Biozome, 4 pound bag
Down to Earth Organic Rose & Flower Fertilizer Mix 4-8-4, 5 lb
Osmocote Smart-Release Plant Food Plus Outdoor & Indoor, 8 lbs
Jobe’s 09423 Organics Flower & Rose Granular Fertilizer with Biozome, 4 pound bag
Down to Earth Organic Rose & Flower Fertilizer Mix 4-8-4, 5 lb
N-P-K Ratio: 14-14-14
N-P-K Ratio: 3-5-3
N-P-K Ratio: 4-8-4
7,043 Reviews
5,553 Reviews
273 Reviews
$25.12
$14.06
$19.99
-
Osmocote Smart-Release Plant Food Plus Outdoor & Indoor, 8 lbs
Osmocote Smart-Release Plant Food Plus Outdoor & Indoor, 8 lbs
N-P-K Ratio: 14-14-14
7,043 Reviews
$25.12
GreenPinky's Top Pick
Jobe’s 09423  Organics Flower & Rose Granular Fertilizer with Biozome, 4 pound bag
Jobe’s 09423 Organics Flower & Rose Granular Fertilizer with Biozome, 4 pound bag
N-P-K Ratio: 3-5-3
5,553 Reviews
$14.06
-
Down to Earth Organic Rose & Flower Fertilizer Mix 4-8-4, 5 lb
Down to Earth Organic Rose & Flower Fertilizer Mix 4-8-4, 5 lb
N-P-K Ratio: 4-8-4
273 Reviews
$19.99
Best fertilizers for roses
Beautiful and healthy roses

The Best Rose Fertilizers

Check out our favorite rose fertilizers. These are our recommendations for the best fertilizers on the market. You will have higher chances of success when using these fertilizers particularly since they use high quality ingredients and have the correct N-P-K ratio for roses. Please keep reading below to learn more about each one. 

healthy and beautiful rose

Best Fertilizers for Roses

N-P-K Ratio: 3-5-3

Jobe’s Organics Rose & Flower Granular Plant Food is fast-acting, so it can support your plants in a variety of situations. That’s because it contains Jobe’s special proprietary blend of healthy bacteria, mycorrhizal fungi, and archaea, which aggressively works to break down material for fast results. As a result, your plants will be better able to resist disease and insects and be better equipped to handle drought conditions, should they occur. The perfect organic blend creates abundant, beautiful flowers without the use of chemicals.

N-P-K Ratio: 14-14-14

Roses respond with vigor to this food that is perfect for just about all plant varieties, no matter what conditions you’re growing them in. Osmocote Smart-Release Plant Food Plus Outdoor and Indoor food can feed your plants for a full six months. The no-burn formula can be applied safely to all potted plants, whether they’re indoors or out. You can have total confidence you’re supporting your plants because it’s full of 11 essential plant nutrients that are slow-released over time giving your plants exactly what they need, right when they need it.

N-P-K Ratio: 4-8-4

Down To Earth Rose & Flower Mix is not only great for your roses, but this all organic formulation is perfect to use when starting and nurturing edible bulbs like garlic and onion, too. The unique blend of alfalfa meal, blood meal, fish bone meal, humates, kelp meal, langbeinite, and seabird guano provides more than ample nutrition. It gives the proper supportive ratios of nitrogen for vigorous growth and phosphorus for gorgeous blooms. It also contains trace elements for thoroughly healthy plant stock. If you’re tired of feeding chemicals to your plants, this 4-8-4 blend is the perfect change you’ve been looking for.

N-P-K Ratio: 6-9-6

Bayer Advanced All-in-One Rose and Flower Care granules is a 3-in-1 product that helps fertilize, control insects, and control diseases. A single application of this fertilizer can last for up to 6 weeks and typical watering will not wash off the protection that it provides. It can kill aphids, caterpillars and Japanese beetles and also controls mildew. Your roses will produce magnificent blooms with vibrant green leaves with this fertilizer!

N-P-K Ratio: 10-18-9

When your goal is not only more abundant blooms, but also flowers with spectacular color, Miracle-Gro Plant Food Shake ‘N Feed Rose and Bloom Continuous Release food is formulated to really brighten things up. This food is super easy to use and one application lasts for three months. Packed with ingredients that help to support the beneficial microbes found in the soil, it can help support root strength and development, increasing water efficiency. That makes it perfect to use for both newer and well-established plants.

N-P-K Ratio: 4-3-2

When you’re looking for an all natural and organic alternative for your plants, Epsoma Rose-Tone 4-3-2 Plant Food is the one to grab. This environmentally safe food doesn’t result in any sludge and contains no hazardous or toxic ingredients. It’s also American-made and backed by professional rosarians. Providing a holistic approach to rose care, Epsoma Rose-Tone is enhanced with thousands of living microbes that will keep the soil healthy and allow for better nutrient turnover. It’s balanced with a complex blend of natural organics that provide all 15 essential nutrients.

N-P-K Ratio: 5-7-2

Dr. Earth Organic 3 Rose & Flower is 100% natural and organic and is guaranteed to improve and loosen soil texture and doesn’t contain any GMO’s, sewage sludge, or chicken manure. Packed with beneficial probiotics plus mycorrhizae, this long-lasting additive ensures nutrients are broken down and released into the soil for maximum benefit. It provides the perfect blend of your plants’ primary nutrients and micro-minerals. Perfect for the grower on the go, one application lasts for several months.

N-P-K Ratio: 2-2-1

If you prefer a liquid formula, Dr. Earth Total Advantage Rose and Flower Liquid Concentrate does the trick. Crafted for bigger and more abundant blooms, this easy to use formula packs a 2-2-1 punch. Completely sustainable, it’s made from recycled fish, meat, and grocery produce. The nutrient content is not only perfect for your roses, but can be fed to all of your flowers, flowering trees, shrubs, and any other annuals and perennials, promoting healthy blooms. Reviews tout the advantages of not having to worry about any burning or other damage to your plants.

N-P-K Ratio: 9-12-9

Jobe’s Rose Spikes come in pre-measured sticks so you have no mess or fuss and are perfect for your potted plants. The spikes release nutrients over eight weeks, delivering right to the root system. Along with consistent watering, these spikes can help to resurrect plants that are suffering from poor soil quality. When used as directed, your plants could yield bundles of flowers for months into the season!

N-P-K Ratio: 18-24-16

Endorsed by the American Rose Society, Miracle-Gro Water Soluble Rose Plant Food is proven to help your plants grow bigger, more beautiful roses when compared with unfed plants. Easy to use by adding to water, the nutrient combination is guaranteed to not burn your plants by over-feeding. Because it dissolves in water, it’s able to be used instantly by your plants, resulting in fast results. This product works great to revive stressed rose plants that are recovering from pest damage or other stress.

Nutrients for roses

How to Produce Beautiful Blooms

Roses that are fed properly will produce spectacular flowers. Taking care of roses is easier than you may think – just about anyone can grow them successfully. However, to grow absolutely stunning roses, I highly recommend being careful of the fertilizer you choose. Only the best fertilizers with the right N-P-K ratio and quality ingredients will lead to knock-out roses.

Let’s look at a couple factors that you may want to look into when making an educated decision on deciding on a fertilizer to buy

N-P-K Ratio

A general rule of thumb when looking for the right fertilizer is to look for a good N-P-K ratio. N-P-K stands for nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium, respectively. See my in-depth nutrient guide for more information. Different plants require different levels of each element. Generally, an N-P-K ratio of 1-1-1 is recommended for roses.

Organic vs Non-organic

Nowadays, the market is filled with both organic and non-organic chemicals in fertilizers. Non-organic fertilizers tend to deliver the correct nutrients, but do very little by way of helping the soil. Organic fertilizers on the other hand may not only give your rose nutrients, but will also help with soil quality.

Best Fertilizer for Roses

Proper Drainage

Not only is using the proper fertilizer important, but also is how well you nourish the rose’s root zone. For the best possible conditions for the plant and to prevent root disease, it is important to make sure the soil is drained completely and does not always remain damp. Excessive moisture can actually lead to root disease.

When you are watering your roses, try to avoid getting the foliage wet. If the foliage gets wet, it puts your rose bush at an increased risk of developing diseases such as black spot and powdery mildew. To avoid this, use soaker hoses. Soaker hoses will direct water directly into the soil around the rose and thereby make it easier for you as well as will minimize water on the leaves. Also, try to water in the morning. When you water in the morning, the rose bush has the afternoon sun to dry off. Stagnant water will not just be sitting around on your bush’s leaves.

Enough Sun

As we all know, sun is vital to plants because it allows them to undergo photosynthesis and create the energy they need to remain in homeostatic balance. I recommend that you allow your rose to receive at least 6 hours of sun per day.

Get Rid of Pests

If you see any pests, try to act fast to get rid of them. Pests can be extremely detrimental to your rose bush.

One notorious bug is the Japanese beetle. When you spot one, there are sure to be many more around. They will infest your rose bush and “skeletonize” your bush’s leaves. Get rid of them as fast as possible for they wreak havoc on your garden.

Types of Roses

There are many types of roses including modern garden roses, climbing roses, English roses, floribunda roses, grandiflora roses, groundcover roses, miniature roses, hybrid tea roses, rambling roses, and polyantha roses. You may want to do some research to see which rose bush you like the most.

Additional Rose Tips

Here are some additional tips for growing absolutely beautiful rose bushes. Please note that this is not a video that I have created, but rather one that I found that shows some good tips.

Bottom Line

Get the best fertilizer possible…it’ll save you many headaches (trust me). I recommend buying the Osmocote Outdoor Smart Release. Don’t fall for false marketing or convenience by buying any old fertilizer from your local gardening store. Many of them will simply not produce the same results. 

Happy Planting!

About the author: Carley Miller is a horticultural expert at TheGreenPinky. She previously owned a landscaping business for 25 years and worked at a local garden center for 10 years. Read More