Top 7 Best Fertilizer (Plant Food) for Roses & Buying Guide

Choosing the best fertilizer for roses is a hefty endeavor but necessary if you don’t want an unhealthy and dull garden.

Sale
Miracle-Gro Water Soluble Rose Plant Food, 1.5 lb
41,018 Reviews
Miracle-Gro Water Soluble Rose Plant Food, 1.5 lb
  • Instantly feeds to grow bigger, more beautiful roses versus...
  • Feed every 1-2 weeks
  • Endorsed by the American Rose Society

Our top choice is the Miracle-Gro Water Soluble Plant Food. This nominee is easy to use, reasonably-priced, and most importantly, has higher performance than the rest of the competitors.

The best thing is that it takes effect almost instantly and produces noticeable improvements for your flowers.

Buying Guide For Best Fertilizers For Roses

Type of fertilizer

Depending on the soil condition, plant’s health, and climate, you can choose different fertilizer types for your flowers.

Top 7 Best Fertilizer (Plant Food) for Roses & Buying Guide

On top of that, how much time you like to spend in your garden also determines the suitable type of fertilizer since the ease of use may vary between products.

Granular fertilizer

Granule looks much like sand, coming in coarse powder or pellets. They are slow-release and break down gradually once scattered underneath the plants.

They continuously soak into the rose plants with regular watering. Compared to liquid compounds, the application of this type lasts longer, requiring reapplication only every 4 or 6 weeks.

Liquid fertilizer

The liquid formula is a fast-acting type. You have to dilute it with water before applying it to the base of the roses.

With this formula, plants perk up much faster than they would with the granular type as they can absorb the liquid more efficiently. However, you will need to feed the plant as frequently as every 1 or 2 weeks to get the desired results.

Another issue with liquid compounds is that you’ll risk soaking the roses with water if overfeeding them, especially in regions with wet climates. Your roses certainly will suffer in the wet ground.

Spray

Spray formula needs to be applied directly to the plant’s leaves instead of sprinkling to the soil like granules. This way, the roses absorb nutrients via their leaves faster than they do through their roots.

Top 7 Best Fertilizer (Plant Food) for Roses & Buying Guide

An application typically keeps your roses well-fed for 2 weeks before starting a new feeding cycle.

It is advisable to feed your roses when the air is cool. The best time for feeding is early in the morning.

By doing this, leaves will have a lot of time to take in the nutrients and dry off. Otherwise, if you leave foliage wet overnight, you’ll risk your flowers catching fungal diseases.

Spike

Spike is easier to store than bags of granule. Regarding the application method, you need to shove it into the ground with a hammer or bare hands.

Spike helps to promote biological reaction underneath the base, making the soil more pest- and disease-resistant. You will need to apply it every 2 months to have a healthy and lively garden.

On the downside, this compound is likely to shatter if you exert too much force into the hammer. To avoid this, make holes beforehand instead, then bury the spikes down.

Another drawback is that the spike only provides nutrients for the area they cover, leading to uneven fertilization for your flowers.

Required Activation Time

Quick-release formula

This plant food type provides the rose plants with supplements almost instantly. 1 application typically lasts for a period of 3 to 4 weeks.

Slow-release formula

Depending on the rainfall frequency and temperatures, each application can last from 8 to 12 weeks.

Top 7 Best Fertilizer (Plant Food) for Roses & Buying Guide

With the slow-release nutrients, the roses don’t need to be fed often, and they are less likely to get burned as they would with quick-release formulas.

What To Look For When Buying Fertilizer For Roses?

NPK ratio

Roses need various kinds of nutrients to thrive. The primary nutrients you’ll find in most rose foods are not typically present in the soil itself.

  • Nitrogen (N): Nitrogen content is mainly responsible for the roses’ growth. It boosts the development of the leaves and promotes their dark green, beautiful color.
  • Phosphorous (P): This substance is in charge of the root growth. It also helps your tree to produce larger and more beautiful blooms.
  • Potassium (K): The mineral creates a strong base for the trees to grow on. It helps the root grow strong and promotes disease- or drought-resistance.

The NPK shown in any package reveals the portions of the 3 elements in the formula.

For instance, a 24-8-16 compound consists of 24% of nitrogen, 8% of phosphorus, 16% of potassium, and the remaining 52% of other secondary supplements.

Before purchasing any product, it’s best to know your soil health by performing a test. The results will reveal which type of nutrients you need to feed your rose plants.

Organic or Non-organic compounds

The organic product often comes with a lower N-P-K ratio than that of a non-organic one. That is because manufacturers don’t display some slow-release nutrients in organic formulas on the package.

They also provide your roses with beneficial microbes to boost vigorous growth.

Organic compound provides your roses with essential nutrients and facilitates biological activities underground, thus doing wonders for the soil quality.

Top 7 Best Fertilizer (Plant Food) for Roses & Buying Guide

Meanwhile, the non-organic or synthetic formula will feed the rose bushes but does not positively affect the soil health. However, non-organic compounds come with components that prevent diseases and insects.

You can avoid common problems such as mildew or black spot by using this product. In fact, you can apply both organic and non-organic formulas for your trees to take advantage of both types.

The main drawback of organic products is that they have a smell that is tempting to pets and insects. Be extra careful as your puppies may dig around the roots and eat the fertilizer.

Therefore, you’d better off put fertilizers on the top shelf and keep an eye on your pets when they play in the garden.

Ease of use

As most people are not full-time gardeners, you might not have a lot of time to take care of your plants. That’s why ease of use should be a key consideration.

An application of spike fertilizers lasts for more than 2 months, so you have a lot of free time in between these intervals for other priorities.

Granular compounds are also easy to apply; simply scoop them out of the bag and sprinkle them around the roots. You’ll have to wait for 4 to 6 weeks for the next feeding.

Both types are easy to store and lasts for a decent period. Liquid formulas take you more time, however. You need to dissolve them with water and spray. Also, feeding is necessary as regularly as every 1-2 weeks.

Extra accessories

For some types of fertilizer, you’ll need tools for the application. For example, liquid formula often needs a mix sprayer in which you will dilute it with water before feeding.

Using spikes might necessitate the purchase of a hammer to push them into the soil. Granular compounds are less demanding in terms of an added tool; you simply need a scoop and small can to transfer them from bags to the ground.

Whether you are tired of not getting blooms on your Rose Bushes or your Rose plants are not thriving, this video is going to help you:

In-depth Reviews of the Best Fertilizer for Roses

Miracle-Gro Water Soluble Plant Food – Best for performance

Sale
Miracle-Gro Water Soluble Rose Plant Food, 1.5 lb
41,018 Reviews
Miracle-Gro Water Soluble Rose Plant Food, 1.5 lb
  • Instantly feeds to grow bigger, more beautiful roses versus...
  • Feed every 1-2 weeks
  • Endorsed by the American Rose Society

This water-soluble rose plant food will soak into the soil underneath the trees. With a formula of 24-8-16, this pick is the best rose fertilizer with all essential nutrients for the rose’s growing season.

Its high performance is what we are especially impressed with. This fertilizer starts to take effect almost immediately, helping the rose bushes produce more blooms than unfed bushes.

Many previous users claimed that they noticed numerous beautiful, large blossoms just after 1-2 applications, which is rather impressive.

Another nice plus is that it’s very easy to use. The compound dissolves in water easily without any chunks left.

On the downside, you need to feed your plants as frequently as 1-2 weeks using this fertilizer, requiring gardeners’ effort and commitment.

What we like:

  • Impressive performance
  • Rapid improvement
  • Easy to use

What can be improved?

  • Regular application required

Jobe’s Organics Flower & Rose Granular Fertilizer – Best for fast results

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Jobe’s 09423 Organics Flower & Rose Granular Fertilizer...
8,649 Reviews
Jobe’s 09423 Organics Flower & Rose Granular Fertilizer...
  • Organic granular fertilizer; Fast acting fertilizer for...
  • OMRI listed for organic gardening by USDA; Certified organic...
  • Contains Jobe’s Biozome…the proprietary microorganism...

As the name suggests, it contains no synthetic substances in its components.

This pick is the best food for roses that delivers the fastest results. Biozome, the special combination of three microorganisms and Archaea, facilitates the breaking down of nutrients for faster absorption.

Between a few days and a week after application, you’ll see the improvements as trees get greener and grow faster.

Besides keeping your roses well-fed, this product also enhances the soil texture. It also contains some chemicals to protect your flowers from diseases, insects, and even drought.

Plus, one application will last for 6 weeks, which leaves you a lot of free time before starting a new feeding round.

As it’s organic, this fertilizer’s downside is that its odor will attract your pets. Therefore, keep an eye on your little puppy while they’re out in the garden.

What we like:

  • Quick absorption
  • Beneficial to soil quality
  • 6-week long feeding cycle

What can be improved:

  • Appealing to animals

BioAdvanced All-in-One Rose and Flower Care Fertilizer – Best for versatility

BioAdvanced 701262 All-in-One Rose and Flower Care Plant...
404 Reviews
BioAdvanced 701262 All-in-One Rose and Flower Care Plant...
  • PLANT FOOD: Fertilizer promotes strong roots and beautiful...
  • INSECT KILLER: Kills Japanese Beetles, Aphids, Leafhoppers,...
  • DISEASE CONTROL: Fungicide controls Black Spot, Powdery...

Beyond being a rose fertilizer, this compound is a disease controller and insect killer as well. It keeps Japanese Beetles or leafhoppers away from your flowers.

This rose plant food also keeps diseases like black spot, rust, or mildew at bay.

The versatility extends to the plant variety it can be used for. It works well with flowering shrubs such as iris, citrus trees, or hibiscus.

The compound will soak quickly into the root, so runoff and waste are not likely to happen. That said, one application doesn’t seem to last as long as the stated 6 weeks, especially when it rains a lot after the feeding.

What we like:

  • Multi-purpose food for roses
  • Suitable for a wide range of trees
  • Controls Japanese Beetles

What can be improved:

  • Less effective in rainy seasons

Dr. Earth Organic 3 Rose & Flower Fertilizer – Best for budget

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Dr. Earth 702P Organic 3 Rose & Flower Fertilizer in Poly...
311 Reviews
Dr. Earth 702P Organic 3 Rose & Flower Fertilizer in Poly...
  • Optimum levels of primary plant nutrients
  • For larger and more abundant blooms
  • Loosens and improves soil texture

If you’re after a budget-friendly product that can still do the job, this one is the best fertilizer for roses to buy.

This product comes in a 4-pound bag at such an affordable price point. However, you still get what you need: a pack of key nutrients and beneficial soil microbes, which do wonders for the soil texture.

Plus, one bag feeds 55 square feet of garden, which will last for several uses if you only have a few bushes to feed.

As it is 100% organic, it won’t burn the leaves as some chemical alternatives would. It keeps your roses and other trees such as annuals, flowering shrubs, or perennials, well-fed and happy.

Unfortunately, this formula stinks a bit as it contains components like blood meal and bone meal. The smell, however, will disappear over time.

What we like:

  • Affordable
  • Improves soil texture
  • Decent volume for the price

What can be improved:

  • Unpleasant smell

Burpee Organic Rose and Bloom Granular Plant Food – Best for long-lasting application

Burpee Organic Rose and Bloom Granular Plant Food, 4 lb
228 Reviews
Burpee Organic Rose and Bloom Granular Plant Food, 4 lb
  • Burpee Organic Rose + bloom granular plant food is...
  • Provides a flush of nutrients immediately and slow-release...
  • Contains beneficial microbes to help promote spectacular...

This suggestion is the best plant food for roses whose application lasts for up to 3 months.

This product provides 2 different supplies of nutrients. It gives several nutritional elements to the trees for immediate absorption.

At the same time, another pack of nutrients slowly releases to keep your flowers well-fed within the next 3 months.

The formula also provides useful microbes to save the soil from malnourishment and promote stronger roots, which, in turn, helps the rose bushes stay healthy.

The bad thing about this formula, just like with most organic formulas, is its unpleasant smell. The good news is that you have to tolerate this smell once every 3 months in exchange for a spectacular landscape.

What we like:

  • 3-month application
  • Two sources of supplements
  • Promotes healthy soil

What can be improved:

  • Unpleasant smell

Espoma RT8 8-Pound Rose-Tone Plant Food – Best for value

No products found.

This one is reliable for getting optimal growth and blossoms, offering a combination of organic materials. This blend provides 15 nutrients for the trees to produce healthy roses, helping them have gorgeous blossoms.

The ratio for NPK is 4-3-2. This fertilizer is also free from toxic ingredients, so it’s environmentally friendly.

This pick is not just rose bush fertilizer, as it works well on all flowering trees. Beyond providing nutrients, it also helps to extend the blooming period of your flowers.

This granule is easy to apply in terms of ease of use; sprinkle it on the roots and wait for the results.

However, the product stinks, and your pets will like it. Be extra careful if you have any animals at home.

What we like:

  • 15 nutrients
  • Toxic-free
  • Easy to apply

What can be improved:

  • Palatable to pets

Bayer Advanced All In One Rose & Flower Care – Best for the ease of use

As it is a concentrate, you simply have to mix it with water at a suitable ratio instead of digging the compounds into the soil.

One application should last up to 6 weeks, meaning you’re free 6 weeks after each feeding.

For added convenience, this compound promotes strong roots and blossoms and protects them from insects and diseases.

It controls mildew, black spots, or rust on roses effectively. You don’t have to look around for the remedy for these problems.

Unfortunately, insects like bees can be affected by the product’s components.

What we like:

  • Easy to apply
  • Long-lasting application
  • Gets rid of common diseases

What can be improved:

  • Harmful to insects

Conclusion

Our choice is Miracle-Gro 2000221 Water Soluble Plant Food as we love the fast improvements on leaves and the abundant flower production that it brings about.

To sum up, consider the types of products that suit your trees’ needs, the N-P-K ratio in the formula, and ease of use while looking for the best fertilizer for roses.

Last update on 2021-04-14 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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Jill Sandy

Jill Sandy

Jill is a sustainable focus gardener. She loves decorating her home backyard with beautiful landscape design and creative garden care techniques she develops herself. You can reach her at jill.sandy@constantdelights.com

Chanh Ho (MD, MPH)

Chanh Ho (MD, MPH)

Chanh is our Head of Medical Review. He is a research physician at Oxford University Clinical Research Unit. After accomplishing the program of level 1 sub-specialty in Pediatrics, he was awarded the Chevening Scholarship for his Master’s degree of Public Health in the University of Edinburgh in 2019

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