Best Fertilizers for Roses: Ratings, Reviews & Top Picks

Trying to find the best fertilizer for your rose garden, but can't decide which one to pick? Finding the right formula can be tricky, as your climate and soil type will also play a role in how well your flowers bloom. In this article, we examine the top fertilizers for roses, that will help them grow in a variety of hardiness zones and in a variety of soil types.

Roses Getting Fertilized in Garden

As an enthusiastic rose gardener, the last thing you want is stunted growth for your flowers. During your rose flowering phase, they require your input to ensure they can bloom efficiently. Aspects like your soil type, planting position, and weather are crucial in determining how well your plants will grow.

While this is the case, fertilizer is a great way to encourage the growth of healthy blooms. Additionally, it helps improve the general health of your soil and provides your plants with the nutrients they need to flourish.

With so many options in the market, it can be challenging to settle on the best fertilizer for growing roses. This in-depth guide covers what to consider when buying fertilizer for roses, the top 10 best fertilizers to consider, and the common questions from rose gardeners on the best fertilizer for roses.

At A Glance: Top Rose Fertilizers

Best Value

Jobes Organic Rose Fertilizer

Our Rating

Jobe’s Organic Fertilizer

Organic Pick

Dr Earth Rose Fertilizer

Our Rating

Dr. Earth Organic Fertilizer

Budget Pick

Miracle Gro Rose Food

Our Rating

Miracle Gro Rose Food

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Buyers Guide

Woman Adding Fertilizer to Rose Bushes
There are many important factors to consider before purchasing a fertilizer for your rose bushes.

Choosing the right fertilizer for your growing roses can be challenging because of the wide variety of products in the market. So, how can you tell that you’re selecting the right product for your growing needs? Well, we’ve taken the guesswork from your selection process by highlighting the important considerations when shopping for the right fertilizer.

Slow Release or Instant Fertilizer?

When searching for the right fertilizer, you should check whether they’re instant feeding or slow-release fertilizers. Depending on whichever you choose, they all have their advantages and disadvantages.

The instant fertilizers will release nutrients your plants require to the soil, encouraging them to grow robust root systems and healthy blooms. These fertilizers don’t last long, and you need to re-apply every two weeks.

The slow feed fertilizers release nutrients slowly to the ground over months. This provides your roses with regular feeding, and you only need to feed your rose twice in their growing season.

Fertilizer Accessories

When purchasing your fertilizer, some types may require different tools for application. For instance, liquid formula fertilizer requires that you use a mix sprayer when feeding your plants.

If you plan to use fertilizer spikes, you’ll have to use a hammer to drive them into the soil. Most fertilizers with granular compounds don’t require added tools because they come with a small can which you’ll use to scoop and transfer your fertilizer from the bag to the ground.

Ease of Use

Not everyone is a full-time gardener. So, if you have a busy schedule and you’re passionate about rose gardening, a fertilizer’s ease of use is an important consideration. In such a case, applying spike fertilizer that lasts more than two months will ensure that you have free time to take care of other priorities.

It’s also easy to use granular fertilizers because you only need to apply them around the roots of your rose plant. Once this is done, it takes up to six weeks before your next feeding cycle.

While the granules and spike fertilizers last for a long time before your next feeding cycle, liquid formulas require feeding every one or two weeks. 

NPK Ratio

Your Roses require nutrients to thrive. So, before you begin applying your fertilizer, make sure you take into account its NPK ratio. For example, if your fertilizer is labeled 20-6-14, it means that it has a 20% Nitrogen content, 6% phosphorus, 14% potassium, and 60% of other supplements.

Remember that you must perform soil health analysis before purchasing your fertilizer, as this determines the nutrients to feed your plants.

Nitrogen is vital in the effective growth of your roses as it promotes the dark green color and boosts leaves’ development. Phosphorus promotes better root development and the production of large beautiful blooms.

Potassium is responsible for creating a strong base in which your rose can grow and promotes drought or disease resistance.

Organic or Inorganic Fertilizer?

Organic rose fertilizers have lower nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium levels than the non-organic alternative. However, they feature plenty of beneficial microbes that help boost your plant’s vigorous growth.

Non-Organic fertilizers have well-formulated nutrient contents, which help improve the soil quality. Additionally, they have different components that help to prevent diseases like black spot and mildew.

The downside to using organic fertilizers is that their formulation comprises blood meal or bone which may attract wild animals and pets. This means that you need to closely monitor your pets while playing in the garden to ensure they don’t dig and eat your rose or fertilizer because both can harm your pet.

Top Fertilziers For Roses

Red Rose in Full Bloom
There are several options when picking the right fertilizer for your rose garden.

Now that you understand the important factors to consider before purchasing a fertilizer for your rose garden, let’s take a look at some of the top options. Keep in mind that while most of these fertilizers will work in just about any climate, there are still other factors you’ll want to consider, including soil type, and water availability. Many of the fertilizers below are rose specific. But there are a few that can crossover if you are feeding other flowering plants like hydrangeas or fertilizing hibiscus.

Jobe’s Organics Rose Fertilizer

Jobes Organic Rose Fertilizer
  • Contains Archae, which breaks down fertilizer.
  • It helps improve soil conditions.
  • Can resist insects and diseases.
  • 100% organic, making it environmentally friendly.
  • Formulated for abundant beautiful flowers.
  • OMRI Listed.
  • Budget-Friendly.
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This organic granule fertilizer offers excellent results for farmers who want their roses to grow faster. The Jobe’s organic fertilizer is certified by the USDA (United States Department of Agriculture) and doesn’t contain any synthetic components making it ideal for different soil types.

The fertilizer has an NPK ratio of 3-5-3 and contains microorganism Archaea and healthy bacteria such as Mycorrhizal fungi, among other biodegradable elements.

Unlike most organic fertilizers, these elements play a huge role in helping the product break down quickly in the soil. Applying this fertilizer throughout your rose’s growing season will help improve the condition of your soil, promoting great blooms.

Additionally, it encourages strong root mass, protects against insect pests, and prevents diseases. This is also an ideal fertilizer for gardeners with a busy schedule because you’re required to apply it once every six weeks.

Miracle-Gro Water Soluble Rose Food

Miracle Gro Rose Food
  • Feeds through both the leaves and roots.
  • Won’t burn if used properly.
  • American Rose Society endorsement.
  • Can be used weekly.
  • Budget-friendly.
  • Can use via can or water feeder.
  • Promotes lush blooms.
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As a water-soluble fertilizer, your rose plants will absorb the nutrients from the fertilizer faster than the other types. Using this fertilizer is also easy because all you have to do is mix a gallon of water for every tablespoon of the plant food, then soak the base of your plant.

The fertilizer is made up of zinc sulfate, manganese, iron, urea, and potassium phosphate. Miracle-Gro is also enriched with magnesium, an essential plant nutrient that promotes buds and good seed germination.

The American Rose Association has certified this 18-24-16 NPK fertilizer, and it’s best suited for roses planted in borders, beds, or pots.

BioAdvanced All-in-One Rose Care

BioAdvanced Rose Care Fertilizer
  • Promotes colorful blooms and strong roots.
  • Helps prevent rust, mildew, and blackspot.
  • Can control insects for more than one month.
  • Offers flower protection.
  • Systemic rainproof protection for up to six weeks.
  • Also prevents insects.
  • Controls diseases.
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This granular and water-soluble fertilizer promotes the faster growth of your rose flowers and prevents pests and diseases. It’s also enriched with nutrients like Tebuconazole and phosphate.

Systemic fungicide like Tebuconazole is absorbed by the plants, preventing the spread of fungal diseases that cause severe damage to your plants.

Phosphate is a natural mineral that can be processed to produce phosphorus, a key component present in most rose fertilizers. Phosphorus is also essential in the healthy division of cells and the growth of new plant tissues.

The fertilizer’s 9-14-9 NPK ratio is formulated to help boost bloom production and strengthen the roots of your roses. It’s an ideal solution in preventing diseases such as mildew, rust, and black spots.

It also keeps spider mites, adelgids, whiteflies, leafhoppers, and Japanese Beetles away from your flower. Besides using it as a foliar spray, you can still pour it at the base of your rose plants.

As a granule, you’ll need to feed your plants once in six months. Additionally, it’s coated to be rainproof, meaning that there’re fewer chances that unexpected rain will wash your fertilizer.

When applying it to your rose plants, ensure that you fill the cap to the top of the inner circle as this is enough to treat one plant.

The Environmental Protection Agency has even approved its use, so you should be assured that it’s safe for people and the environment.

Miracle-Gro Bloom Booster

Bloom Booster Flower Food
  • Promotes very quick results.
  • Safe for use on perennial and annual flowers.
  • Formulated to produce vibrant colors.
  • Anti-burn formula.
  • Budget-friendly.
  • Instant feeding.
  • Follow instructions to prevent overfeeding.
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As a water-soluble fertilizer, the Miracle-Gro bloom booster feeds your rose flower through the leaves or roots. The fertilizer has a high yield. Most users say that a pound box will feed many flowering bushes for several months after mixing.

This soluble fertilizer also helps to boost health and vibrant blooms. It works well on all plants, whether they are in-ground or in-container.

For great results, you should feed your plants with this formulation every one to two weeks. However, it’s crucial to use the fertilizer as directed to avoid burning your plants.

Ross Rose & Shrub Fertilizer

Ross Rose and Shrub Fertilizer
  • Pre-measured refills ensure mess-free fertilizing.
  • Ross root feeder system, prevents runoff.
  • Delivers fertilizer directly to the roots.
  • Requires feeding every two weeks.
  • Budget-friendly.
  • Stops pollution tied to runoff.
  • Best for early spring and late summer use.
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The Ross Rose is intended to use with the Ross Root Feeder kit, which conveys the fertilizer directly to your roots, thus reducing waste and runoff. The direct nutrients intake at the roots causes more flowers to bloom faster.

It also has a 15-25-20 NPK ratio with a kit of 12 or 54 refills based on the amount of fertilizer you require. It’s recommended to use this fertilizer if you have freshly planted roses through midsummer. For flowering shrubs, you should feed them in early spring and late summer.

Jobe’s Rose Fertilizer Spikes

Jobes Organics Fertilizer Spikes
  • A slow-release fertilizer that nourishes over 8 weeks.
  • Doesn’t have a foul smell or wasteful runoff.
  • Ideal for different flowering shrubs.
  • Easy to use – no measuring or mixing.
  • It helps to improve your soil conditions.
  • OMRI Listed.
  • Contains helpful proprietary biozomes.
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The Jobe’s rose spikes are packed in pre-measured sticks, which is vital in preventing wastage of fertilizer. While they may cost more than the granular option, their application is easy because you don’t need to mix or measure them.

The spikes slowly release nutrients to the ground in eight weeks, and regular watering can help improve your soil quality for the better growth of your rose plants. A bag of the Jobe’s fertilizer packs ten spikes.

Miracle-Gro Shake ‘N Feed Rose Food

Shake and Feed Miracle Gro Rose and Bloom
  • It doesn’t contain chemicals that can harm your plants.
  • Can keep your roses fed for over three months.
  • Continuous nitrogen release promotes easy feeding.
  • Promotes spectacular color and more blooms.
  • Features natural ingredients to feed microbes.
  • Feeds up to 3 months.
  • Can be used in containers and in the ground.
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This fertilizer features a cap dispenser which helps to minimize your contact with the fertilizer when dispensing it around your roses. For the best results, ensure that you dig lightly around your plant, mix your fertilizer in the soil then pour water.

Miracle-Grow recommends gardeners apply ½ cup for 10 square feet of the plant. This granular fertilizer packs different micronutrients essential in promoting vibrant colors in flowering roses and producing more blooms.

In addition, it contains bone meal, feather meal, and earthworm casting for enhanced nourishment.

As a slow-release fertilizer, your plants will benefit from a consistent release of nutrients for over three months. The fertilizer’s 10-18-9 NPK ratio means that the high phosphorus content can help promote beautiful blooms in your plant.

It ensures that microbes break down natural ingredients quickly to support the better development of roots. Note that this is a synthetic fertilizer, and if you’re an organic gardener, it may not be your ideal option.

Applying this fertilizer correctly is still necessary because practices like piling up and foliar feeding on your stem can burn your roses. Therefore, it is vital to follow the manufacturer’s instructions on its use.

If you plan to apply your fertilizer exclusively on rose bushes, the Miracle-Grow container can feed up to 6 bushes for at least three months. After the third month, you’ll need to re-apply your fertilizer.

Dr. Earth Organic Rose Fertilizer

Dr Earth Rose Fertilizer
  • Encourages vibrant blooms and better growth.
  • No harsh chemicals that may harm your plants.
  • Safe for pets and people.
  • Slow-release feeds soils and plants over time.
  • No chicken manure or GMOs used.
  • OMRI Listed.
  • Balanced NPK of 4-6-2.
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This is a perfect fertilizer for organic rose growers as it contains 100% natural ingredients and a 5-7-2 NPK ratio. It has a strong smell that dissipates over time, but this isn’t attributed to chicken manure, sewage sludge, or any GMO.

The fertilizer contains ecto and endo mycorrhiza, which help your plants bloom even if susceptible to drought-like conditions. However, if you reside in an area that’s primarily dry throughout the year, consider doing heavy mulching and regularly water your plants.

This rose flower fertilizer contains beneficial soil microbes essential for increasing the size of your blooms and improving the texture of your soil.

It’s also an ideal fertilizer choice for busy rose gardeners because a single application can last several months. You can use one bag of Dr. Earth to feed a 55 Square foot garden for several months.     

Burpee Organic Rose Food

Burpee Organic Rose Food
  • Combination of organic food optimized for growth.
  • Promotes root development and vibrant colors.
  • Has beneficial microbes for optimal level of nutrients.
  • Long-lasting formula suitable for roses.
  • Budget-friendly price point.
  • OMRI Listed.
  • Manufacturer satisfaction guarantee.
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This organic rose fertilizer contains beneficial microbes which promote stronger roots which help your rose bushes remain healthy. Like most organic fertilizers, it has an unpleasant smell, but the odor dissipates after some time.

Burpee also comes in a granular form, making it easier to use than the liquid option that requires you to dilute before use. It’s also important to note that OMRI (Organic Material Research Institute) has accredited this fertilizer for organic gardening.

The fertilizer comes with an NPK ratio of 4-6-4, and it’s a versatile choice because you can use it in potted plants and garden beds. Once you feed the Burpee fertilizer in your plants, you will benefit from continued nutrient uptake for over three months.

You’ll notice a significant improvement in your plants with continued use, including more vibrant colors. This fertilizer is also designed to improve the overall quality of your soil.

Burpee is also known for its excellent root development qualities, which is essential in helping your plants absorb more nutrients.

BioAdvanced Bayer Rose Fertilizer

BioAdvanced Rose Care Flower Fertilizer
  • Combination of organic food optimized for growth.
  • Promotes root development and vibrant colors.
  • Has beneficial microbes for optimal level of nutrients.
  • Long-lasting formula suitable for roses.
  • Budget-friendly price.
  • Feeds up to four months.
  • Can be used in garden beds or potted plants.
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The BIOAVANCED rose fertilizer is specially blended with macro-nutrients that nourish the soil, thus helping build strong roots and increase your blooms. This fertilizer also improves the soil structure and increases aeration, vital in strengthening the plant’s cell walls.

Additionally, it offers slow-release feeding for up to four months, saving you money and time because you don’t have to apply it regularly. Ensure that you cover the soil base around your plant after sprinkling the fertilizer to get the best results.

Frequently Asked Questions

When is the best time to apply rose fertilizer?

The right time to apply fertilizer for roses depends on the type of roses you have on your farm. Most varieties will require application twice a year. Your first application should be around spring, when your roses are almost entirely open.

After feeding your roses, you should mulch around your soil as this helps to improve your soil quality, ensuring your roses produce the best bloom.

After your first flowers have bloomed, you should apply your second feed. This encourages your plants to produce more flowers, especially for varieties that flower for more than one season. Ensure that you don’t overfeed your plants because it might result in issues like stunted growth.

What’s the best way to apply your fertilizer?

The application of fertilizer for your roses will largely depend on the product you choose. If you have granular or powder fertilizer, you can sprinkle it around the soil, and it’ll be watered into the ground.

Some powder fertilizers may require that you dilute them before applying them to your plants. This is why it’s essential to read your packet label instruction before use.

Additionally, use the correct measurements when using liquid fertilizer, and don’t forget to stir it with a stick so that it spreads evenly through the water.

What Happens to your roses if you over-fertilize?

If you use more than the required amount of fertilizer for your roses, you’ll damage them instead of encouraging healthy growth. The common signs of over-fertilization include damage to the root system and brown or yellow discoloration on the leaves. You’ll also notice that your plants will start to grow slowly and will not have the flourishing blooms you’ve been expecting.

What Kind Of Nutrients Do Your Roses Need?

Your rose plants need three essential nutrients to grow and blossom: nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium. Nitrogen is vital in promoting the efficient development of your roots, phosphorus ensures better absorption of nutrients, and potassium helps to protect your flowers against diseases.

Your roses may also need magnesium which helps them better process sunlight, sulfur which provides your plants with additional protein, and iron which ensures your plants have a strong base.

How Can You Tell Your Roses Need Fertilizer?

One of the common signs that your rose needs fertilizer is when the leaves start to turn yellow. This indicates that your plants require nitrogen and potassium. Weak flower buds, failing leaves, dull foliage, and brown leaves are additional signs that it’s time to feed your plants.

Final Thoughts

If you want to cultivate beautiful, healthy rose bush blooms, you should consider sourcing the right fertilizer in the market. A common issue with most fertilizers in the market is that they don’t work as advertised.

Therefore, if you want the best results, you should consider the few recommendations highlighted in this guide. The buying guide will provide you with insights on selecting the right product for your gardening needs.

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