Any discerning gardener knows that a world-class rose bush will distinguish a home. Its elegant stems, vibrant green leaves and luxurious blooms seem like the work of a seasoned expert. But most gardeners also assume that such roses are out of their reach – unless they commit to frequent feeding, pest removal and painstaking care.
Fortunately, renowned flower gardener Loren Nancarrow demonstrates that world class roses are within reach for us all. In a video for CupRockTV, he shares a few extraordinary tips that are accessible to any gardener.
The Perfect Rose Feed Blend
Loren’s first bit of advice is a recipe for organically feeding your roses throughout the entire growing season. The great thing about this recipe, he explains, is that you will not have to feed your roses very frequently, and it also offers some resistance to pests.
First, pour the following ingredients into a large container.
- 1 part chicken manure
- 1 part fish meal
- 1 part cotton seed meal
- 1 part kelp meal
- 2 parts bone meal
Make sure you mix all the ingredients thoroughly and then pour the mixture into a large measuring cup. Use this blend to feed your roses about once every 60 days. Work it into the soil around the base of your plants. For new roses you’ll want to use about a cup, and use two cups for large, well-established bushes.
This mix works by supplying nitrogen, acidifying the soil and extending the growing season. It also strengthens your plants’ cell walls, which adds an extra layer of defense against aphids and other pests.
Mid-Summer Soil Dunk
Next, Loren shares a quick soil dunk formula to help perk roses up in the middle of the growing season. Simply stir together two tablespoons of brewer’s yeast per gallon of warm water and pour it around the plants. This will help saggy leaves and wilting blooms.
High Humidity Leaf Treatment
If you’ve ever examined the leaves of your roses when humidity levels are high, you’ve probably noticed that their surfaces are coated with a foggy substance and bright orange dots their undersides. Loren explains that this is mildew creeping in from above, while rust is lurking underneath. Left untreated, this can ruin a thriving rose. Luckily there’s a cure for this, too.
The first step is to combine the following ingredients.
- 2 quarts water
- 1 tablespoon baking soda
- 3 tablespoons horticultural oil
- 1 tablespoon kelp extract
Thoroughly mix it all up and pour it into a spray bottle. Then, liberally spray the mixture to coat every leaf of the plant. You’ll be saving the leaves that are already affected and preventing the healthy leaves from succumbing to the same fate.
Aphids, Be Gone!
Loren’s parting tip is a very simple bit of relief to anyone who struggles to keep aphids away from their roses. All you have to do is place the peel of a single banana next to the rose. Once it’s decomposed a bit, break the peel up and work into the soil with the tip of a shovel. Do this for each plant and say goodbye to those pesky aphids.
Please watch this in-depth video on growing world class roses by Master gardener Loren Nancarrow!