Vermont Garden Journal: Our Relationship With Roses
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We have a complex relationship with roses. The French novelist Alphonse Karr once said, "Some people are always grumbling because roses have thorns; I am thankful that thorns have roses." But it's not the rose thorns that stick us, it's getting roses to flower consistently each year.
Landscape roses such as the Knockout series and species roses such as the Rugosa roses are easy to grow and flower pretty consistently each year.
It's the hybrid tea and floribunda roses that are more demanding. These hungry roses need a constant supply of water and nutrients to flower their best.
While adding some compost in spring and monthly feeding with a high nitrogen organic fertilizer, such as alfalfa meal, is great for rose flowering, I have a few home remedies that have also worked well.