Feeding container roses - What are some recommended methods?

zaphod42January 24, 2014

I've got a couple roses in containers that I started as bands last summer. (Fingers crossed they survive the polar vortex that is January in my unheated garage.) I'm not sure how to fertilize them. I'm assuming that I can't use the same formula I use on their in-ground cousins. Plus, they're heavier feeders. I followed the 'don't fertilize bands in their first year' rule last year. Should I use a liquid? A slow release granule? Do they need feeding more often? Less often? Thanks!

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I am not as smart as most of these rose lovers, but I would think you should not fertilize them in the winter because it would encourage growth, and you certainly wouldn't want to do that now. I left my minis that I bought outside, protected with dirt and leaves. We'll see how they do this Spring. I haven't had much luck wintering over in the containers unless you sink them in the ground, container and all. I have some raised beds and they kept that way. My garage is heated to 55 degrees, so do not attempt it that way. I know you will get the correct answer from our more up-to-date members. Barb

    Bookmark   January 24, 2014 at 10:49AM
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kstrong(10 So Cal)

Slow release non-organic fertilizers are the best for pots. Somehow, I have just never gotten organics to work very well with pots, as the pot just doesn't seem to develop "healthy soil" no matter what you do. So you must feed often, and from what I can tell, organics in pots are a waste of money. Something like Osmocote (or one of the slow-release knockoffs of that product) work best. And generally, the slow release formulas are heat dependant and will not release anything when it is very cold, (and when the plants are not growing anyways), so it is rather self regulating. If you can't use a slow-release formula, then anything else is fine as long as it is not very much at one time, and done often. As they say, weakly, weekly.

    Bookmark   January 24, 2014 at 11:06AM
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mad_gallica(zone 5 - eastern New York)

I use Osmocote. Read the directions, it can take an enormous amount for a large pot. The problem that I have with soluble fertilizers and pots is that we usually get a few months of enough rain that the pots don't need watered. If they don't get watered, it's hard to get everything out just to fertilize them.

    Bookmark   January 24, 2014 at 11:12AM
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Not planning on doing anything to them now. Trying not to even leave the house if I don't have to. :) Just thinking ahead to spring and dreaming of when the weather allows me to pull everything out again.

    Bookmark   January 24, 2014 at 11:44AM
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seil zone 6b MI

I use a slow release, like Mad's Osmocote, early in the spring in all my pots. After that they get foliar liquid fertilizer about once a month the rest of the season.

    Bookmark   January 24, 2014 at 1:31PM
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And I feed mine weekly/ weakly but not with osmocote. I have good luck with MG for roses. Drainage is essential so the chemicals don't accumulate in the pots. Osmocote always burns my roses. Hard for me to regulate.

    Bookmark   January 24, 2014 at 10:21PM
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