Help! Roses not flowering.

bexzdopeyJuly 19, 2009

Hello I am in the high desert in Kingman Az. For the past two years my roses seem to have one good flush in the spring and then only grow long green canes with no new flowers, or very few new flowers for the rest of the season. I see my neighborÂs roses growing and flowering all season. I do heavily prune them in the winter and they do get plenty of water on my automatic watering system. I have looked up the names of my roses and they should be flowering all season. I have done some research and I see that I probably need to feed my roses. My question is what to give them for food in my climate? Also do I need to mulch in the desert? Thanks for any advise!

PS I will post in the Arizona forum also. :)

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jim1961 Zone 6a Central Pa.

What type of roses are they?

    Bookmark   July 19, 2009 at 6:49PM
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jim1961 Zone 6a Central Pa.

Give others more details. How old is this rose? What type are the roses?
I take it, you have never fertilized your roses?
Are you dead-heading your roses? (Taking off spent blooms)
Or do you let it bloom and let the blooms fall off themselves?


    Bookmark   July 19, 2009 at 7:01PM
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catsrose(VA 6)

Since your neighbor has such success, I'd ask her.

    Bookmark   July 20, 2009 at 7:15AM
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karl_bapst_rosenut(5a, NW Indiana)

Or, you could have once flowering root stock that blooms in spring, then grows long canes.

    Bookmark   July 20, 2009 at 2:22PM
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hoovb zone 9 sunset 23

Yes I would certainly mulch with several inches of compost, composted ground tree shreaddings, or bark. Keep the mulch a few inches away from the base of the plant. Mulch will improve the soil, keep the roots cooler, and keep soil moisture from evaporating so quickly.

    Bookmark   July 20, 2009 at 4:38PM
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LetÂs see I have 5 bushes. Three of them are 3 years old One is Angle Face rose, one in Queen Elizabeth and the third one I can't remember but it is a large dark red bloom and fairly common, I bought them all at Home Depot three years ago. The first year they sprung up like crazy and the Angel Face and the red one bloomed like crazy all season, the queen Elizabeth didnÂt bloom at all but got 6 or 7 feet tall shoots. The other two are 5 years old and I cannot remember the name of either one. They are both pink, one a vibrant pink that I actually almost killed last year and it just came back this spring and is actually flowering better than all the others. The bush completely died and a single new shoot came up and is bushing out very well, it is about 2 feet tall. The fifth one I bought through an organization that has the disabled caring for the roses. It was a bare root and very small. It is 5 years old and is finally starting to look like a bush. I think it may be a climber and has smallish pale pink almost white flowers. It has previously bloomed all season as well. I will definitely mulch them this weekend. I have read that pine needles or tree leaves will be a good mulch is this a good idea? Should I get some Miracle grow or other rose food as well? It has been rainy but still very hot and I do not want to burn them. Could the heat be a factor? I have asked my neighbor and she planted her entire rose garden just last year. My mom, also in the neighborhood, has a two year old rose garden that is doing well. Neither my neighbor nor my mom does anything except watering them. I am wondering if after the two year mark the soil just may be depleted of nutrients. Thanks for all the advice so far.
All of the bushes are growing strong shoots and the leaves are normal and the bushes are pest free. I see no rot of any kind, they are perfect except for not flowering. I have never fed or mulched them before, I am not quite sure how to feed them to the roots.

    Bookmark   July 21, 2009 at 2:23AM
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I do deadhead the roses and I even cut them pretty long sometime to use in vases when they are flowering.

    Bookmark   July 21, 2009 at 2:35AM
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jim1961 Zone 6a Central Pa.

Article on queen elizabeth: Does not flower well.

I have to read up more on your roses. I have no types like this.


    Bookmark   July 21, 2009 at 10:22AM
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jim1961 Zone 6a Central Pa.

You mention you heavy prune them in winter. I'm starting to wonder about the pruning needed on these types of roses? Maybe lighter pruning at the correct time in your area? Just thinking out loud as pruning is my weak area.


    Bookmark   July 21, 2009 at 10:42AM
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jim1961 Zone 6a Central Pa.

Keep your roses well hydrated with water according to your type of soil and weather conditions. I prefer organic fertilizers over the other types of fertilizers. Miracle gro is NOT organic. But, the use of any product fertilizer is up to you. What do you prefer using?
Organic fertilzers feed the soil over time and are slow release.
Miracle Gro type fertilizers are a quick rush of nutrients.
Some people combine the 2 together.

( has a recipe for manure or Alfalfa tea. Click on (rose care) at the top of his page.

Many different rose fertilizers on the market.


    Bookmark   July 21, 2009 at 11:22AM
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jerijen(Zone 10)

Bex, I am presently sitting in Needles, 50 miles from you.
The temp was 115 degrees yesterday.
If I was a rose, I would shut down, too!

Keep the plants well-watered, and give them some afternoon shade.
I would NOT feed them in this weather.
They are protecting themselves.
Mulch them heavily, and water them daily through this heat emergency.

Stuck in a Motel in Needles, with two dogs, waiting for RV Repair

    Bookmark   July 21, 2009 at 11:49AM
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jim1961 Zone 6a Central Pa.

115 degrees WOW! You would be freezing here as the temp is only 73 degrees today...LOL

Jerijen is right, hot weather like that some people do not use fertilize at all and some people cut way back on the strength used. Example: instead of using 1 oz fertilizer per 1 gallon water, they use 1/4 oz or 1/2 oz mixed in one gallon of water.
You need to talk to experienced rose growers in your area on this subject and see how they do it and recommend.

115 degrees, i'm sweating just thinking about it...LOL


    Bookmark   July 21, 2009 at 12:06PM
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jerijen(Zone 10)

115 degrees, i'm sweating just thinking about it...LOL

*** It's so hot here in Needles that we took the dogs out to walk briefly, and both started to limp. There's no soft grass, and their pads couldn't take that heat.
It may be a very few deg cooler in Kingman, but not so's you'd notice.
I admit. I'm a heat-wuss. I want to get back to the Coast and my beloved fog. The high yesterday at home was 79.


    Bookmark   July 21, 2009 at 2:11PM
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jim1961 Zone 6a Central Pa.

You may want to discuss your roses with someone from Home Depot who is knowledgable in rose care for those types and your area. If they have such a person. Rose society in your area can help.

Here in zone 5/6, I fertilize late winter/ early Spring with: Recommended dose of Organic Rose tone, Bone meal, alfalfa pellets, and Epsom salt spread around the root zone and carefully work into soil about 1 inch deep. Then hydrate with water. I then top coat the soil with AGED cow manure/or compost, keeping it a few inches away from the rose trunk. Our more mature rose bushes only.
About 3-4 weeks after that I used Drammactic K fish/kelp ferilizer every 2 weeks the rest of this season.
I did purchase some Algoflash Rose in case the roses needed a fast shot of fertilizer, but, never used it as the leaves have stayed green and healthy all season and blooming was good.
Next season I think i'm going to brew up some Fortified Alfalfa tea and try instead of the Drammactic K fish/kelp and see how that works for a season. Just curious, I guess.

There are also slow release fertilizers that feed your roses for 3 months or more. Off hand I can think of Osmocote brand.

Everybody fertilizes differently and you will get many different opinions.

I would get recommendations for your area of the country and learn more about the use of fertilizer by checking out other threads on this forum and possibly web searches when you get the time.


    Bookmark   July 21, 2009 at 2:33PM
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karl_bapst_rosenut(5a, NW Indiana)

"You may want to discuss your roses with someone from Home Depot who is knowledgable in rose care for those types and your area. If they have such a person".

None I've ever been to have such a person. Most of their employees are just trying to sell products or get through the day. Their cure for everything is to spray or fertilize.

    Bookmark   July 21, 2009 at 3:24PM
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jerijen(Zone 10)

Karl, I did know one, once.
Long ago, an older SoCal Consulting Rosarian had a part-time job in the HD garden center.
It was pretty nice.
He recommended that people not buy roses from him there, but was happy to help 'em load up on mulches, potting soils, and the like.

But, in general, I'd put MOST HD garden shop employees in the same category as WallyWorld garden shop employees, and avoid all of 'em.

Bex, I think what might be most helpful to you is the Phoenix Rose Society. Their climate and conditions are probably the closest to yours.
I know you couldn't get to meetings, but you'd get a lot of help from their monthly newsletter -- and their Consulting Rosarians would probably be most helpful to you.
Desert Rose Society of Palm Springs would be helpful to you, too.

Jeri Jennings
Longing to Be Home At The Cool Coast of SoCal

Here is a link that might be useful: Phoenix Rose Society

    Bookmark   July 21, 2009 at 4:36PM
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Thank you all so, much. I was worried about fertilizer in the heat. I have decided that I will heavily mulch this weekend with pine needles as I have a friend with a backyard full of them. I will wait to fertilize until it cools down quite a bit. Thank you also for the phoenix rose society link it is something I will definitely try to join. I will post an update on my roses as they progress.

    Bookmark   July 22, 2009 at 1:47AM
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jerijen(Zone 10)

Good Luck Bex!


    Bookmark   July 22, 2009 at 2:08PM
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karl_bapst_rosenut(5a, NW Indiana)

Fertilize with lots of organics like horse and cattle manure and compost. These stay in the soil longer and help improve it. They also aid in water retention.
If you can get fishmeal, blood meal, cotton seed meal or alfalfa meal, they are also great either together or by themselves.

    Bookmark   July 22, 2009 at 2:26PM
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I think Kingman is a higher elevation than Phoenix but hot, none-the-less. You mention nutrition depleted soil and fertilizers. If you didn't already send a soil sample to a soil lab, you might consider doing so. All soils are not created equal and roses are not native to AZ so they require some amendments when being planted and maybe once a year thereafter. Do not plan to apply fertilizer during the summer months when it's over 90F for weeks on end (yeah, I'm waiting to see 90F again, too, so we can turn off the A/C and go outside). Increase water if you haven't adjusted the system since you planted the roses. Roots only grow where they can get moisture and food. The bloom is the end of the growth cycle so figure they're the last on the food chain.

When the temperatures come back down in September, do another light pruning and add some fertilizer. I, too, prefer organics. Mulching now will help retain moisture, cool the roots and provide a little nutrition if it's already broken down.

    Bookmark   July 24, 2009 at 4:03PM
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lagomorphmom(z10Coastal and z8Mtn CA)

Couple of identification guesses. Might the red one be Mr. Lincoln?

Also, the small pink one might be a climbing Cecile Brunner. Do they look like light pink buttoneers?

You can use to see pictures of these roses. My guesses are just based on what might be commonly sold or slips produced by charity.

The one that almost died, do the flowers look like they did before? Sometimes above the bud union DOES die but the rootstock does not. Others can give you more help on what rootstock in your area might be. In SoCal it is usually Dr. Huey.

Also, you can get alfalfa meal or pellets (horse food) at your local feed store much cheaper. Fyi, alfalfa has a fatty acid that encourages basal breaks.

    Bookmark   August 1, 2009 at 9:51PM
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