Can You Over Fertilize Roses? Some Tips For Gardeners

Fertilizers can help boost the rose’s development. The question is how much fertilizer your plant needs. Can you over-fertilize roses?

The short answer is no. Over-fertilizing can lead to fertilizer burn and may cause many problems to your plants, such as fewer blooms, diseases, mineral toxicity, leaf drop, and burning leaves.

Today, Swipe Garden will share with you some fertilizing tips to bring out the best in your plant. Let’s read on to discover!

How Much Fertilizer Do You Put On Roses?

Proper rose fertilizers may affect root growth - Can you over fertilize rose?

Proper rose fertilizers may affect root growth

Proper fertilization is really important for any plant. It’s essential to determine the right amount of fertilizers for your plants. The exact answer depends on what kind of fertilizer you feed them.  There are two main types of nutrients: organic fertilizers and inorganic ones.

Organic fertilizers

Each rose needs about one tablespoon of organic rose fertilizers.

All primary macronutrients, N, P, and K, are abundant in old or compost manure.

Always use aged manure. If not, its high nitrogen level will produce chemical burns in your plants. Phosphorus is also a necessary compound for the soil. You can find it in a bone meal.

You also can apply the fish emulsion or liquid fish nutrients in the water to your plant.

Some other organic options to feed the roses are:

  • Micronutrients and potassium in the greensand.
  • Calcium, phosphorus, and micronutrients in rock phosphate.
  • Phosphate and nitrogen in seaweed.
  • Nitrogen and trace minerals in Alfalfa meal

Inorganic fertilizers

Follow the instruction on the fertilizer label, and you’ll know how much fertilizer your rose needs. In general, the ideal amount is about half a cup for a plant.

There are feeds with an N-P-K ratio (often 18 – 24 – 16) adapted to the greater phosphorus demands of your flowers.

However, you don’t need to buy a particular fertilizer for your blooms. A basic balanced fertilizer with a higher phosphorus concentration can also work, such as 4 – 12 – 4 or 4 – 8 – 4.

If you choose inorganic meals for your crop, ensure the soil is wet first. Otherwise, it may cause burns.

Choose the type of fertilizer first and then determine the suitable amount - Can You Over Fertilize Roses

Choose the type of fertilizer first and then determine the suitable amount

When Should I Stop Fertilizing My Roses?

You should stop feeding your rose about eight weeks before the first cold. During this time, your plant doesn’t need fertilizers.

The best time for fertilizing is during the plant’s growing period. You can add compost to the hole when planting young roses. Then, apply a liquid fertilizer one month later, once they’ve rooted themselves.

When new shoots are about 6 inches in length, start applying fertilizer to older plants in the spring. After the first blooming, most roses may benefit from the second feeding of nutrient solution.

Stop feeding your rose about eight weeks before the first freeze - Can You Over Fertilize Roses

Over-fertilized roses – Stop feeding your rose about eight weeks before the first freeze

How Often Should You Fertilize Your Rose Bushes?

The rule may be somewhat altered depending on the types of fertilizer you use. In general, gardeners fertilize roses every four to six weeks.

This time frame enables the plants to absorb the nutrients and keep growing. It also avoids over-fertilizing which may ruin your crop.

How Do I Get My Roses To Bloom More?

Fertilization is not the only way to raise roses. You can try some other methods to encourage your plant to flourish.


Water is essential for the growth of all plants. Start by examining the soil for moisture and assess the current weather conditions.

If the soil appears excessively dry, use drip irrigation or a soaker hose to apply water straight to the soil. Make sure to water roses after feeding your plants to get a better result.


You may trim your plant in the early spring to encourage it to bloom all season long. You can learn how to prune the rose via this video.


It would be best to plant roses on soil that drains well. Poor drainage may smother your plants and leave them with little to no room to breathe.

To enrich the soil, you can try backfilling the planting site with an organic fertilizer such as compost and excavated dirt.


Planting the plants in the right spot is just as essential as caring for them later.

Make sure that your plants have about six hours of direct sunlight each day. If you keep them in the shade, they will be more susceptible to infections and other damaging circumstances.

Pay attention to all those factors for the best plant growth - Can You Over Fertilize Roses

Pay attention to all those factors for the best plant growth

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What kind of soil pH do roses favor?

The ideal soil pH of roses is around 6.5, which is in the acidic range. Typically, roses can tolerate a slightly higher or lower pH. However, if the soil is too acidic, the rose will not survive. On the other hand, if the pH is not correct, the rose will show many signs of disease such as yellowing foliage or burnt shoots. To ensure this, a soil test is required for a better growth

What happens when roses are over-fertilized?

When the amount of nutrients supplied to the rose is excessive, brown and yellow leaves occur (leaf burn), leading to leaf death. In addition, when there is an excess of minerals, such as too much nitrogen, the rose would suffer from root burn, detrimentally affecting the root growth.

How long does rose fertilizer take to work?

Granular and liquid fertilizers are the primary nutrients for roses. For liquid nutrients, the average time for fast-acting nutrition is between 1 and 2 weeks. As for granular types, most of them are slow-release fertilizers. Only a few of them offer quick-release effects. So, they usually take about 2 to 3 weeks for you to see noticeable results.

The Bottom Line

Roses are among the most popular flowers because of their elegance, scent, and abundance. Yet, if you take care of them incorrectly, you may ruin their beauty.

Over-fertilizing is a common mistake for beginners. To avoid this, you need to determine the exact amount of rose fertilizer for plants. Also, consider carefully where and how to feed them.

Hopefully, you will find this article helpful for your beautiful roses. If you need any further information, please feel free to ask. Thank you for following this post!

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