I have knock down roses on the west side of the house that were planted this spring.The roses are thin and with a few

blooms. they get watered by the sprinklers and are fertilized with millinagite every other week.
What do I need to do?
Thank you
  6 answers
  • Douglas Hunt Douglas Hunt on Dec 16, 2011
    Several factors could be an issue here, Bill. One is the care they got at planting. If you did not supplement the watering from the sprinkler they did not get enough water. I also think they're getting too much Milorganite. It would be better to use a slow-release fertilizer formulated for roses, and to let them go through one full bloom cycle before doing any fertilizing at all. Finally, how much light are your Knock Outs getting? They need at least six hours a day of full sun, and lack of light will definitely result in thin plants with few blooms.
  • Mike and Anne Mike and Anne on Dec 17, 2011
    Roses do need sun for good bloom but in the South it can get too hot on the west side of the house if the plants are in full sun then blooms are sparse and don't last as long. Roses need about 2 inches of water a week and in hot weather they may need that water applied about every three days. Drip irrigation works better that overhead sprinkling systems. Moisture should get at least 12 inches down in the soil for good root development and growth. A good layer of mulch around the plant helps keep the soil evenly moist. A fertilizer formulated for roses with a 10-18-10 or 9-5-9 applied about every 4 to 6 weeks during the growing season usually works best.
  • Deborah Donovan-Navarro Deborah Donovan-Navarro on Feb 19, 2015
    @Bill C,I feed roses heavily with natural nutrients which nurture the rose, but also greatly improve the soil. When I plant, I use 1 part well composted steer manure to 3 parts soil, add about 4 cups of alfalfa pellets or meal, 1/2 c. each of blood meal, bone meal and cottonseed meal, plus a heaping tablespoon of epsom salts....all of which are mixed well with the soil in the planting hole. Then after it's planted and very well watered, I top dress the rose with well composted steer manure or mushroom compost. Roses need LOTS of deep watering. As other readers are said, they might not be getting enough from the sprinkler. BTW, I think you mean Knock Out Roses. After the roses are newly planted, I don't fertilize at all until the plant has completed it's first bloom of the season. They need some time to acclimate and let the soil additives start working. When a rose is first planted, it is important to encourage root, stem and leaf growth. Once the rose is established, my first feeding of the growing season is always super phosphate (i.e. 0-12-12 - NO nitrogen).
  • Pat Keadle Gougler Pat Keadle Gougler on Jul 11, 2015
    My roses are also on the west side, but get morning shade. The first year I fertilized as mentioned above. However, after that I just use a new layer (about 2") of composting mulch every spring and be sure they get lots of water early in the spring. They grow like crazy and bloom all summer. This is the 5th year for them and the past 2 years I've had to prune them back by at least 1/3 to keep them from overtaking everything else. Good luck!
  • Bonnie Bonnie on Jul 25, 2015
    Stop feeding with Milorganite. Too much nitrogen is not good for bloom growth. And switch your watering routine from sprinkler to ground irrigation. Simply lay a hose next to the bush on the ground and let it soak in. Sprinkling does not deliver enough water to the soil unless it's left on for several hours. Roses like a good drink of water, especially when the temperatures start rising. I think once you stop feeding the high nitrogen, you'll see the bushes start to put their effort into making buds instead of foliage.
  • Toni Toni on Jan 03, 2016
    Knock Out Roses needs little attention but does very well in sunny areas....I give mine a epson salt treament
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