I've heard that Epsom salts are good for roses. How much of it should I use and how often? Do you have any other suggestions for care of roses?
Hardiness Zone: 10a
Mary from Redding, CA
Rose growers sometimes use Epsom salt in order to add magnesium to the soil. Roses tend to be heavy feeders of magnesium, but if you already feed you roses a balanced fertilizer containing magnesium, you probably don't need to add any to your soil. A soil test is the only way to tell for sure. If you do need it, sprinkle a couple of teaspoons around each bush once a month before watering. Any more and you could risk hurting your plants. Follow these general tips for raising good roses:
- When planting, older varieties tend to be hardier, so do potted vs. bare-root roses.
- Roses should be planted in the late spring and early summer to give roots time to develop before winter.
- Plant roses in rich, well-drained soil with a pH between 5.5 to 7.
- Planting holes need to be at least 2 1/2 times the size of the root ball.
- Give roses a good, deep soaking (4-5 gallons) once per week.
- Feed roses lightly (but often) from spring until 6-8 weeks before your first frost.
- Keep canes healthy by following a regular pruning and maintenance schedule according to the rose type (bush, tree, climbing).