How can I make my rose bushes (hybrid teas) have thicker, healthier branches?
I live in central Kentucky and the pH of my soil is high with lots of limestone and clay. I have added good soil and compost but need to know what nutrients would help my plants get stronger?
If you give them some muriate of potash, alfalfa meal, kelp meal and Epsom Salts, the canes should thicken up and be more sturdy. If your roses are all first year or even 2nd year plantings, they need some time to get well established and the canes will usually get sturdier with age. The optimum pH for roses is 6.5. A pH too high or too low can actually lock up beneficial nutrients in the soils so that the root system cannot take them up. I recommend giving the rosebushes a good watering with some water with root stimulator and a product called Super Thrive twice a growing season. It helps them deal with shocks and stresses as well as helps get the roots well established so they will be healthier and hardy. Be sure to mix a good compost and perhaps some Clay Buster soils amendment in with the rose bed soils. Here are some links to articles for you too: