Lava Rock Around a Rose Bush

Anonymous added on September 16, 2011 | Answered

I have an excess of lava rock and am trying to budget my limited income. Is it safe to use Lava rock around my rose bushes? I live in Wyoming and water costs are not really up here, worth it to keep the roses alive. Therefore, I would like to use the lava rock, but I also wonder if they will make it too hot for the roses. My roses are presently just on the east side of my home, right up next to the house. I hope to plant some on the west side next year (away from the house but protected by a foot solid cement fence). Consequently, they will be protected from the afternoon sun, but definitely will get more sun than those on the east side of my home.

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Certified GKH Gardening Expert
Answered on September 17, 2011

The location for your roses sounds fine. I am in Northern Colorado. Lava rock is one form of gravel mulch that I have found roses do not like. In the areas where I do have lava rock I make shredded cedar mulch "nests" around the rosebushes about 30 inches in diameter. Then the lava rock surrounds the mulched area. The red cedar mulch and even the dark brown looks good with the lava rock and will help hold in the precious moisture.

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