New Rose Canes
I have several struggling roses whose canes are spindly. How can I promote the production of new canes as well as the strengthening of those already there? I live in zone 5 and use Garden's Alive Organix rose fertilizer.
Certified GKH Gardening Expert
That fertilizer is pretty good stuff. If you can get some Gro-Rich Rose and Perennial Food to alternate with it, I highly recommend it. You can also give each of the rosebushes, except mini roses, 1/2 cup of Epsom Salts once a season. Scratch the soils around the rosebushes up a bit, sprinkle the Epsom Salts around the roses and scratch it into the soils. Then water in well. Giving each of the rosebushes three tablespoons of Super Phosphate in the same manner as used to apply the Epsom Salts too. You can do both at the same time, that is what I do. Then after a week, mix up some root stimulator and Super Thrive in the same watering can and give a gallon of the mix to each rosebush, for minis you want to make that about a quart each. This will help get them growing well and assist with any shock or nutrient uptake issues. If there are a lot of canes on the bushes, remove a few clear down to the base of the bush, this will help the others get more nutrients and gain strength and vigor. I give all the rosebushes a couple tablespoons of Super Phosphate in late August to early September each year as it give the root systems something to munch on over the long winters nap time. They come back in the Spring with greater vigor that way for me.