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- Chino Valley, AZ
I planted some rose bushes I’d guess 15 years ago. For the first 10 years they kept getting bigger and fuller and looked great. It seems the last few years they get punier every year. I prune and fertilize fairly regularly. Maybe I’m nut pruning correctly. But is there a lifespan of roses or do you have any tips to help me give them a jumpstart this year? Thank you.
I use a systemic fertilizer because the mites and aphids really take a toll on them.
- Oakland, OR
It may surprise you to know that many rose bushes outlive our own lifespan. In the U.S. there are bushes over 200 years old, and some rose bushes are even older than that. As you probably know, pruning should never be done in winter, and spring pruning is a great way to spur new growth. Fertilizing should take place as growth begins and after each blooming cycle has ended. Discontinue feeding starting in late August or even into October, depending on your climate. In general, you should stop feeding at least six weeks before your first expected hard frost. Now that spring is about one week away, now is a good time to apply compost around the base of the bush (assuming that there is no snow on the ground) and apply a rose fertilizer for the best blooms possible. Hope this helps!