Has anyone used Rose-tone

father_o_4(Z5)June 30, 2005

I ran accross this product called rose tone on the gardenharvestsupply web site and was wondering if anyone has used this and if you would recommend using it for roses.

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diane_nj 6b/7a

Yes, it's Espoma Rose Tone. It isn't 100% organic, but it is a very good product. Check around locally to see if you can find it at a privately owned garden center. Flower Tone or Holly Tone work well too.

    Bookmark   June 30, 2005 at 3:27PM
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michaelg(7a NC Mts)

Espoma Plant Tone is more organic and has a good nutrient balance for roses. Rose Tone is fine, but it has some fast manufactured nitrogen, so don't overdose.

    Bookmark   July 5, 2005 at 5:18PM
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I used it today for the first time, as directed on package. The new roses look wilted and terrible.

    Bookmark   April 15, 2006 at 7:34PM
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You planted roses recently and they don't look well? You shouldn't fertilized then.
Please start a new post instead of responding on this one so people can figure out what the problem is and how to solve it : )

    Bookmark   April 15, 2006 at 9:13PM
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Rose Tone is good. Electra is similar and also good. You need to be careful with either though because they will burn roots.If I use it when potting up, I make sure it's below the roots. When we use it in new planting holes, we again put it well below the roots where they will find it as they grow. This time of year in PA when the roses are just leafing out, I make a ring of fertilizer around each plant, scratch it in and water well, or wait for a day like today with a high likelihood of rain by day's end. Susan, I'd try lots of water to dissolve that fertilizer.

    Bookmark   April 21, 2006 at 7:40AM
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diane_nj 6b/7a

I don't use it when potting or planting new roses, I wait until after the roses have leafed out, or even better, bloomed for the first time in my garden. For existing roses, I put it down right at pruning time.

Susan, with any fertilizer it is recommended to water the roses first. And be careful on using any fertilizer on new roses. You can try to dig out some of the Rose Tone from around the roses and then keep watering.

    Bookmark   April 24, 2006 at 1:28PM
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One rule I follow that seems to work well for me is to spread the Rose Tone in a circle around the plant about a foot from the drip line and water very well. This will help Rosie stretch her little feet. By the way, I will be making my own rose fertilizer with blood meal, bonemeal, epsom salts and other organics. (I want to totally move away from chemicals.) I have included a helpful link where you can find a completely organic rose fertilizer recipe (just omit the miracle gro).

Here is a link that might be useful: Rose feeding

    Bookmark   June 16, 2006 at 3:39PM
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I also like the Espoma products but right now a soil test indicates that plant tone is the better choice for my roses...it has a bit more potassium than rose tone and my soil is a little low in that element. Once in the spring and once around July is plenty..I apply it evenly throughout the entire bed...it keeps the blue ribbons coming at the rose shows.

    Bookmark   January 19, 2014 at 2:52PM
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strawchicago(zone 5a)

Hi Kris: I agree with you ... my soil is tested a bit low in potassium although I have clean roses without spraying. So I use Tomato Tone with NPK 3-4-6, rather than Rose Tone at NPK 4-3-2. Tomato Tone has 3 times the potassium (expensive green sand) than Rose Tone.

CaldonBeck in England recommended tomatoe-fertilizer for stingy Austin roses. When I used sulfate of potash (a natural product, mined) ... my roses have more blooms & bigger blooms.

    Bookmark   January 19, 2014 at 3:53PM
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Hey Strawberryhill...I may try tomato tone in the future but Clemson soil tests reveal a high phosphorus also and plant tone is a little less in that element. Actually, I'll be using 15-0-15 this spring for my N and to help correct the K deficiency, along with Plant tone. The poultry maunure in Plant tone though is typically high in P as well as N. So we'll see.I really need to eliminate all P for at least a while. P and Ca are off the charts. Messing with my mycorrizhal fungi!

    Bookmark   January 19, 2014 at 9:54PM
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strawchicago(zone 5a)

Hi Kris: Looks like you have the perfect pH versus my too alkaline pH 7.7 (phosphorus tied up with calcium). I see phosphorus deficiency (purple shading) on my leaves, when watered with my hard water, pH 8.

Phosphorus and calcium are most available at neutral soil pH. Here's an excerpt from below link: "Soil phosphorus is most available for plant use at pH values of 6 to 7. When pH is less than 6, plant available phosphorus becomes increasingly tied up in aluminum phosphates. As soils become more acidic (pH below 5), phosphorus is fixed in iron phosphates. Some soils in the upland Prairie areas of Mississippi have pH values greater than 7. When pH values exceed 7.3, phosphorus is increasingly made UNAVAILABLE by fixation in calcium phosphates."

Here is a link that might be useful: Mississipi State U. on Phosphorus fertility

    Bookmark   January 20, 2014 at 12:40PM
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Hi Strawberyhill, Good Link.! It looks like your pH values are about 10x more basic than what's ideal. Are you bringing it down or trying to? The ARS says that 6-6.5 is the window where roses do best. I like the target pH of 6.5 as all the elements are most available within the soil solution as you can tell by looking at a pH vs. nutrient availability chart. and my beds are all real close to that so I'm not complaining. As the pH approaches 6, precipitation as calcium compounds begins... at a pH of 6.5 the formation of insoluable calcium salts can render the P unavailable. Above 7, even more insoluable compounds are formed (Apatites) But because P holds on so tightly to the soil that even within the range of 6-7, P availability may still be very low and even added soluable phosphates are readily fixed by soils. Being an ARS Consulting Rosarian I see what some folks are putting on their roses ..the amount of un-necessary fertilizers they constantly dump on them is absolutely astounding. Especially P. .To me a waste of time and money..I think most of where the adage that 'Roses are heavy feeders' comes from is because products (fertilizers, soils etc.) are associated with it. While roses do need all the elements in the soil solution in various quantities they certainly don't use them in the mamoth amounts that people dump on them with the exception of N, which is very mobile in the soil and plants. But I still only apply it twice a year. I let the wood chip mulch feed my soil. Other than that just follow the soil test recomendations. Any thoughts? Thanks..Kris

    Bookmark   January 20, 2014 at 9:44PM
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strawchicago(zone 5a)

Hi Kris: Thank you for the info., I agree with you on giving what the plants actually need, rather than what we think the plants need.

My minor in college was chemistry ... I took both biochemistry and microbiology, so I lean toward understanding what the plants need, rather than just the soil test alone. My soil test recommends HIGH addition of Phosphorus, then calcium, and last potassium. I used to pay attention to that, now I ignore it.

There's a process called "Acid phosphatase" that cluster roots perform. Some roots are better in secreting acids to release phosphorus tie-up in soil. A good example is Dr. Huey ... he can dig through my rock-hard limestone clay better than my shovel. At first I poured vinegar to soften my clay ... Now I use gypsum (17% sulfur) to soften the bottom of the hole.

Some roots don't secret much acid. Jude the Obscure as own-root is very wimpy, can't extract nutrients. I have to spoon-feed that one with soluble phosphorus, before it blooms. Folks complain that Jude gives 2 blooms for the 1st year.

My answer is it depends on the root system. Dr. Huey can handle soil pH 8 very well ... my neighbor have roses grafted on Dr. Huey that bloom like crazy, zero diseases in alkaline soil.

Multiflora own-root HATES my alkaline soil ... I have to make my soil acidic. French Romantica roses, bred in more alkaline France, LOVE my clay soil. Austin roses, bred in acidic & rainy climate bloom only in my rainy season ... pH of rain is 5.6, versus my pH 8 tap water.

I lean toward SOLUBLE phosphorus from organics, rather than bring my pH 7.7 down. When I bring my soil pH down, more fungal germination, to be splashed up to leaves. I induced mildew one year with acidic NPK 10-5-4 fertilizer. I induced black spots many times with: cocoa mulch (pH 5.6), alfalfa meal (pH 5.8), gypsum (17% sulfur), rotten tomatoes, and acidic leaves (pH 5 to 7).

As the pH becomes acidic, less earthworms, and less beneficial bacteria. Less beneficial bacteria means less nitrogen-fixation, and more fungi. Both mycorrhyzal types, endo- and ecto needs pH below 7. Pathogenic fungi thrives when the pH neutral to slightly acidic. At pH 4, all microbial activities lessen.

Keep surface dry and alkaline is the key to combat fungal diseases. Baking soda pH is 8.3, my soil pH is 7.7 ... both are very good in suppressing fungi.

Here is a link that might be useful: Wikipedia on Acid Phosphatase of cluster roots

This post was edited by Strawberryhill on Tue, Jan 21, 14 at 0:05

    Bookmark   January 20, 2014 at 10:40PM
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Hi Strawberryhill..Yes, with lower pH, definitely a problem with fungal germination. pH here is very acidic around 4.3, very sandy soil. Major blackspot problems on roses unless treated. The mycorrhizal fungi are especially adept at extracting phosphorus from the soil, but at high levels of P I don't know that these partnerships form. With high levels of P , the acids are not exuded at the root tips and the roots keep growing at the expense of other plant funtions. Mycorrhizal here also help provide protection against attack by pathogenic fungi and nematodes which are in southern lawns. That's one reason we grow our roses on 'Fortuniana' root stock, as it is supposed to be resistant to nematodes, but is not very cold hardy. Are not the endo's much more common than the ecto's? I think so. Anyway, I don't think I'd want your soil (LOL) I might have to learn how to grow roses all over again.I'm so used to acid conditions.

    Bookmark   January 21, 2014 at 8:52AM
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strawchicago(zone 5a)

I repost the info. I posted in October on Mycorrhizal:

â¢Posted by Strawberryhill 5a IL (My Page) on Thu, Oct 24, 13 at 10:39

I found this interesting quote from Olympia Rose Society in PNW, under the phosphorus section, see link below:
"Avoiding practices that discourage mycorrhyzal fungi helps too, such as fungicide sprays that drip onto the ground, frequent soil tilling, and use of super triple phosphate."

**** From Straw: My last house was acidic clay, more pests & diseases ... I'm pretty happy with my alkaline clay, it holds water well for our hot summer (100 F). I watered my trees when they were babies, but never afterwards. Alkaline clay has plenty of nitrogen, no need to fertilize the trees, nor give chemical nitrogen to roses. I don't spray my 55+ roses. I fertilize my grass twice a year. See picture below of my alkaline clay garden:

Here is a link that might be useful: Olympia Rose Society on Fertilizing

This post was edited by Strawberryhill on Tue, Jan 21, 14 at 21:52

    Bookmark   January 21, 2014 at 1:35PM
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strawchicago(zone 5a)

I re-post the info. I posted in another thread:

â¢Posted by Strawberryhill 5a (My Page) on Thu, Oct 17, 13 at 12:28

I was googling "Healthy roses" and found this blog by Raft Island Roses Owner Frank Gatto with pics. of the most healthy roses! Here's a summary of his tips, most appropriate for acidic soil, PNW area:

"Five gallons per week per rose" is Gatto's advice. "Water deeply," he stresses. "When you pour on five gallons and it soaks down deep, your roses grow roots to reach that water."

For planting, Gatto mixes 50 percent native soil and 50 percent organic compost or good potting soil and adds a cup each of bone meal and soil sweetener per bush. He also gives established plants a cup of lime in March, for optimal soil pH, which allows plants to make better use of food."

Gatto advises giving roses small but frequent meals, as opposed to large amounts of fertilizer less often. He uses a balanced granular fertilizer with an N-P-K number no higher than 20 (such as 15-15-15), along with a blend of organic meals including alfalfa, cotton seed, fish, blood and kelp. "I give each one a handful (about a half a cup) every three weeks."

Besides his nursery, Frank Gatto has 300 roses in his yard, and 950 roses in his other house. He and his son breed 250 new roses.

**** From Straw: Nurseryman Gatto lives in PNW, most likely acidic soil, which benefits from adding one cup of lime per planting hole (same as Roses Unlimited's instruction in SC). My soil is alkaline, so I add one cup of gypsum per planting hole to break up my clay (gypsum has 17% sulfur).

There's logic in Gatto's spreading one cup of lime in March. Keep surface dry and alkaline is the key to fungal prevention. I spread alkaline manure in spring time, or do late-fall mulching with alkaline manure .. no fungal diseases in spring nor summer, and very little in late fall.

Here is a link that might be useful: Raft Island Rose Nursery's tips for healthy roses

This post was edited by Strawberryhill on Tue, Jan 21, 14 at 14:47

    Bookmark   January 21, 2014 at 1:40PM
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strawchicago(zone 5a)

I posted a thread in March 2013 in Antique Rose Forum "Increase yield with Mycorrhiza inoculation", see link below. Here's an excerpt of my previous post:

â¢Posted by Strawberryhill 5a (My Page) on Mon, Mar 4, 13

Thank you, Camp, for the info. I researched again. Ectomycorrhiza likes pH between 4 and 5. Endomychorrhiza also prefers acidic pH.
It's the Arbuscular mychorrhiza that can thrive on saline-alkaline soil. That one is NOT sold in any commercial products, but occurs in nature.

**** Cantigny Rose park, alkaline clay, 15 minutes from me, with 1,200 roses, uses chemical fertilizer high in phosphorus ... doesn't hurt their roses whatsoever. They have tons of blooms. Below is their Carefree Celebration rose hedge:

Here is a link that might be useful: Increase yield with Mycorrhiza innoculation

    Bookmark   January 21, 2014 at 2:42PM
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I have 2 Belinda's Dream and 1 knockout Rose bush that are in containers and are about to be planted in my yard. I bought a bag of Rose Tone because I read that was good for giving roses a good start. Now I'm worried it will burn the roots. My soil was tested and came back fine and the rose bushes have lots of healthy greenery on them (no roses yet). I was planning on planting them tomorrow,butnow I am afraid I was misinformed along the way. I also boughyt organic soil and organic organic compost (lobster compost). Should I use the new soil and compost minus the rose tone?

    Bookmark   May 28, 2014 at 4:28PM
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strawchicago(zone 5a)

Hi Dani33: I answer your question in the other thread, see below link. Good luck with your new roses .. I would love to see your roses when they bloom.

Here is a link that might be useful: Answer to Dani33 question on Rose Tone

    Bookmark   May 28, 2014 at 9:14PM
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