Is it too late to fertilize roses in zone 7b?

natalie4b(7b GA)November 12, 2006

I bought a dry "organic fertilizer for roses" and was wondering if I use it now, maybe my rose bushes would shoot new growth and it might get damaged by cold weather that is potentially coming soon.

I am a very new rose grower and know very little about these magnificent flowers.

Thank you all!

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aureliajulia(8b-9a South Coastal SC)

Hello Natalie and welcome to roses!

Although it is colder where you are, I believe you may at least be similar to me. If your plants shut down and go dormant during winter I wouldn't fertilize. If you fertilize now and it gets too cold, that could definitely cause problems (dieback). What are your winters like?

Dry fertilizer only works if watered so it is released to the soil. If the plants don't get a lot of water (something I'm guilty of in winter) it is at the very least a waste of money.

In my zone, it is recommended to fertilize with liquid fertilizer through the winter because the plants never go fully dormant, in fact if I don't fertilize in winter, my flowers will be far fewer in spring. Also need this method because there is less rain and I tend to water less winter. We avoid fertilizing in July and August, which are our harshest months. Fertilizer, overall, is not good during temperature extremes, whether cold or hot. It is possible you are a more definite combination of hot and cold weather than where I live.

    Bookmark   November 13, 2006 at 12:15AM
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diane_nj 6b/7a

Organic fertilizers work when the soil is warm enough to break down the components. General rule is to stop fertilizing 6 weeks before first frost date, which for me (northeastern border of 7a) was October 15, so I stopped all fertilizing the beginning of September, and stopped applying organic fertilizers in early October. Keep that bag, and start applying again in the spring (late winter) after you have pruned.

    Bookmark   November 13, 2006 at 3:30PM
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natalie4b(7b GA)

Thank you both Diane and Aureliajulia!
I have several climbing roses that probably need some kind of support. Trellis maybe? They are five and a half feet tall. Will they do well without support, or trellis is a must?
Also, I don't know when and how to prune them. At this point they are tall thorny sticks. I do cut flowers off at the 5 leaves configuration when they are done blooming. That is probably the only thing I know about roses :).
So, in zone 7b (Atlanta), when and how do I cut down if nessesary these kind of roses?

    Bookmark   November 14, 2006 at 9:25AM
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