Sunday, June 23, 2013

Feeding Potted Roses and Sunday Portraits

Is it summer already? With the school year ending, a graduation, two birthday parties and a swarm of little things all demanding attention at once, I hadn't realized it has been a whole month since my last post. My apologies.

I am behind on many garden tasks (deadheading has been especially hard to keep up with), but one problem I did manage to solve is fertilizing my potted own-root classic hybrid tea roses. The roses grow in an organic potting mix which is mostly redwood compost and manure. Its drainage is good, but it disappears fast and seems to lack nutrients. This year, I decided to try a combination of a complete organic fertilizer in an effort to maintain a richer growing medium, and a synthetic granular fertilizer (I use a 14-4-8 with macro nutrients, which happens to be labeled citrus and avocado food).

Étoile de Feu

After a few years' absence, basal breaks are back.


There seem to be many more buds too.

Dame Edith Helen

Even the most feeble cultivars seem to thrive on this treatment. I apply the two fertilizers alternatively about every three weeks to a month in small doses and make sure the pots are well watered. I only wish it wasn't so much work:).

Prinzessin Marie von Arenberg at left, Intermezzo at right. Prinzessin takes the prize as the weakest grower in my garden.

Today was uncharacteristically gloomy and overcast. I managed a quick jog to the Heritage garden, and below are a few pictures of the many roses going through their June flush. 

Lady Penzance
Black Ice


Mrs. Anthony Waterer

Persian Autumn

Alexandra Rose
Pink Grootendorst

'Portland from Glendora'

'Lupe's Buttons'

Careless Love

'Bermuda's Kathleen'

Bishop Darlington

A too curious companion (juvenile Western scrub jay)


  1. Hi Masha, with great interest I was reading about your fertilizer regimen for potted own-root Hybrid Tea roses. I fertilize all my potted roses with an organic fertilizer only, but last year I had the impression that even when I fertilized every five to six weeks that this is not enough for the roses to bloom optimal. I added fish fertilizer from time to time and worm compost tea when I got the chance, but still felt that I couldn't get enough nutrients to the roses. Seeing the numbers of the your synthetic fertilizer (14-4-8) and knowing that you feed the roses every 3 - 4 weeks, I am not so surprised anymore. I will continue to grow roses completely organically and I don't thing that there is any organic fertilizer available of that strength, but at least I could try to feed mine more often and see if that helps somewhat.

  2. Thank you for the joy and pleasure of your roses.

    Great blog.

  3. That curious companion is a real beauty, that such beautiful coloured birds are living in the wild at your part of the world..... But also your rose photos are so beautiful. Because my garden is full, mostly with roses, I also have planted some in a pot and I am experimenting with fertilizers too at this moment.

  4. Beautiful roses.

    Have a lovely summer ~ FlowerLady

  5. I missed you already :o). Stunning rose photos again. Well, I shouldn't visit your blog because each time my wish list gets longer *LoL*. What a beautiful bird! Unfortunately I found yesterday a dead chicken... probably of a black bird. Tomcat Noah looked at me with eyes that said: "It wasn't me... it just fell from the sky." Hmmm, not sure to believe him. :o).
    Have a lovely week

  6. Lovely lovely roses - can't get enough of them at this time of year ! My David Austin English roses are teetering on the brink of opening for the very first time. Camera is poised ..

  7. Black Ice, Persian Autumn, I always find roses I want to try on your site! Any idea how winter hardy Persian Autumn is? I see it's a Ralph Moore shrub but it just has the default climate zones listed on helpmefind.

  8. Thank you!

    Professor, since PA is a hybrid hulthemia, I presume it is pretty frost-tender...

  9. Masha,wonderful roses are blooming once again!
    I love this one Alexandra Rose, nice shape and color.
    Great photos!

  10. Masha, you are truly the Rose lady, I am very interested in your feeding regime for the pot grown ones. I have even started to train my climbers properly along the trellis after reading one of your posts.

  11. Thanks for sharing the "June flush"--wow! Obviously you know what you're talking about with Roses. It's a good thing I only have very hardy ones, because I mostly neglect them, with a little summer deadheading and winter/spring pruning. But I so enjoy seeing them in botanical gardens, photographing them, and seeing them in all their glory on your blog!

  12. Hi Masha! I wondered where have you been all this time! Hopefully you're back with your nice pics of roses! That little jay is so cheerful, I like it!
    I've never seen a picture of a healthy 'Bermuda's Kathleen' in my life, and this is no difference. Is it possibly a rose to forget? ...Or forgive?!

  13. Your blog is such a delight!
    Amazing garden and, as always, excellent photos.
    Thank you for making my afternoon so much more nicer.

  14. Thank you!

    Alberto, it has never impressed me either... It does bloom a lot as most Chinas tend to do, but there are plenty of them that are equally pretty (or more so) and healthy too, at least here, where mildew is prevalent but blackspot is rare.

  15. Dobrze, ze Twój sposób na nawożenie róż dał efekty. Patrząc na Twoje cudowne zdjęcia róż, czuję ich zapach. Pozdrawiam.
    Well, with your way of fertilizing roses gave results. Looking at your wonderful pictures of roses, I smell them. Yours.

  16. I love the Bishop Darlington and the scrub jay is beautiful! Jeannine


I am so glad you have stopped by!