Rose growers, like most gardeners, have favorite tips and tricks by the dozen to grow perfect blooms. Some swear by classical music serenades, while others brew the more proven alfalfa tea. Still a few other rose growers credit their jaw-dropping blossoms to banana peels. You never want to criticize success, but let’s take a closer look and try to separate fact from fiction.
Some rose growers count on banana peels to provide a bit of phosphorus and other nutrients to the plants, using two to three skins weekly plant. While there is nothing wrong with recycling banana peels around your roses, its unlikely they will provide all the nitrogen and other nutrients roses need for healthy growth. You’ll probably need to apply supplemental fertilizer to get the most blooms and get used to fruit flies.
However, if you want to give bananas peels a try, use one of these methods:
- Chop banana peels and bury them under the mulch beneath a rose (in the area around the dripline or edge of the plant, but not against the stem). Dig carefully to avoid damaging roots.
- Pulverize peels in a blender or food processor, adding water as needed. Let the solution to sit for 15-30 minutes. Apply the mix to the soil beneath a rose. Apply a fresh layer of organic mulch on top.
Believe it or not, some gardeners swear that music – classical, country, rock 'n' roll or whatever – grows better plants. The thought is that plants grow stronger in response to the vibrations that make-up musical tones. But don't go out and buy outdoor speakers just yet. Research on this practice is inconclusive.
Hay, Try Alfalfa
Alfalfa provides excellent nutrition to roses, supplying nitrogen, calcium, iron, phosphorus, and other beneficial compounds, including the alcohol, triacontinol known to promote plant growth. Work alfalfa meal or pellets (you can find them in some nurseries, mail order catalogs or feed stores) into soil around roses. Start with 1 cup per large bush; a half cup for miniature or newly planted roses). Or, try brewing alfalfa tea by soaking alfalfa meal or pellets in water and pouring it around the base of roses. Learn more information on making and using alfalfa tea from the American Rose Society.
Six Real Keys to Success With Roses
Try whatever works for you, but know that you can’t grow the healthiest, most beautiful roses if you don't cover the basics. Here are six things you must do to grow perfect roses:
- Site: Roses need full sun - least six hours a day is ideal.
- Soil: Plant in rich, well-drained soil. When planting, mix organic matter, such as compost or ground bark, into backfill soil used to refill the planting hole.
- Mulch: Add a 2-3-inch layer of coarse, organic mulch around the base of your roses. Mulch cools the soil, reducing evaporation and saving water, and controls weeds. It also helps reduce disease problems by preventing disease organisms from splashing on the foliage during rain or irrigation.
- Water: Irrigate roses deeply but infrequently, allowing plants to partially dry between waterings. Apply water directly to soil using soaker hoses, soil basins or drip irrigation. Water often enough to create consistently moist soil – not soggy or not bone-dry to the point of wilting. To prevent diseases, avoid wetting the foliage, especially if you must water late in the day. Morning is the ideal to time to water, which gives the leaves time to dry before nightfall. Adjust your watering with the weather. In midsummer, most roses will need at least one deep soaking per week – more in very hot climates. Learn about drip irrigation.
- Inspect: Check roses often for signs of insects or diseases. Catching problems early makes them easier to control. Learn what can be eating your plants.
- Prune: Roses need to be pruned regularly.