Test Your Soil pH
Before purchasing a rose plant, your first step is to test the soil pH. The ideal pH is 6.5 but the soil pH can range from 5.5 to 7.0. Acidic soil has a pH value below 7 while alkaline soil has a pH value above 7.
The soil pH affects the chemical balance of the nutrients the pants draw through its root system. Too much acid can alter the chemical composition of the nutrients and damage or even destroy a plant.
While some plants such as blueberries thrive in very acidic soil, roses perform best in soil with pH ranging from 6.0 to 6.9. The ideal pH to grow roses is 6.5.
A common practice amongst gardeners is to add lime to the soil to reduce the acidity.
Primary Ingredients in Rose Soil
To prepare good quality rose soil you will need four main ingredients:
- Inorganic materials
- Organic materials
- Water, and
This composition is called loam. Loam comprises of roughly 50% pore space, of which half is water and half is air.
The remainder of the loam is about 44% to 46% inorganic material and 4% to 6% organic material. The inorganic material consists of a mixture of clay, sand, and sediment or silt. The organic matter is made up of materials which have decomposed naturally.
Since most of us do not have perfect loam, we have to create it by adding certain components to the existing soil.
How Can You Create the Best Soil for Roses?
Organic material is considered to be the best type of loam. Organic material is layered in a compost bin or in a garden heap. Soil and moisture are added to the mix to aid the process of decomposition.
The final product is a rich, dark loam which will add nutrient to any soil type making it the best soil for roses.
How to Create Organic Matter
To create your own organic matter you can use:
- Kitchen scraps
- Grass clippings
- Torn newspapers
- Dead leaves, or
- Animal manure
Once the ingredients all break down, add this organic matter into the soil by digging it in and mixing it with garden dirt.
You can also purchase ready mix compost from Amazon. Organic compost helps the soil retain water – which is excellent for roses and improves soil structure and aeration creating the best soil for roses.
Compost bins are available on Amazon if you prefer to make your own compost.
Top Additives to Feed Your Roses
Alfalfa Meal contains the natural growth hormone Triacontanol. It is an ideal additive for all potted roses or in-soil roses.
Ground organic Alfalfa (made from the Alfalfa or Lucerne plant) helps to create healthy soil without the use of chemicals.
Kelp is an excellent source of potash. It also contains minerals, growth regulators, vitamins, hormones, and enzymes which helps almost all plants grow.
Kelp meal is beneficial for roses. One of the best kelp meal is Dr. Earth Pure & Natural Kelp Meal 2 lb available from Amazon.
Peat moss adds ideal aeration and helps the soil retain water. One of the benefits is that it will not allow the roots of the rose to dry out which is crucial for growth. Peat moss is available for purchase on Amazon.
If the above suggestions don't appeal to your green fingers you can always add rose plant food to create the best soil for roses. Rose food helps roses grow and bloom faster than unfed roses.
Use Miracle-Gro Rose Plant Food (Rose Fertilizer) every one to two weeks. The American Rose Society endorses this Rose Feed as one of the best. Purchase it here.
Miracle-Gro Shake ‘N Feed Rose Feed contains 100% natural ingredients to feed microbes in the soil creating the best soil for roses. Miracle-Gro feeds roses for up to three months and can be used on new and older roses. Buy it here.