Smart gardeners have known for generations to use epsom salt for roses for the biggest blooms and happiest plants.
I recently just started getting into roses, first with the white rose bush I planted last year next to the side porch stairs, and then this summer when I added another variety to the garden in front of the front porch. I’ve had rose bushes before, but they were just kind of there, inherited with the gardens of our past houses and they weren’t my favorite. I realize now that I was interested in watching them grow, but didn’t love them because their colors were just too bright. But now that I’ve planted a couple of different varieties of white rose bushes? I’m absolutely hooked. My rose bushes are doing super well and are far outpacing my expectations in terms of their overall size and the number of blooms they’ve been producing. I’d heard about using epsom salt for roses in the past, so I decided to start using it on these new baby rose bushes, just for fun. In general, epsom salt is great for the health and strength of most plants, but it’s supposed to be particularly good for roses. I’ve had decent success using epsom salt on other plants, but now that I’ve seen how much they help my roses, epsom salt application will be at the top of my gardening to-do list.
What Epsom Salt Can do for Your Roses
The magnesium in epsom salt increases chlorophyll production for overall strength and lush, dark green leaves. Who doesn’t love to see big, bright blooms standing out against those dark, dark green leaves at the peak of summer? Seasoned rose gardeners swear by epsom salt to increase the number and size of their blooms and have for countless years. I’m definitely hoping to be one of those seasoned rose gardeners one day! 🙂
Epsom salt has also been shown to increase the number of “bottom breaks”, which are the new canes or branches on your rose bush that originate right from the bottom of the plant. Anyone with a rose bush knows that those bottom breaks are the good stuff. They always show the strongest growth, shoot up to increase the overall size of your plant quickly, and they seem to have the biggest blooms.
How to Apply Epsom Salt to Rose Bushes
The amazing thing about using epsom salt for roses is that it works incredibly well, but that it’s also super easy to apply. It couldn’t be easier, really. The best method is actually to “top-dress” your rose bushes with the epsom salt, which basically means to sprinkle it around the plant and then move on. 🙂
You’ll want to use about one teaspoon of epsom salt for each foot of height on your plant, or about half a cup for larger, more established plants. Sprinkle it around the base of the plant and on the ground under the area where your plant’s branches extend out to, which is where the roots are located underground. Work the epsom salt into the top layer of the soil a bit so it doesn’t blow away, and water it in well.
When to Use Epsom Salt for Rose Bushes
There are three different times when you can use epsom salt for your roses. At planting, sprinkle about half a cup of epsom salt into the hole and work it into the soil a bit before you place your plant.
Each spring, sprinkle about 1/2 a cup of epsom salt around each plant to give it a good start to the year.
Once your plant starts blooming in the spring and summer, continue with a once-per-month application throughout the entire growing season as described above. If you only get around to doing the spring application though, that will still help your plants out a lot throughout the year. You’ll be amazed at the results and you’ll be hooked just like I am. 🙂
Do you use epsom salt for your roses? What has been your favorite trick to get the most out of your rose bushes?
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Courtenay Hartford is the author of creeklinehouse.com, a blog based on her adventures renovating a 120-year-old farmhouse in rural Ontario, Canada. On her blog, Courtenay shares interior design tips based on her own farmhouse and her work as founder and stylist of the interior photography firm Art & Spaces. She also writes about her farmhouse garden, plant-based recipes, family travel, and homekeeping best practices. Courtenay is the author of the book The Cleaning Ninja and has been featured in numerous magazines including Country Sampler Farmhouse Style, Better Homes and Gardens, Parents Magazine, Real Simple, and Our Homes.