In March each year, bush roses should be given an application of 70 grams per square metre of general fertiliser, or rose fertiliser such as Goulding’s Rose Food, Rose Plus, Special Rose Fertiliser or Toprose.
Climbers, ramblers and shrub roses should get the same – especially in the early years after planting, and following periods of poor growth, or disease attack. Vigorous types may not need any fertiliser in some years.
A dressing of rotted manure, compost, shredded bark or peat, in April/May encourages good growth and conserves vital moisture, but too much manure can cause vigorous soft growth that is susceptible to leaf diseases. Do not use heavy organic mulches on heavy soil as it can leave the ground too wet and result in poor growth. Bush roses can be given a further 35 grams of rose fertilizer per bush, in early July, to encourage late flowering.