Six Points to Help You In Growing Roses Organically
Growing roses organically is not so very difficult if you follow a few
of the simple rules below:
Get used to using compost as it is the key to great roses.
is the ideal solution to a wide variety of rose
feeding problems and once you get the hang of making it, this is the
way to go with organic culture. Compost and compost tea encourage the
proliferation of beneficial microorganisms that will combat most rose
Container Grown and organic roses are no more difficult. I use a weekly
dose of fish emulsion to feed the rose and every two week application
of compost tea in an attempt (likely futile) to keep the microorganisms
alive in my containers. I note that chlorinated city water kills off
all beneficial bacteria and fungi in container grown plants.
I do water my rose leaves with compost tea to try to keep the
beneficial bacterial and fungal populations high on the leaves. The
hope here is that I’ll manage to have enough good guys to fight off
most of the bad guys.
Plant Choice Importance
Plant choice is important. Given the choice of a rose that is
susceptible to fungal infections such as
or one that resists this disease, then the choice
is obvious. Go with disease-resistant roses.
Avoid chemicals at all costs. A single dose of fungicide will wipe out
all microorganisms on leaf surfaces. This means that the
fast-reproducing bad guys will appear again before the
slower-reproducing beneficials. By wiping out everybody, you’re
guaranteeing the bad guys will reappear first and the leaves will be
without protection. Use the fungicides recommended in articles on
blackspot and mildews for growing roses organically.
Drips from the leaf surfaces that hit the soil will also kill off
bacteria and fungi in the soil. These are the ones that are fighting
disease off in the soil and helping to feed the plant. Fungicides are a
quick way to set your plant on a slippery downhill slope.
Avoid chemical fertilizers. The reliance on artificial sources of
nitrogen is like feeding sugar candy as a main course. There’s a lot of
activity afterwards but it really isn’t nutrition. Numerous studies
have shown that plants fed artificial nitrogen have leaves that contain
more sugars in them than organically fed plants.
This extra sugar attracts more pests (pests prefer sweet leaves to
normal leaves). So growing roses organically means relying on compost
and organic fertilizers to feed the soil first and let the soil
organisms feed the roses.
Organic Insect Control & Growing Roses Organically
Use organic methods of insect control. There is a growing library of
articles up on the sites that deal with a wide variety of pests using
organic methods. From strong water jets for knocking aphids off bushes
(when they hit the ground they become food for beetles). To soap to
kill off others. To rotenone and diatomaceous earth for other pests
along with iron phosphate controls for slugs, there are no rose pests
that resist organic controls (you just have to figure out what the pest
is and which control to use).
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