Solving Rose Nutrient Problems

Identify common plant nutrition problems by looking at the leaves of your plants. This will help you figure out what your plant needs.


Mature Leaf Sets Affected

If symptoms are localized to mostly mature leaf sets (those on stems already carrying blooms), see which one of the following deficiencies your plant may have.

Click here to learn how to water your roses.

Nitrogen Deficiency

Leaves lighter green to yellow, with random leaf spots. If soil is too acidic (pH 5.8 or less), apply lime (1/4 to 1/2 cup per bush). If pH is OK, fertilize with high nitrogen fertilizer (1 to 2 tablespoons per bush).

Phosphorus Deficiency

Leaves dark green developing dark red and purple colors, mainly within leaf (colors can also spread to outer edges). If soil is too acidic, apply lime. If pH is OK, fertilize with high-phosphorus fertilizer (20 percent), 1 to 2 tablespoons per bush.

Potassium Deficiency

Dead tissue, mainly at edges of leaves. If soil is too acidic, apply lime. If soil pH is OK, feed with 2 tablespoons per gallon of potassium nitrate.

Zinc Deficiency

Large areas of dead tissue at tips and between veins. Apply lime to correct pH. If pH is OK, then apply zinc chelate (1 teaspoon per bush).

Magnesium Deficiency

Yellowing starting from center of leaf, with signs of dying tissue overlaying the affected parts. Apply Epsom salts, 1/2 cup sprinkled around the base of each bush.

Emerging Foliage Affected

If symptoms are localized to emerging foliage, use this page to determine the cause and treatment of the problem. Shown at right is an example of healthy emerging foliage, with normally purplish leaves on stems that do not yet have mature blooms.

Calcium Deficiency

Young leaves are hooked. Apply calcium nitrate (1 to 2 tablespoons per bush per week) until corrected.

Boron Deficiency

Young leaves are light green at base and twisted. Apply 1 teaspoon Borax per bush.

Copper Deficiency

Young leaves are permanently wilted with no chlorosis (yellowing). Apply copper sulfate (1/4 teaspoon per bush).

Sulfur Deficiency

 Leaves are light green with lighter-green veins. Apply soil sulfur (2 tablespoons per bush) or apply a fertilizer containing this element.

Iron Deficiency

Leave are yellow with principal veins light green. Use iron chelate (1/4 teaspoon per bush) for immediate correction. Iron sulfate takes longer to act.

Your Comment:
close
X