How to Care for an Organic Rose


Organic rose care has become increasingly popular as the "green" movement is gaining momentum. Organic rose care is designed to reduce or eliminate the use of chemicals such as insecticides, fungicides and synthetic fertilizers, which may be harmful to humans and animals. Caring for an organic rose bush isn't any more complicated or demanding than maintaining roses with chemicals, and the number of organic products available makes it even easier. Organic rose-growing consists of replacing chemicals with natural remedies and creating healthier rose bushes that are more naturally resistant to pests, diseases and other problems.

Step 1

Water the organic rose bush deeply three or four times each week throughout the growing season to thoroughly moisten the soil down to the root area. Water directly into the soil and take care not to wet the leaves.

Step 2

Feed the organic rose bush in the spring with 2-1/5 lbs. of blood or bone meal mixed with 3-½ oz. of sulfate or potash, but not muriate potash. Feed the rose bush again in mid- to late summer and again in autumn with 3-½ oz. of sulfate or potash.

Step 3

Spray the organic rose's leaves with an organic seaweed treatment once every two to three weeks during the growing season, spraying in the afternoon.

Step 4

Spread a 1-inch layer of well-rotted compost or manure on the ground around the rose bush once every year in the spring.

Step 5

Spread a 2- to 3-inch layer of hay mulch or buckwheat hulls on the ground over the rose bush's root area to control weeds and retain soil moisture. Keep the mulch about 1 to 2 inches from the central stem.

Step 6

Get rid of Japanese beetles infesting your rose bush by spraying the plant with a commercial organic insecticide to kill the adults or by applying beneficial nematodes to the soil around the rose bush to get rid of the beetle larvae.

Step 7

Control aphids and scale insects by spraying the foliage with a commercially-made organic insecticide, neem oil or other horticultural oils. Follow the instructions on the label exactly.

Step 8

Treat the organic rose for black spot fungal disease by spraying the foliage once each week with a mixture of 1 heaping tbsp. of baking soda dissolved in 1 gallon of water. Remove and discard all damaged, dead or spotted fallen leaves to prevent the spread of fungal spores.

Step 9

Prune the organic rose bush in winter to remove any dead, diseased, damaged or crowded growth. Trim to shape the rose bush only in early autumn. Remove spent blooms throughout the growing season to encourage re-blooming and to keep the rose bush tidy.

Tips and Warnings

  • Always follow the instructions on the label exactly when applying organic insecticides. Even though these are natural, plant-based chemicals, they can still be harmful when applied or handled incorrectly.

Things You'll Need

  • Garden hose
  • Blood or bone meal
  • Sulfate or potash
  • Seaweed spray treatment
  • Organic compost or aged manure
  • Hay mulch or buckwheat hulls
  • Organic insecticide formulas (optional)
  • Beneficial nematodes
  • Horticultural oils
  • Baking soda
  • Pruning shears
  • Ladybugs or green lacewings (optional)
  • Milky Spore (optional)
  • Companion plants (chives, garlic, coriander, dill)


  • Healthy Roses -- The Organic Way
  • Extremely Green: Organic Rose Care Guide

Who Can Help

  • Good Earth R.O.S.E. Care
Keywords: rose bush care, organic roses, grow rose organically

About this Author

Sarah Terry brings 10 years of experience writing novels, business-to-business newsletters, and a plethora of how-to articles. Terry has written articles and publications for a wide range of markets and subject matters, including Medicine & Health, Eli Financial, Dartnell Publications and Eli Journals.