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Homemade Plant Food for Roses

By Greg Lindberg ; Updated September 21, 2017

Many gardeners like to grow roses in their garden, which requires plenty of maintenance. Miniatures can grow between 6 and 12 inches, and climber roses can grow up to 20 feet and higher. Roses need specific fertilizer to maintain growth, but instead of buying some expensive mixture, you can make a simple rose food at home.

Add 1 tbsp. of chelated iron to a dry mix of organic fertilizer that is also slow releasing (see References). Make sure the fertilizer is slight moist before adding it to your roses.

Apply a slow release fertilizer to the base of your rose bushes before you add the homemade plant food to the roses. The best time to add the fertilizer to rose bushes is in spring, midsummer and in the fall.

Mix 1 gal. of water, 1 tsp. of baking powder, 1 tsp. of Epsom salt, 1 tsp. of saltpeter and 1/2 tsp. ammonia in a large bucket. Stir the mixture with a wooden spoon or paint stick. Pour the mixture into a spray bottle.

Apply at least a 1/4 cup of the mixture to your rose bush. Simply moisten the soil around your roses, and the roots will draw in the mixture and absorb the nutrients.

Give the roses the homemade mixture every 4 to 6 weeks. If you continue feeding your roses this homemade mixture, you'll prolong the lifespan of you roses.


Things You Will Need

  • 1 gal. water
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. Epsom salts
  • 1 tsp. saltpeter
  • 1/2 tsp. ammonia
  • 1 tbsp. chelated iron
  • Organic fertilizer


  • For cut roses in vases, fill the vase up with the mixture to the base of the rose for long lasting cut blooms.