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How to Promote New Growth on Rose Bushes

Rose bushes will produce new growth and flowers every year with proper care. Winterkill can take a toll on the branches, however, especially the tips. Once this happens, the only way to promote new growth is to prune the plant. To provide the rose bush with enough energy for blooming, apply a liquid rose food. Feedings should take place twice annually for the best growth: after pruning and again after the roses have bloomed and are wilting.


Examine the bush in mid-February and make note of any frost-damaged or diseased stems.

Remove suckers by pulling them off the plant. Suckers are stems growing from below the bush's graft line. They will take over the plant and prevent it from blooming if they are not removed.

Trim off diseased or dead stems with pruning shears to encourage new growth. Cut the stems where they meet the main stem.

Cut back all remaining stems by 3 inches.

Fertilization and Supplementation

Heat the distilled water in a microwave-safe measuring cup for 2 minutes.

Stir in the powdered fish and powdered seaweed until all clumps are dissolved. Powdered fish provides rose plants with nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium. The powdered seaweed adds more potassium as well as natural plant hormones that aid the flowers in resisting disease.

Stir in the Epsom salts until they dissolve. Epsom salts supply magnesium, which aids the plant in nutrient absorption.

Gently stir in the apple cider vinegar, molasses and the coffee grounds until all the clumps are gone. Apple cider vinegar adds acidity to the soil as well as trace minerals. Molasses gives the plants iron and sugar to encourage vigorous blooming. Coffee grounds naturally increase and sustain pH, and provide a minor caffeine boost for blooming.

Pour the liquid food onto the roses at sunset to avoid foliage burns. Pour the mixture over the leaves and then the roots. This mixture provides enough food for four small rose plants or two large rose bushes.


If a rose bush has stopped blooming and the leaves are turning yellow, reduce the amount of watering to only when the ground has dried out. Water to at least 2 inches deep.

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