Rose – Roots Damaged by Fertilizer

Q: This rose died so quickly! Any idea what I did? It was beautiful, then started to make buds and then the leaves began to shrivel and turn brown. I did put a couple of handfuls of 13-13-13 fertilizer on it before our last rain. I thought a lot fell on the pine straw and would eventually work its way down to the soil. My wife loves this rose.

A: I think your intuition is correct: too much fertilizer burned the roots. 13-13-13 is a “fast release” fertilizer and can’t be applied too heavily in one spot. In your case, the rain took it immediately through the straw and the roots couldn’t handle the salty effect. They dried up and that caused the leaves and buds to turn brown.

Make your wife happy and buy another rose!

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