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9 Mistakes Responsible for Roses Not Blooming

Have a problem with roses not blooming?

It could be you're making mistakes that are causing this to happen.

At Blooming Haus, we work with professional rose growers.

And, we know what common mistakes they avoid in order to get the best possible blooms.

We're happy to share these insights with you so you can improve the flowering performance of your shrubs, bushes, and trees.

Ready to learn more about avoiding mistakes that cause blooming problems with roses?

Keep reading...

Reasons Why Your Roses Are Not Blooming as They Should

1. Roses are in the Wrong Location

Most roses bloom at their best when they have access to full sunlight for at least six hours per day.

So, if your roses are in the shade they may produce fewer flowers.

They may also have a spindly look to them as they grow in search of sunlight.

So, find a sunny position for your roses if you want them to look their best as they flower.

And, if you want to plant roses in partial shade check the instructions for individual varieties as some, like "Kew Gardens" are more tolerant of these conditions.
When you've found a position that gets plenty of sun, make sure you plant your roses at least three feet apart.

This gives each rose sufficient access to the light to enable it to grow and flourish.

It's also important to ensure your roses are in rich, moist soil that can drain easily.

This gives them access to the moisture they need while preventing them from becoming waterlogged.
Finally, if you have roses that are in hard-to-reach positions, you may not attend to them as you should.

And, any lack of care makes it less likely they will bloom.

Having access in mind when you plant roses prevents this issue from happening.

2. Soil is Not in Optimum Condition

If your roses are in soil that doesn't have enough nutrients they may not produce as many flowers as they should.

This happens when the soil is stony or sandy and the roses cannot absorb enough nutrients.

You can often overcome this problem by preparing the soil in advance of planting.

This includes getting rid of any weeds that are in place.
Then the soil should be dug over as deeply as possible.

Working in well-rotted manure or garden compost is also a good idea as it helps to stimulate strong root growth.
If the soil is heavy with clay it's a good idea to dig a least a foot deeper than is necessary to plant the rose.

Ground bark or coir can then be added to improve drainage.

3. Pruning Is Not Done As It Should Be

If pruning is not done correctly and at the right time it can limit healthy growth.

Roses also become leggy, and there are fewer flowers.

When roses are in this condition they're more susceptible to damage during the winter months.

We have some good news...

Even when this situation exists, roses can still be revived.

The dead wood simply needs to be cut away to improve the appearance of the roses and make it more likely they will produce blooms.

When carrying out the pruning, wearing gloves reduces the risk of damage to the hands.

It's also possible to use telescopic pruners and tongs for further protection.
The difference pruning once a year makes can be seen quite clearly.

Roses are reshaped and old stems are disposed of giving new growth a chance to appear.
In most cases, roses can be pruned during late winter and early spring as growth is starting to resume.

In the south of the UK, this usually happens around mid-February while in the north of the country it happens a little later, usually during March.

The basics of pruning for different rose types are:

- Cutting back shrub and English roses too much is not a good idea as it promotes leafy growth rather than flowers.

- Bush roses, like floribundas and hybrid teas, flower freely in new growth so they can be cut back harder.

- Rambling roses flower most freely on stems created in the last couple of years so the oldest stems should be cut out each year.

Heads up…

It's essential to look at the information for individual roses as sometimes optimum pruning times vary.

And, different roses may require slightly different pruning processes.

4. Deadheading is Not Carried Out

Not deadheading when necessary is one of the biggest mistakes that lead to roses not blooming.

Removing the dead heads means that the rose directs its energy into producing more flowers.

Deadheading can be done as soon as flowers fade.

It's always appropriate for shrub roses that don't go on to produce hips.

However, for roses that do form hips, people often choose to leave dead flower heads in place so that hips will be created.

These hips then add a touch of decoration to a garden during the autumn months.
If roses are to be deadheaded, the process is easy to complete.

The dead flowers simply need to be cut or pinched off where the base of the flower meets the stem of the plant.

This can be done for individual flowers as and when necessary during the flowering season.

It's also appropriate to remove an entire flowering head when all the blooms in the cluster are fading.

This is done by cutting the stem to a point that's just above the first leaf with five leaflets.
Image: RHS
Keeping on top of deadheading improves the appearance of roses.

It also optimises the potential for blooming.

5. There's a Lack of Water

Most types of rose like water although they don't like to be waterlogged.

So, getting the watering regime right is vital for promoting flower growth.

Roses have deep roots, so once they're established they can get most of the moisture they need from the soil.

However, this isn't the case during the first few years of growth and/or when the weather is hot and there's limited rainfall.

At these times, it's necessary to water roses regularly.

This is usually around once a week but it's always a good idea to keep a check on whether the soil is too wet as this can damage the roots of the rose.

Quick tip...

If roses are in pots they often need to be watered more often as they cannot get the moisture they need from the soil.

Watering can be done using a can or a hosepipe.
It's not only the amount of water that's important, the way roses are watered is also vital.

The flow of water must be directed around the base of the rose and the flowers and foliage should be avoided.

Watering in this way helps to stop fungal diseases from developing and prevents the loss of leaves.

This is important because using energy to replace lost leaves decreases the amount of energy that a rose has left to develop blooms.
During the current extremely dry conditions many people are banned from using a hosepipe.

However, it's still possible to water roses using a watering can or the contents of a water butt.

So, roses can be kept healthy and flower growth can be promoted.

6. Risk of Environmental Stress is Not Reduced

A major mistake that can result in roses not blooming is failing to prevent environmental stress.

For example, during the winter months, roses can be affected by cold weather.
Wind and extreme heat can also have an adverse effect on roses.

So, it makes sense to give them as much protection from the elements as possible.

For example, a high fence often reduces the amount of wind that blows across a garden.
Making sure there is enough drainage around roses is another protection from the environment.

It ensures they aren't standing in waterlogged soil if there's a lot of rainfall.

Taking care to protect roses from environmental damage helps to keep them healthy and makes it more likely they will bloom as they should.

7. Fertiliser is Used Too Frequently

A common reason that roses don't bloom is exposure to too much nitrogen.

This happens when people make the mistake of fertilising roses too often.

It's essential to get the balance just right.
Using balanced fertilisers on the right number of occasions gives roses access to the amount of nitrogen, phosphorous, and potassium they need for healthy growth and development.

And, it removes the risk of excess nitrogen causing roses to develop leafy growth with no flowers, making them more susceptible to pests.
Generally, roses in borders require feeding twice a year.

This feeding should be done in March/April before flowering takes place and in the middle of summer after the first flush of flowers.

Around 70g per square metre of general purpose or rose fertiliser should be sprinkled on the soil around the rose.

Roses in containers require more regular feeding as they can't get the nutrients they need from the soil.

Feeding should happen once a fortnight from mid-spring until later summer.

It's a good idea to use a general-purpose liquid fertliser until flowers start to form.

Switching to a high-potash fertiliser at this point encourages flowering.

Alfafa and coffee grounds can also be used as a more natural way of promoting flower growth.

8. Pests Are Not Recognised and Attended To

Animals like deer and rabbits can cause serious damage to roses.

This damage often prevents them from producing flowers in the way they should.

So, it's essential not to make the mistake of giving pests easy access.

Installing robust fencing can eliminate this access.
Aphids are another pest that's a serious threat to roses.

They're a lot smaller than rabbits and deer but no less problematic.

Aphids suck nutrients from roses making it less likely they'll flower and ultimately killing them.

It's vital to regularly check for these pests and dispose of them before a colony invades.
Aphids and other pests such as caterpillars, sawflies, and red spider mites can be picked off roses.

It's also possible to use insecticides.

Although, many people prefer to use more eco-friendly elimination methods including introducing natural predators such as ladybirds.

And, plants are often used to control pests too.

Take a look at our journal entry for more information.

"Did You Know You Can Use Plants as Natural Pest Control in Your Garden? Here’s how"

9. Diseases Aren't Treated

The mistake of ignoring rose diseases doesn't only prevent blooms from forming, it also threatens the life of the rose itself.

It's just not worth the risk of failing to address problems, especially when they can be easy to resolve.

For example, black spot is a common rose disease that can be treated by spraying a solution containing one part milk to two parts water on the plant.

This should be done every week until the black spot is eradicated.
Other rose diseases that should be attended to include rust that enjoys warm and damp conditions and mildew that can be downy, or powdery as seen here...
Roses can also be affected by balling.

This happens in the summer if the weather is wet.

The outer petals of a flower bind together as they begin to open.

This results in the flower becoming "balled."

If there are only a few roses involved it's a relatively simple job to carefully peel away the outer petals leaving the flower free to bloom fully.

10. Want to Supplement Your Blooms With an Indoor Display?

Most of the mistakes that cause problems with roses not blooming can be rectified.

However, it can take time for blooms to appear as impressively as they should.

So, why not supplement your external display with a stunning display of roses inside your home?

Our team of expert florists creates stunning floral designs using roses combined with other flowers such as carnations and dahlia.
We also produce breathtaking unique creations where the roses are the star on their own.

We think you'll agree they make a spectacular statement.
We're dedicated to using sustainable floristry methods throughout all of our work.

This includes sourcing flowers locally where possible, composting organic waste, reusing flower buckets and packaging, and using probiotic cleaning products whenever we can.

So, choosing rose displays and bouquets from us supplements your own rose blooms and helps protect the environment at the same time.

Take a look at the selection of florals in our shop, including an array of roses as well as other blooms.

Have any questions or suggestions about roses not blooming?

Want to know anything about the mistakes we've discussed in this article?

Pop your question in the comments and we'll do our best to answer it.

We'd also love to see any comments you have about problems with roses blooming.

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