Rose Care for April

I love April. A chickadee family has already moved into one of my birdhouses, there are daffodils, blossoming trees and birds singing everywhere.  Now too, the roses have begun their season.  Amazing to me that only weeks ago they looked like dead sticks and now they have the most beautiful shiny, lush green or red foliage.  I’m always on the look-out for new basal breaks and hope they come out in the right place!! 

Now is the time to assess your pruning.  Do some finger pruning, pinching out crossing stems and weak growth in the center of the plant.  Often new growth is covered with aphids that are easily wiped off with a small stick, your fingers, or a blast of water. 

Be sure you remember to begin your watering!  As the weather warms, feeding can begin.  Until the soil is warm, any nutrients added will not be absorbed.  Consider using alfalfa tea; the recipe follows. Give

your roses lots of attention and TLC so you will have gorgeous blooms.  

Alfalfa Tea recipe:           

In a 33-gallon garbage can add:

  • 10 cups alfalfa pellets
  • 2 cup Epsom salts
  • 2 cups fertilizer (Maxsea 16-20-16)
  • 1 cup fish emulsion (optional)

Mix, cover, and steep for 2 days.  Can be smelly!!!  Pour about 1 gallon around each rose. 

By Maureen Groper, Master Rosarian

Edited for the website by Nanette Londeree, December 2020

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