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Afternoon all.

I wonder if anyone can help?

I have a climbing rose (Alberic Barbier) now in its third year on a West facing wall. I've trained it horizontally and the plant itself seems really healthy - loads of new growth and loads of side shoots coming off the main stems and it's almost covering the wall it was bought for.

However, it hardly produces any actual roses!

It didn't produce a great many last year but I wasn't too concerned as it was growing well but this year I can count on one hand the number of roses it's produced.

I've been feeding it weekly from about April onwards with the Miracle Gro multi purpose food but about 6 weeks ago I switched to specialised liquid rose food but still no joy. Yesterday I gave it tomato food in an attempt to jolt it into life.

Can anyone offer any suggestions or tips on this matter as it's most frustrating. I know I'm doing something wrong but can't put my finger on exactly what it is?


Stop the Miracle Gro ... And no more of any feed this year. Next spring one dose of Fish Blood and Bone in spring will last all year, and a handful of clematis food in April. Nothing more until it does what's expected of it - a few stern words never go amiss either 

Many thanks Dove.

Trust me, it's had more than its share of stern words (plus the odd expletive) aimed towards it so far this year

I thought I'd read that roses were greedy & needed a lot of feeding?

Have I got that wrong or should I be applying this rule to my other roses as well? They're doing ok but could they be doing better...?



Miracle grow is good but it contains a lot more nitrogen (for leaf growth) than some other foods.

I'm happy with my roses. I give them a good (4") mulch of rotted compost/manure in the autumn then as Dove says above - a small handful of BFB for each plant in March and if they're repeat flowering, another small handful after the 1st flush of flowers have finished.

Miracle grow and the like are best for bedding plants/annuals/tender perennials etc, not for long-lived plants and shrubs. For these sort of plants, you're best off feeding the soil, not the plants - which is what BFB and the like do, and Miracle Grow etc don't feed the soil, just the plants

Last edited: 17 July 2017 13:27:06


Many thanks for that great advice too.

Sounds like a plan to me


Darren8 says:

... I thought I'd read that roses were greedy & needed a lot of feeding?

 Feeding yes .... but feeding them with the right things .... you've been giving yours a diet of Mars bars and fizzy pop .... lots of short term energy but no staying power 

I'd treat all your roses just as Pete and I have said ... and yes, mulch with organic matter in the autumn ... well rotted farmyard manure etc.  Fabulous stuff.  

I've been killing them with kindness eh Dove?

Right, they're on a diet from now more Mr Nice Guy!!Thanks once again to both of you for taking the time to help with this matter.

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