These usually contain nitrogen, phosphorus and potash in varying proportions, and minor elements as well. The proportions required by roses are not vital and almost any brand-name fertilizer will give good results if applied according to the manufacturer's instructions. A conventional no. 5 or no. 12 commercial fertilizer can be used, or one made especially for roses. Do not apply during a drought unless the roses are watered regularly afterwards. Spread the fertilizer between the bushes, so that it can be washed in by the rain or with the hose and reach the feeding rootlets which are concentrated away from the base of the stems. All chemical fertilizers should be regarded as supplementary to organic materials such as rotted farmyard manure, compost and blood and bone.
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