Create a rose plant booster mix

Elaine Senft shares the recipe for her signature rose booster mix.

Credit: Barbra Fairclough

Elaine Senft has been growing gorgeous roses for more than 28 years. Here she shares her successful fertilizer recipe for long-lasting rose bushes.

After raising roses for more than 28 years at her home in Deep Cove, Elaine Senft compares them to children. “They all have different personalities, and you never stop learning from them.”

While she loves her ramblers, shrubs and climbers, rugosa roses are a special favourite due to “the beauty of their cane, leaf and flower.”

Rose Plant Booster Mix Recipe

Elaine keeps all her roses happy with the following recipe, which she has used for more than a decade.

  • 3 L (12 cups) of alfalfa pellets
  • 1.5 L (6 cups) cottonseed meal
  • 500 mL (2 cups) epsom salts
  • 250 mL (1 cup) liquid kelp

Mix in a garbage can and top with water. In two weeks, stir and use roughly a quart or litre per rose, beginning in the spring. Keep this booster up through the season, either at the rose’s base or as a foliar feed.