Roses need several different nutrients to grow well. These nutrients include potassium, phosphorus, calcium, magnesium, and nitrogen. Wood ash contains potassium, phosphorus, calcium, and magnesium which is good for your roses.
Wood ash is good for roses because of the nutrients it supplies like potassium and phosphorus. You have to be careful with adding wood ash to your roses. Most roses like slightly acidic soil. Wood ash is very alkaline. When wood ash is added to your roses' soil, the pH will rise.
When to use wood ash for your roses?
You should add wood ash to your roses' soil when the pH of the soil is too acidic for your roses. Roses like slightly acidic soil with a pH of 6.0 to 6.9. If your soil is below this range, then adding wood ash to the soil will raise the pH to a level that your roses like.
How much wood ash should be added to soil?
The key to adding wood ashes to your roses' soil is to figure out what the pH it currently is at. You can find out your soils pH with a kit from your local garden center or buying one from Amazon.
Once you know the pH of your soil, you can determine if you should add any wood ashes. If the pH is below 6.0, you can add wood ashes to bring the soil into a good range for your roses.
The tricky part is deciding how much ashes to add to your soil. The best suggestion, without have to have a degree in chemistry, is to take a sample of your soil and measure its pH. Then add a little bit of wood ash. Next, measure the pH again. Continue doing this until you get the pH in a good range for your roses (6.0 to 6.9).
Be sure to measure the amount of soil you are using and the amount(s) of wood ash you add. Once you have the ration worked out, you can add the right amount to your roses' soil. After you have finished adding the wood ash to your soil, go back and check the pH. If you are too alkaline, add sulfur and peat moss to the soil to bring it into the correct range.
How to use wood ash for your roses?
You can add wood ash to your roses a two different ways. You can add it to individual plants. Or it can be added to your entire rose garden.
If you are going to add it to individual rose bushes and you have not planted them in the ground, then you should dig down 6" to 12". Add your ashes and other nutrients to the hole. Put some of the soil back in and mix it well. Then plant your pushes top with the remaining soil. Work some of the roots and top soil into the ash, soil mixture.
You can also mix the wood ash into all of the soil before planting. Then put some of the mixture back into the hole. Finally, plant the rose bush in the hole with the remaining soil.
If you want to put wood ash in your entire rose garden, till your garden. Then sprinkle some ashes on top. Next, mix the ashes with the soil. Put some soil on top to cover. Check the pH of the soil to make sure it is in the best range for your roses. Finally, dig your holes and plant your rose bushes in your garden.
What nutrients will wood ash give to your roses?
Wood ash provides potassium, phosphorus, magnesium, and calcium. It also has some other trace minerals. Potassium, phosphorus, and nitrogen are the main nutrients your roses need. You will not get the nitrogen from wood ash because it is released as a gas when wood is burned. Wood ashes contain about 5% to 7% potassium and 2% phosphorus.
The potassium is need for chlorophyll production (photosynthesis) and blossom development. Phosphorus maintains the roots so nutrients can be absorbed properly by the rose bush.
Problems that may occur
There are a few problems that can occur when adding wood ashes to your rose garden. First, the soil can become to acidic. Second, salts can build up in the soil.
Roses like slightly acidic soil. Wood ash is very alkaline with a pH of 10 to 12. If your soil is already within the range of 6.0 to 6.9 pH and you add wood ashes, you will make the soil to alkaline for your roses. If the soil is to alkaline, your roses will not be able to absorb enough nutrients through the root system.
Particularly, your roses will suffer from iron chlorosis. Alkaline soil doesn't have enough iron available for your roses. This will cause them to suffer from iron deficiency. The deficiency will cause the leaves to yellow. The veins of the leaves will also become raised.
Too much salt in your soil is bad for your roses. Salt absorbs water. Excessive amounts of salt in your soil will draw water out of the soil. This will cause your rose bushes to become dehydrated.
Can fireplace ashes be used for my roses?
As long as you are burning wood without any additives in it, your ashes will be good to use with your roses. It doesn't matter if you burn the wood in a fireplace, fire pit, or as an open camp fire. To use your ashes from your fireplace, make sure they are not hot and store them in a fire safe container.
Will wood ash affect various types of roses differently?
There are no known differences in using wood ash in soil with different types of roses. Other types of plants may have this issue. For instance, hydrangea will change their color based on the pH of the soil.
Best roses for alkaline soil
Although most roses prefer slightly acidic soil, there are a few that do well in alkaline soil. Here is a list of roses that you can grow in alkaline soil.
- Linda Campbell
- Robin Hood
- Square Dancer
- William Booth
- Fred Loads
- Country Song
- Fergus Gamez
- JP Connell
- Morden Snowbeauty
Wood ash can be a good fertilizer for your roses. You need to know the pH of your soil before you make any changes. If the soil is too acidic, wood ashes will help bring it into the right range. Wood ashes will also supply your rose bushes with much needed potassium and other nutrients. If you have one of the rose varieties that like alkaline soil, you can add a little more wood ash. Remember to always test your soil and listen to your plants.