Tips On Using Bone Meal For Roses

Should you use bone meal on roses? Bone meal is a fantastic organic fertilizer to use on roses. It is rich in phosphorus, which is highly beneficial for flowering plants.

a bag of bone meal for rosesPin
Bonemeal is an excellent fertilizer for roses | PlantCareToday

Here are 5 Takeaways On Using Bone Meal on your roses:

  1. Rich in Phosphorus: Bone meal is an excellent source of phosphorus, crucial for the growth and blooming of roses. It helps in root development, seed development, and cell division.
  2. Organic Fertilizer: Made from ground animal bones, bone meal is an organic option that provides not only phosphorus but also calcium, which promotes new growth in stems and roots.
  3. Slow-Release Benefits: As a slow-release fertilizer, bone meal breaks down gradually, providing steady nutrition throughout the growing season without the need for frequent reapplication.
  4. Application Tips: Simply sprinkle bone meal around the base of the rose bush and work it into the soil. It’s recommended to do this twice a year for optimal results.
  5. Check Soil First: Before using bone meal, it’s a good idea to test your soil to see if phosphorus supplementation is necessary, ensuring you’re not over-fertilizing which can hinder the plant’s ability to absorb other essential nutrients.

This article discusses the benefits of bone meal and how to use it to fertilize roses properly.

Read our article on using bone meal for plants.

What Are The Benefits of Bone Meal?

Bone meal is an organic plant fertilizer made from ground animal bones, normally beef bones, and slaughterhouse waste products that have been pulverized and steamed. 



The powder is rich in nutrients and other micronutrients needed and excellent for flowers, fruits, vegetables, shrubs, and trees.

Bone meal for roses has many benefits:

  • It is an excellent source of Phosphorus
  • It delivers it in a form that is easy for plants to absorb
  • Bone meal aids in root growth, seed development, and cell division.

Bone meal contains high amounts of calcium as well. It promotes new growth in stems and roots. 

Bone meal also acts as a slow-release fertilizer, meaning it takes time to break down and delivers steady amounts of nutrients throughout the season.

How Do You Use Bone Meal on Roses?

The first step is to determine if your rose plants need the bone meal. Roses need a fertilizer with phosphorus to develop flowers, so by testing the soil, you can decide if a phosphorus supplement is necessary.

You can also monitor your roses for nutrient deficiencies while it’s growing.

If you notice weak stems and buds, dull foliage, and falling leaves, your roses have phosphorus deficiency. This makes an excellent time to use bone meal or acute phosphate fertilizer.

Bone meal is insoluble in water, and the phosphorus cannot move around throughout the soil. Plants take time to absorb the phosphorus and do not react immediately. This makes Bone meal an excellent long-lasting, slow-release fertilizer.

You can apply this from late summer to early fall.

For unplanted rose bushes, it is recommended to sprinkle a handful into the planting hole before you plant your roses to allow the new baby roots to have access to it.

After your rose bush has been established, you can incorporate a bone meal into the healthy soil at the base of your plant. 

Sprinkle the bone meal around the bottom of the plant and work it into the ground with a spade to ensure animals don’t eat it and the wind doesn’t blow it away.

How Often Should You Use Bone Meal on Roses?

You only need to disperse blood meal for roses about once a season. Putting it around the base early in the growing season will increase your rose bushes’ blooms throughout the spring and summer.

It is best to apply your first layer in the early spring. In the fall, after the first frost of the season, you can use the bone meal around the plants a second time to last through the fall and winter.

Continue application twice a year. The bone meal takes about four months to break down, and reapplying will over-concentrate your plants during that time.

It is detrimental to add too much bone meal.

This is why it is crucial to research the nutrients your specific plant requires and test the soil to see its makeup. If the earth already has adequate phosphorus, you do not add any bone meal.

Test your soil each year and follow the bone meal instructions when you spread it around your plants.

Drawbacks of Using Bone Meal

There are some cons to using bone meal on plants. One of the main risks is pets ingestion.

Dogs or other wildlife are often attracted to the scent of bone meal and can create stomach issues if dogs or cats eat too much.

To avoid this, mix the bone meal into your soil. This disperses it and removes clumps that could attract pests.

Many people worry that Mad Cow Disease can be transferred through bone meal. Luckily, both the cows and the meal must undergo testing before it is produced and sold.

There is another con to using any fertilizer on plants.

Fertilizers make it harder for your plants to extract nutrients from the soil naturally. Supplementing nutrients causes a dependency on fertilizer, and the plant will require it to keep growing and thriving.

Conclusion on Bone Meal Fertilizer For Roses

Bone meal for roses is an excellent phosphorus supplement. It is long-lasting and made from all organic materials.

Bone meal is great to add to other soil amendments as well. Fertilizers like compost and manure are usually very high in nitrogen but lack other nutrients like phosphorus and potassium. Adding bone meal to the soil can balance these levels.

Bone meal is a convenient, incredibly beneficial, natural product to boost your rose bushes. If your soil requires added nutrients, it can result in plants with more prominent blooms and stronger roots!

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