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Sometimes, Roses Don’t Bloom, and That’s Okay

The Roald Dahl rose is a peachy-colored rose with many petals and a soft scent.

The season of roses is upon us! This is Roald Dahl, and it’s blooming happily this year. What do you do, though, when your roses don’t bloom?

See, Roald Dahl was an absolute dud last year. I got maybe five blooms on it. No matter how much I fed it and fussed over it, it just didn’t want to give me flowers. I tried fish fertilizer, I tried the G&B 4-6-2, I tried compost from my kitchen. That rose did not want to bloom.

This year, though, it has so many clusters of buds that I can’t count them. I’m expecting this to be an absolute bumper crop of peachy-yellow clusters (it’s looking a little pink right now because the weather is still a bit cold).

This isn’t the first time I’ve had a rose get finicky on me. Teasing Georgia refused to bloom at all her second year. Not even a single bud. Nothing. Bupkis. Geoff Hamilton has been a laggard, too, and is only now starting to show signs of being the vigorous repeat bloomer I’d read about. I had one Queen of Sweden rose take off like a shot and throw off a million blooms, while the other one, planted just three feet away, struggled for two years.

Roses are fickle creatures like that, especially when they’re young. They might bloom in odd colors or shapes (like my mystery Claire Austin), or not bloom at all one year.

Sometimes, roses just don’t bloom.

But when your roses don’t bloom, it’s best to wait until there’ve been a few growing cycles before coming to any firm conclusions about them. Some of them really just aren’t suited to the spot where they’ve been planted, but many more are just getting settled. They need a little time and love.

Not unlike humans, when you think about it.

Curious to know more about growing roses yourself? Here are five of the biggest rose-growing myths I believed when I first started, and the truth behind each of them.

If you’re curious about some of my favorite rose-gardening tools, here’s a round-up of the things I use most! These are affiliate links, which means if you choose to buy something through those links, I’ll receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. I will always identify affiliate links for you. Thanks for supporting my work!

My favorite pruning snips: the Felco F-8

Many other rosarians also swear by the Felco F-2

My favorite liquid fish-based fertilizer

My favorite organic mineral fertilizer

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