What To Do After You Prune the Roses Without Killing the Bees and other Pollinators

Climbing Rose, "Blaze" climbing into a Staghorn Sumac
Climbing Rose, “Blaze” climbing into a Staghorn Sumac

After the roses are pruned, what happens next is fertilizing! I like to use a slow release fertilizer and I always add a few inches of compost around the rose. Try to keep it off of the stems. It can possibly cause damage to the stem.
I do NOT use a systemic application to my roses -like Bayer Advanced 2-1 Rose care. The active ingredient is imidacloprid and this chemical is being closely studied for its effects on bees.

Anything that might kill bees, or butterflies and other beneficial insects are not going to be applied on my property. I am a beekeeper and its hard enough keeping them alive, without adding any other potential hazards.
The University of Minnesota, Extension service reports, "Systemic neonicotinyl insecticides used on landscape plants and crops are considered as a major factor in pollinator decline." Dr. Vera Krischik is currently studying the use of this insecticide and its relation to colony collapse disorder.

This insecticide has been banned in France and Germany and in my little corner of Idaho! I hope yours as well.

What do you use to fertilize your roses? If you have any questions, let me know.  I am happy to help you!

For more information on imidacloprid and the research being done at the University of Minnesota, see the article:

Imidacloprid, Found in Most Homeowner Insecticides, is Translocated to Nectar and Pollen and Kills Good Bugs

Here is the link:

Bees entering the hive
Bees entering the hive
Honey bee bathing in fresh pollen
Honey bee bathing in fresh pollen


Published by Vicki

I love gardening and when it comes to vegetables, organic gardening is important to me. I am an Advanced Master Gardener with the University of Idaho, and my favorite garden activity is pruning. When I'm not cutting down plants, you can find me shooting photos on my Canon DSLR or out smashing overheads on the tennis courts.

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  1. Nice Blog Vicki! I’m looking forward to learning more about gardening. What brand of fertilizer do you use for your roses? Mine have rocks around them as ground cover so I suppose I would just have to push the rocks away and fertilize and do the same with compost.

    1. Thanks, Jackie!
      The compost will sift through the rocks as you water the plant, but to make more of an impact, I think you are right to move the rocks and lay down the compost.
      Regarding fertilizer, could use it in liquid form. Sometimes I use Zamzow’s liquid fertilizer, Thrive-I saw it at Costco this weekend. Or move some of the rocks and add a slow release pelleted fertilizer. Either one would be good, and, of course, there are several others to choose from as well.

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