Wednesday, 30 May 2012

Going organic for roses

Organic simply means going back to nature. That's my definition. I'm experimenting organics on my one and only rose, which I refer to as my rosie..the yellow 'Benson and Hedges Gold' species. Don't know how they derive that name, doesn't sound organic at all LOL!

I'm planning to do it step by step. First on the list is the soil. Compost is the best for roses. Next comes the fertilizer. Thanks to Mr Greenthumb for pointing out the fact that roses are heavy feeders. This sure is a good point to note for someone who have zero experience or knowledge on rose planting, like me, yet plan to go big on it. I'm using ground coffee in my compost. Thanks to Robin for sharing her tips on this. She mixes Starbucks ground coffee in her compost and usually side dress her roses three or four times a summer. According to Robin, it is the acidic nature of the coffee that roses like. Check out her spectacular roses yourself.

A lot have been said about Starbucks used ground coffee. Simply go to any Starbucks outlet and ask them for their used ground coffee. Well if you are lucky you might walk away with them for free. After all, they gonna dispose those used grounded beans anyway.

I was about to try out the Starbucks used grounded coffee beans myself when I saw a locally produced good ground coffee in my pantry, Kopi 434. (see picture below)

The said coffee in my experiment, Kopi 434

I'm not a coffee addict and this coffee was given by a friend. Supposedly one of the best coffee in town. I tried it out once and I thought it tasted good with nice rich aroma. The expiry date is not due yet but the ground coffee, which were packed in small transparent bags, has hardened making it impossible to make coffee drinks anymore. It was my fault for not storing it in an airtight container. Living in a hot and humid country like Malaysia, food go to waste easily if not stored properly.

See how the grounded coffee sticks together and hardened

Instead of throwing it away, I decided to try it on my rosie. So, I took out my garden tools and started digging CAREfully and gently just by the side of the flower pot. Don't want to mess with the root system in the middle. It was about 3/4 deep before I put the coffee into the flower pot and cover it up with soil.

Another sought after organics for roses is the banana peel which is rich in phosphorus and potassium, usually found in expensive fertilizer. So remember. The next time you eat a banana, don't throw away the skin. Cut it up into tiny pieces and bury them in the compost soil. This makes them decompose faster instead of leaving the peel in its original size. It has been a few days now since I tried this out on my rosie. Kind of excited to see the result, hopefully by next week.

Let the banana peel decompose itself before cutting into small pieces

A word on watering. The houris are of the opinion that watering needs depend on your country zone. For a hot and humid tropical climate like Malaysia (USDA Hardiness Zone : 11b), she waters her rose thoroughly and frequently. Frequent light watering causes stress for the plant.

Well..this is it. End of part one. More to come as I check on the progress of my rosie  *-*
Be seeing ya..


  1. It should be USED coffee grounds. The unused/fresh coffee grounds may be too strong/acidic on the soil.

  2. OMG!!! What have I done? No wonder no progress on my rosie. But thank God it didn't die. I guess the banana peel sort of set off the acidity. Today I saw new shoots but they are not red in color. That would do I guess for the mistake I've made :(

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Thanks for your lovely words...