Roses and Liquid Seaweed

A visitor to my site, Kristi, wrote the following comment and I thought I would write a new article about the benefits of seaweed in the garden. Kristi writes: I am a newbie so I am finding much help from this site. Could you please elaborate on the seaweed spray? Thanks. Well Kristi here is my response to your query.

What Liquid Seaweed Does For Your Soil and Plants

Seaweed is rich in potassium, minerals, trace elements and naturally occurring growth stimulants. It is one of the best things you can use in your garden and I use it on everything; roses, fruit and vegetables, annual and perennial flowers; they all benefit greatly from the addition of liquid seaweed as part of their regular care.

You can use diluted liquid seaweed in a watering can and water it into the soil at the base of your plants; or hold the watering can over the whole plant so it waters the leaves as well as the soil or just use it as a foliar spray on the leaves.

Liquid seaweed helps promote flowering, fruiting and robust health on every plant it’s used on. It stimulates root growth, and stronger root growth means better water and nutrient uptake to the plant from the soil. It also stimulates the production of more beneficial soil micro-organisms.

A good build up of micro-organisms in the soil is essential as they provide life giving properties to the soil. They do many good things for the soil including improvement of soil fertility by breaking down organic material into hormones and plant nutrients which are made available to the plants.

They create humus which helps the water holding capacity of the soil, and humus also  improves the  soil’s structure. Soil with a good crumbly structure allows the right balance of soil air and soil water in the soil.

Roses and Liquid Seaweed

Liquid seaweed also increases the plants resistance to diseases and pests, and I regularly spray the foliage of my roses with a foliar spray of liquid seaweed.

I mix the concentrated liquid seaweed with some water in a sprayer (follow the directions on the bottle for foliar feeding dilution rates of the liquid seaweed as a little goes a long way) and spray this over the leaves, both on top and underneath.

This seems to help the leaves become healthier, stronger and more resistant to leaf fungal diseases. I do this every few weeks during the roses’ growing season; spring through to autumn/fall.   I also water it into the soil the roses are growing in around once a fortnight.

If you don’t want to go to the trouble of spraying, just make up a solution of liquid seaweed in a watering can (follow manufacturers dilution rates) and pour that all over your roses. It will still help the leaves and overall plant health.

I had to foliar spray liquid seaweed onto some begonia leaves the other day as they were developing powdery mildew on their leaves due to the cooler moisture evenings. Spraying them twice a week on the top and under the leaves til the spray was dripping off the leaves stopped the powdery mildew in its tracks.

Using Seaweed in Its Natural Form

In addition to using commercially available liquid seaweed, you can also use seaweed as is on your garden from the beach if it’s been washed up on the shore; but only use it if it smells fresh. If it’s been sitting on the shore awhile and smells don’t use it.

I live near the coast and have in the past gathered fresh seaweed that’s washed up on the shore, taken it home and given it a good rinse with fresh water to get rid of the salt (salt can harm micro organisms and worms if it’s in high enough concentration in the soil) and put it directly on top of the soil in my garden (sometimes chopped up into smaller pieces but if I didn’t have time I just threw it on the garden as it was) to break down over time.

Homemade Liquid Seaweed

I have also made up my own concoction of liquid seaweed, though I haven’t made it up for a while now  and must get around to doing it one day!

The convenience of the concentrated liquid seaweed in a bottle saves me time and mucking about, so I’m using that at the moment. However, if you’d like to have a go at making your own liquid seaweed, here is the way I do it.

Put about ½ a bucketful of the washed and chopped up fresh seaweed into an old pillowcase (this saves having to strain the mix later when using it on the garden) then place it in a bucket that has a lid. Fill the bucket with water and let it break down and turn into rich liquid gold (for your plants) for 2-3 months.

The end result is a seaweed concentration that is filled with natural growth hormones, potassium, minerals and trace elements that promote robust health in every plant you use it on and stimulates root growth and beneficial soil micro-organisms.

There’s hardly any nitrogen or phosphorous in seaweed so it’s not used as a fertilizer for your plants, but instead as a plant and soil conditioner.

You then dilute this homemade liquid seaweed concentration with water; use ½ – 1 cupful of the concentrate in a 9-10 litre (2.3 or 2.6 gallon) watering can. When made up, the mixture should resemble the color of weak tea. Don’t make the mixture too strong or you can burn the roots. With the commercially made concentrates the dilution rate is much less than this.

Glowing Reviews for Liquid Seaweed

Whether you make your own or buy the commercially available liquid seaweed it is a boon to every plant in your garden, including roses.

Liquid seaweed is also now available as seaweed soluble powder, which is probably a better way to mix it if you are anything like me and end up spilling some of the smelly liquid on yourself when you’re diluting it.

Some people who have used it have put glowing reviews of their splendid results on the Amazon website, each reviewer gave it 5 out of 5 stars, which verifies just how good this stuff is for your plants.

I wouldn’t garden without it and my healthy robust plants prove the benefits of its regular application. I’d be interested in your results with it so feel free to share them in the comments below.

5 Comments so far

  1. Ken Fontenot on March 26th, 2011

    I have a question, is it ok to spray a mist of water on the rose plants or does this hurt them and help cause Black Spots?

  2. admin on March 26th, 2011

    Hi Ken
    It depends on your climate and when you do it in the day. If you’re going to spray a mist of water on your roses, then be sure to do it earlier in the day so the leaves have a chance to dry off and if you live in a hot humid climate it can increase the humidity around the plant esp if the leaves stay wet for long periods which will predispose them to leaf fungal diseases like blackspot.

  3. simon cox on May 27th, 2011

    is there any benefit in feeding liquid seaweed before pruning

  4. admin on May 28th, 2011

    Liquid seaweed benefits your roses at any time. Liquid seaweed is not a fertilizer, it is a soil conditioner, so yes it can still benefit them before you prune.

  5. Kevin Riley on December 7th, 2011

    Living in Japan, we eat all kinds of seaweed in our meals (nori, kombu, wakame, etc) but I never thought about using it on plants. Makes sense. Seaweed is full of all kinds of goodness.

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