Rose soil - ideal substrate and soil composition for beautifully blooming roses?

Rose soil - ideal substrate and soil composition for beautifully blooming roses?

the essentials in brief

  • Rose soil is a plant substrate specially tailored to the needs of roses.
  • It should be loose and well-drained, nutrient-rich and stable. However, many products contain peat instead of humus or compost soil.
  • Rose earth can easily be mixed in larger quantities yourself.
  • All you need is normal garden soil, compost, sand and a fertilizer mixture made from rotted cattle manure, (€ 17.80 at Amazon *) horn shavings (€ 6.39 at Amazon *) and primary rock flour.

What is rose earth?

Rose earth is a special substrate that has been specially adapted to the needs of roses. It is a special earth whose typical characteristics are the following:

  • loose, airy structure
  • nevertheless high stability
  • does not clump together

also read

  • Roses need nutrient-rich and humus-rich soil
  • Better not to mulch roses with bark mulch
  • For healthy roses and more abundance of flowers - pruning faded roses

This means that there is plenty of air and water at the plant roots, and the risk of waterlogging and thus root rot is reduced to a minimum. Nevertheless, the roots of the roses find sufficient support.

Composition of standard rose earth

Depending on the manufacturer, the composition of rose soil differs considerably, the only thing that the various special substrates have in common is that they are perfectly tailored to the needs of the roses in terms of soil and its nutrient composition. Typical components are mainly these:

Rose earth: ideal composition
  • Peat : because of its good water-storing properties and the fact that it can be bought cheaply for the manufacturer, it is often used for various substrates
  • Compost : loose humus soil is the main component of many peat-free rose soils, this is often made from green cuttings or spruce or pine bark
  • Clay : and clay minerals provide strength and valuable nutrients
  • Rock flour : for example, based on basalt provide minerals
  • Long-term fertilizer: depending on the product, on a mineral or biological basis, provides the starting fertilizer for the first four to six weeks

In addition, some products contain ingredients such as mycorrhizal fungi (Glomus intraradices), wood or coconut fibers or clay granules. You can also choose between rose earth in conventional and organic quality. Pay attention to the certification according to DIN ISO 9001, then the selected rose soil meets the desired requirements.


Is there a difference between rose soil and potting soil?

Basically, the differences between rose soil and potting soil are not particularly great; roses would also thrive in conventional potting soil. It just has to have these properties: loose structure, yet stable and rich in humus. If the substrate crumbles in your hands, feels loose and soft and has a pleasant smell of forest soil, it is of good quality and is well suited for roses.

Buy rose earth - purchase criteria and tips

rose earth

"Don't skimp on high-quality potting soil, after all, none of those exclusively fast food have stayed healthy for long!"

There is a large selection of different rose earths, we have put together a few of the most popular manufacturers and brands for you.

Rose earthcompositionPackagingprice
Compo Sana rose soilWhite peat, humus, clay, fertilizer depot for eight weeks20 liters, 40 litersabout 30 cents per liter
Cuxin rose earthWhite peat, basalt flour, mycorrhizal fungi20 liters, 45 litersapprox. 33 cents per liter
Dehner rose earthpeat-based, mineral NPK fertilizer (stock fertilization)40 litersapprox. 22 cents per liter
Floragard organic rose soil without peatpeat-free, green waste compost, coconut pulp, stock fertilization40 litersapprox. 67 cents per liter
Floragard rose soilContains peat, with clay granules and slow release fertilizer40 litersapprox. 27 cents per liter
Neudorff Neudohum rose soilpeat-free, pre-fertilized for four weeks, with mycorrhizal fungi20 liters, 40 litersapprox. 36 cents per liter
OBI rose and ornamental woodContains peat (reduced peat), start fertilization for four weeks45 litersapprox. 20 cents per liter
Plantop rose soilContains peat, with clay, pre-fertilized45 litersapprox. 36 cents per liter
Seramis peat-free rose soilpeat-free plant granules, pre-fertilized17.5 litersapprox. 91 cents per liter
Substral rose earthcontaining peat20 litersabout 90 cents per liter
Toom rose earthContains peat, with clay, pre-fertilized40 litersapprox. 17 cents per liter

Where can I buy rose earth?

You can basically buy rose earth anywhere, for example

  • in the major online department stores such as Amazon or eBay
  • in various online shops at gardening and hardware stores
  • in the stationary garden specialist and hardware store
  • as a time-limited special offer in discounters or remaining stock markets

Regarding the last two points, it should be said that you can often buy cheap rose earth here - but it is often of poor quality, contains a lot of peat and is sometimes contaminated with pest eggs or larvae (e.g. sciarid gnats). If you decide to use such a soil anyway, you should definitely add compost or humus soil, clay or clay granulate and, if necessary, some sand to it.

In addition, you should definitely disinfect these soils before using them to kill any pests from the outset. This works very well in the oven or in the microwave, whereby you should moisten the soil well before heating.

What does rose earth cost?

Basically, rose soil is significantly more expensive than conventional plant substrates, although the price range varies greatly depending on the manufacturer and composition of the substrate. As you can see from the table above, cheap rose earths start at a price of just under 20 cents per liter - and can climb to over 90 cents per liter. Peat-free soils and products containing mycorrhizal fungi are particularly expensive.

For comparison: high-quality universal potting soil without peat and in organic quality (for example from Compo Bio or Obi) you can get for around 20 cents a liter - that is, for the price at which the less high-quality rose soils start. Therefore, when using larger quantities - for a rose bed, for example - you should carefully consider whether you would rather mix the rose substrate yourself. Otherwise you can quickly get rid of several hundred euros for the substrate. For potting a rose in a tub, rose earth is more worthwhile, because you need smaller quantities here anyway.


What do mycorrhizal fungi actually do in the rose soil? Are they really useful?

The mycorrhizal fungus Glomus intraradices, which is often used for rose soil, is a soil-dwelling fungus that pulls its threads through the soil and is supposed to keep it loose. There are various scientific studies on whether and how this fungus influences the growth and flowering pleasure of roses. However, the results are not easy to evaluate. Some studies point to a positive effect, while others do not note any differences between conventionally planted roses and those that grow in mycorrhizal soil. Ultimately, it is more of a marketing measure to sell a plant substrate at particularly high prices.

Which is why you better use peat-free soil

rose earth

For decades, peat has been a popular and proven raw material for various substrates, including rose soil. Peat has very good water-storing properties and reliably releases moisture again when required. However, peat has fallen into disrepute for ecological reasons, because to extract it, bogs that have grown over thousands of years have to be drained - only then can peat be extracted.

This means on the one hand that rare and valuable habitats for plants and animals are irrevocably lost and on the other hand that the CO2 stored in the moors is released. Furthermore, peatlands are important CO2 stores, which of course can no longer fulfill this function after they have been drained. Ultimately, this means that even more of this climate-damaging gas is released into the atmosphere, fueling climate change there. For these reasons, you should avoid peat-containing substrates, especially since there are good alternatives - such as compost or humus soil.

Do you even need special rose soil?

This question is more than justified, because in contrast to actually necessary special soils such as orchid, palm or potting soil, rose soil is by no means indispensable - on the contrary, because the “queen of flowers” ​​is far from being as demanding as you might think could. A loose, well-drained garden soil that is as clayey as possible is exactly what you need - at least if there was no rose at the intended location.

Never plant a rose on top of a rose, it will almost certainly go wrong! Better look for a new place, because the tiredness of the soil only means that the new rose does not really want to grow and bloom. Even special rose soil does not help in this case, at most a complete soil replacement.

Mix rose earth yourself


Much cheaper in terms of price - especially when it comes to supplying larger areas with rose soil - it is to mix an optimal substrate yourself. For this you need

  • Humus-rich topsoil is sometimes available free of charge for collection or cheaply at the garden center
  • Compost soil
  • sand
  • Lime or primary rock meal, horn shavings, (6.39 € at Amazon *) well-rotted cattle manure as long-term fertilization

Remember that roses have high nutritional needs. Now mix the mentioned ingredients in proportion

  • 3 parts topsoil (or normal garden soil)
  • 1 part compost soil / mature compost (preferably green waste compost)
  • 1 part coarse sand
  • 1 part fertilizer mixture

Incidentally, cattle manure is the perfect natural fertilizer for roses because it has the right composition of the required nutrients. If you cannot get cattle manure, you can also use pellets (available in the garden center). These also have the advantage that they stink less.

Now mix the mentioned components together thoroughly, for example with the help of a shovel in a wheelbarrow. Then use the finished, self-mixed rose soil for planting. You can use them both outdoors and in pots.

frequently asked Questions

Can you also plant roses in hydrangea soil?

rose earth

We would advise against this, as hydrangea soil (also rhododendron soil, by the way) has an acidic pH value and is therefore not suitable for roses. The reverse is also true, because hydrangeas do not thrive in pH-neutral rose soil.

How often do I have to transplant roses in the tub?

Repot your potted roses about every two to three years in a larger container and in fresh substrate. On this occasion, always replace the soil completely so that the rose is again in loose, nutrient-rich soil.

What is the ideal pH for roses?

Roses prefer a pH-neutral to slightly alkaline soil with values ​​between 5.5 and 7.0. The soil should contain as little salt as possible, because the trees are very sensitive to this. For this reason, purely mineral fertilization is not advisable.


If you use ready-made rose earth and do not use it up completely, seal the bag as airtight as possible. Not only will the substrate otherwise dry out and become unusable, fungus gnats can also colonize.