rose bush

Is Horse Manure Good for Roses?

Gardeners up and down the UK are constantly on the lookout for ways to improve the health of their roses, whether that be adding horse manure or pruning them back to encourage growth for the following season – the list goes on and on! 

In this guide, we outline whether horse manure is good for growing roses (for those who want a quick answer, yes horse manure is good for roses), how it benefits your flower bed and when you should apply manure to your rose bush.

What is horse manure?

Horse manure, also known as well-rotted horse manure, horse poop and horse muck, is essentially a mix of organic matter that is used as a fertilizer in gardening and agriculture. Horse manure is the most common type of manure to help the overall health of plants and flowers thanks to its wide availability and benefits. 

Horse manure can be split down into farmyard manure (FYM) or farm slurry. FYM contains organic material (often straw), which has been used as bedding for farm animals and this absorbs the faeces and urine of the animals, whereas farm slurry is produced where plant material isn’t used as bedding for animals – instead concrete or slated are used. This manure is then collected and mixed in with fresh straw.

To find out more information about manure and the different types available to gardeners in the UK, see our ultimate guide to organic manure.

Is horse manure good for roses?

With thousands of hybrids and over 150 species of rose, it isn’t uncommon for gardeners to be asking the question “is horse manure good for roses?”. From Climbing Roses to Shrub Roses, this complex world can confuse even the most clued-up gardener, which is why we’re here to tell you that, yes, horse manure is good for roses – in fact, they’re excellent.

When mixing horse manure and topsoil together, you generate a vast amount of nutrients which are essential to the overall health and growth of all types of roses. As well as providing nutrients such as nitrogen, horse manure also contributes to an improved soil structure, resulting in better infiltration and retention of water to the area your rose is planted. *Note* – horse manure isn’t good for all plants so use with caution.

When and how should you apply horse manure to roses?

Before adding manure to your beloved roses, there are a few things consider as you could potentially cause more harm than good.

When should you put manure on roses?

To grow healthy roses, you SHOULDN’T add fresh manure as this can kill your plant – the opposite of what you want to achieve. Instead, you should let the horse manure dry and age first as this will reduce the levels of E.coli, salmonella and other harmful bacteria.  Taking this information, you should apply aged manure to your roses at least three months prior to full growth – late winter/early spring. For further advice on what time of year to put manure on roses and other areas of your garden, see our help and advice page.

How do you apply horse manure to roses?

Before applying horse manure to any type of rose, you need to make sure the ground is clear of old leaves, weeds and seeds. Once you have cleared the area, you will want to feed and water your roses before spreading a layer of manure around the roses to a depth of 2 – 3inches.

Other ways to care for your roses

Whilst adding horse manure to your roses is hugely beneficial, there are other ways to make your roses healthy!

  • Watering – Newly planted roses will need far more water than an established garden rose. Water well and often.
  • Rose food – Feeding roses is a very simple process and folia feed is one of the best ways to do it.
  • Pruning – Selectively removing branches of roses can lead to better growth in the following season.
  • Deadheading – Removing flowered roses will reduce the amount of wasted energy your plant generates.

Where can I buy horse manure?

Based in Hambledon, Hampshire, we can supply organic, well-rotted horse manure for all those who are local to the Portsmouth area and further surrounding towns and cities. Alsoils+ have been servicing domestic and trade customers for over 35 years with the highest quality horse manure, leaving you safe in the knowledge that we can cater for your needs.

Our well-rotted horse FYM is both high-quality and affordable for all purposes. With its highly versatile and low maintenance nature, they are the ideal solution for a variety of gardening and landscaping needs.

About the Author

alsoils tractor landscaping service


The Alsoils Team

For more than three decades, Alsoils has been a trusted name in delivering superior soil, compost products and offering landscaping services. Based in Hampshire, Alsoils caters to a diverse clientele, including both homeowners and businesses. Our team are experts in all things gardening, so you can be sure you get the very best advice for topsoil, compost, manure and so much more!

Based on 14 reviews
Mark Belshaw
Mark Belshaw
Ordered 2 bulk bags of manure on Wednesday, late afternoon and all was delivered by Friday lunch time. Great quality product and excellent delivery turnaround.
Charles Smith
Charles Smith
Excellent, from order to delivery. 10 tonnes of loose load top soil delivered within a few days. Best price and the 10mm screened soil is great quality. Thank you
Lesley Barry
Lesley Barry
Excellent product ordered 4 bags of top soil the driver was so accommodating as we have a very long driveway. The customer sevice was excellent. Thank you.
David Robberts
David Robberts
Excellent product at a sensible price from a local supplier. Staff are friendly and willing to help: I asked if just one bag of topsoil could be delivered quickly and it arrived next day! Great service.
Mark Hibberd
Mark Hibberd
Smooth execution of the transaction and delivery. Very helpful phone call and conversation. Ordered three bags of Border Blend topsoil. Paid by Paypal. They delivered, on the specified date, carefully, exactly where I wanted the bags placed. All in all, a very pleasing purchase. The topsoil was excellent and had been very carefully prepared. No lumps. Would definitely recommend and I will use again. Everyone I spoke to was nice and helpful.
David Stamp
David Stamp
Ordered topsoil on Tuesday came by Friday at the exact time quoted. Was WAY cheaper than anywhere else (by about £15 per bag) and was dropped off via a crane on back of the lorry, not by pallet which most of the other places use. Soil was fine and dry. Brilliant !