Rose Diseases and Their Cures
There's nothing worse than seeing all of your hard work destroyed by rose diseases or fungus.
Roses can be weakened during the winter dormancy period and become more susceptible to disease when the growing season begins.
Even if the bush survived winter unscathed, spring rains and summer's heat and humidity can open the door to a variety of fungal infections.
To follow is a summary of the most common rose diseases that could pose a threat to your plants, as well as the most common cures.
Roses of all types will always benefit from a regular program of disease prevention.
This is one case where an ounce of prevention is better than a pound of cure.
This is a fungus type disease that produces a white powder along the tops and bottoms of the leaves and along the stems. Left untreated the plant will not grow to its full potential and the leaves will die and drop off.
The base of the flower buds can be affected as well and so this condition should be treated sooner rather than later.
As with most problems concerning rose diseases, a good preventative step is to not allow water to touch the leaves, stems or flowers of a rose. When watering, try to avoid spraying the leaves or flowers as moisture tends to promote the spread of powdery mildew.
Roses are one plant where chemical disease and fungus control products can save the home gardener time and heartache.
An organic alternative is to treat the soil and plants with a Dormant Season Oil Spray or Lime Sulfur (calcium polysulfide) before growth starts in the spring.
Also, regularly cleaning up fallen leaves, weeds and other garden debris will help to prevent the spread of fungus and disease thoughout your garden.
Rust looks like a bright orange powder, which appears on the underside of leaves and will spread to other parts of the plant.
Rust can be a real problem in a rose garden and, as with powdery mildew, should be treated sooner rather than later.
Again, try to keep the leaves, stems and flowers of roses dry, which will help prevent the spread of rust throughout your garden.
Chemical rose disease and fungus control products can help with Rust, however, very often removing affected parts of the plant may be your best choice.
An organic treatment for Rust is the same as with Powdery Mildew.
Hybrid teas tend to be blackspot resistant, but many other varieties are susceptible.
The disease appears as circular black spots that range from between 1/16 to 1/2 inch in diameter, either on the plant's leaves or in more severe cases, on stems.
Left untreated, blackspot will destroy your plant's foliage and can kill the entire plant.
Removing infected parts of the plant is a good option in this case, though early treatment with either a chemical or organic product will very often work as well.
Unlike most rose diseases, which are fungal in nature, Rose Mosaic is caused by a virus. Symptoms generally resemble discolored mosaic patterns in either yellow or green.
The only treatment for Rose Mosaic is to remove the infected plant from the garden. Make sure that you also remove all leaves and clippings that fall from the affected plant.
If you are unable to stop the spread of fungus-based diseases by simply cutting back the affected areas, see you garden supply professional and ask about commercial fungus treatment products.
Protect your roses with these simple tips
Always water the soil around your rose and never water the plant itself.
Clean your rose and flower beds regularly and remove all clippings and fallen leaves.
Cut and remove any diseased canes or blooms and dispose of them in your trash can.
Practice regular pruning
and pay special attention to pruning out the center of the bushes to allow air to circulate.
Seal all cuts. Elmer's Glue works fine. It's safe, effective and inexpensive. Or try a Commercial Prune & Seal product which will very often contain a fungicide that will aid in protecting against fungal type infections.
Fertilize your roses regularly. Healthy, well-fed plants are better able to resist infection.
Use rubbing alcohol to regularly clean pruning shears. This will kill any fungus hiding on them and prevent the spread of the most common rose diseases.
Choose disease-resistant roses whenever possible, especially if you live in areas with high heat and humidity.
Remember that disease-resistant does not mean disease-free.
It simply means that there is a less likely chance of the plant becoming infected if you follow all of the tips that you read here.
Good Luck and Happy Gardening!
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