Natural Remedies for
Rose Diseases: Mildew, Rust, Black Spot, Canker
will suffer from black
spot from time to time, as well as from thrips, aphids, mealy bugs, and
other rose-eating bests like the chafer
beetle and the red
spider mite. Control these insects by either using
predatory insects, such as lady
bugs, or you can use natural
pesticides and insecticides. White oil is also very
good in getting rid of rose scale.
Rose Diseases: Black Spot
spot is one of the 4 major fungal diseases attacking roses.
It is easily
recognizable by yellowing leaves with large black spots on
Sometimes even new leaves
emerge that are affected. Because black spot
causes the roses to lose its leaves, the plant soon becomes weak if it
goes unchecked. The ultimate result is that your rose plant will die.
The situation is made worse when humid weather is around and you have a
order to get rid of the black spot you need to reduce the humidity
factor of your growing roses, and you do this by making
sure that when
you plant them out initially they are not over crowded and try not to
underplant too closely with annuals and other small plants.
that your roses have full sun and do not water them in the late
afternoon so that the leaves remain wet for a long time. Also avoid
watering your roses overhead during the summer heat.
When the leaves are wet these damp conditions help spread the fungal
is also important for controlling black spot. So rake up
any fallen leaves and remove any prunings from the area. When
pruning, prune off all old
foliage as the spores reside on the dead leaves over winter
If you see any
black spot on your roses remove them and burn them. Do
not put these
into your compost heap.
Roses are heavy feeders so
give them regular doses of fertilizer every 6 weeks throughout the
growing season. This keeps them healthy and therefore makes them
resistant to black spot, as well as other rose diseases. Not only that,
but roses that
are well fed and given compost dressings often will out
Also mulch your growing
roses well. A mulch of lucerne hay and cow
manure is an excellent mulch. Do
this every spring, or late winter. Mulching your roses will prevent the
spores from splashing up on to your plants.
Spraying the leaves with a
foliar feed is also beneficial. Liquid seaweed fertilizer
increases rose health and again helps them resist disease.
Finally add some
wood ash to your soil in winter and dig in
lightly around your rose plants as black spot often occurs when there
is a shortage of potash in the soil.
In the end, none of the
above will prevent black spot for occuring, but it will help to reduce
and Organic Control for Black Spot on your Roses
you need to spray
foliage for black spot use an organic spray. We use a strong
week during the hot summer months and sometimes beyond.
using 1 part
nettles to 1 part chamomile flowers. Let it steep in a bucket of
boiling water for 10 days.
When you want to use it
add 1 teaspoon
baking soda for every 2 liters of spray. Or you can use baking
spray on its own, using 1 dessertspoon of baking soda to 1
Another excellent solution to use is cider vinegar in
. Now, some of you may want to question this, as
black spot usually grows where a near neutral pH situation occurs. This
is why any alterations to the pH will work. I can tell you
that this also works like a dream. I use it when I don't have my
Cider Vinegar Recipe
for Black Spot
Mix 3 tablespoons of cider vinegar (I always buy Braggs as it has the
mother culture) to 5 quarts ( 5 liters) of water. Add 1 teaspoon of
vegetable oil and a good squirt of soft soap to make sure that your
organic spray sticks to the leaves. Spray on plant early
morning or evening to prevent leaf burn. Reapply as necessary, and
always after it has rained, once the leaves are dry.
Rose Diseases: Mosaic Disease
If you notice that
your roses have yellow, mottled leaves
even though you
regularly and they have been treated for black spot in the past, your
roses are showing symptoms of rose
This is a virus that
enters the rose bush when it was grafted. It isn't a serious condition,
and your roses should bloom normally, so you don't have to treat it at
However, you should avoid contamination of other roses. So
when you use your sacateurs on this rose bush make sure that you
disinfect them before using it on others. If you find that
bush has been horribly disfigured and marked by the mosaic disease it
will then best to dig it up and replace it.
Rose Diseases: Mildew
will notice rose
mildew, a very common rose disease, by powdery mould on the young rose
leaves and later on the stems.
Usually, if your roses are going to get mildew it will happen twice a
Firstly, when it is the initial growing season where the mildew
is fairly mild when it does strike.
Then later in the full swing of
summer when the second attack is very strong. Here not just the leaves
affected, as in the first round of mildew, but this time the stems are
affected as well.
The second attack will take place in the hottest months of summer. If
left untreated, the mildew will continue through to the fall where
white cottony tufts occur on your rose bushes which carry the winter
A natural remedy for rose mildew again is using the stinging nettle-chamomile spray
as per the above instructions.
soda is also a good natural fungicide
for treating mildew on
roses as well as other plants.
However, an equally good homemade remedy for mildew is
. Dilute 1 part milk in 7 parts water and
spray on your roses. Apply again if it rains, but wait for
the leaves to dry first. Apply again, when necessary.
Some roses are more prone to rose mildew than others. Tea roses, China
roses and Wichuraianas roses are relatively free from this disease.
Rose Diseases: False Rose Mildew
Thankfully, this is not a common rose disease, as when it hits your
roses, they will virtually curl up their toes and die overnight.
It is also known as Black Mildew.
shoots become limp and die back, new leaves drop from the stems at the
least touch. Fungal patches of brown-yellow appear on the front of the
leaves, and sometimes there is even a white mould on the back of the
Spray your roses with a Bordeaux mixture as soon as you see this fungus
appearing. You will probably lose young stock, but if caught early you
may be lucky to save older rose plants from the disease.
Rose Diseases: Rose Rust
Now rust is a common rose disease
appearing towards the end of summer, beginning of fall.
Deep orange rust like patches first appear on the stems, and then move
onto the leaves. In the fall the winter spores are produced.
Now instead of the orange-rust patches, black spots are scattered on
the underside of the leaves.
These fungal spores will lie dormant during the winter, and if they
find the right conditions, they will infect the stems of the roses to
produce those tell-tale bright orange-rust patches during the summer.
To try and prevent this disease from spreading, remove any of the rust
infected leaves and burn them. Do not add them to your compost heaps.
When spring comes spray your roses with a Bordeaux mixture to prevent
the rust from appearing later on. Again, baking soda in water will do
the trick as well.
If you find that during those summer months your rose stems are
affected with rust, cut those out too, and burn them. If you find that
you cannot cut out certain stems, as it would spoil the look of the
plant, then rub them down with some cotton wool dipped in methylated
Rose Diseases: Parasitic Canker
This type of rose disease can be found on older roses, especially 2 - 3
year old wood, normally at the base of the plant where the wood has
swollen and cankered patches. It may be so bad that the affected area
may even split right open and you can see traces of the fungus
orginating from there.
Often these affected areas are from where prior pruning has taken
place. The fungus spores having entered the areas where
damage has been done to the stems.
This is why it is so important that one prunes roses properly, and
treats the cut ends correctly afterwards. Using methylated spirits is
one way of protecting your roses from any fungal spores that might be
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