The Q&A Archives: White Dust On New Growth Of Roses

Question: I noticed a moldy white dust on the new growth of my roses. I live in an area where it's generally hot, although I water only once a week. I use systemic and miracle grow several times during the summer and trim the bushes as needed. Am I doing something wrong?

Answer: Sounds like your rose bush has powdery mildew. It's late in the season so the best control is to cut out the infected plant parts and be sure to clean up any fallen leaves and blossoms. Next spring avoid the disease by making sure the rose bush gets plenty of sunshine and has enough space around it for good air circulation. There are a few fungicides on the market that you can use to stop powdery mildew if it becomes a problem again next year. The safest is one called 'Rose Defence'. It's a neem oil based product, biodegradable and is safe for insects, animals and humans. It's available through Gardener's Supply Company, 1-800-863-1700,

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