The Q&A Archives: Rosebuds Turn Brown

Question: Lsat year, we planted a pretty red rose bush. It has done well and grown a lot. However, this year all the buds die before opening. The bush is full of buds and some of them are quite large. About the time the buds start to loosen up and look like they're going to open, the petal edges turn brown and don't open any further. I can find no evidence of insects and other rose bushes in our yard don't have this problem. Thank you for your help.

Answer: Your plant has the symptoms of a fungal disease called Botrytis. (Botrytis cinerea) This disease prevents the blooms from opening; buds turn brown and decay. Sometimes partially opened flowers are attacked and individual petals turn brown and shrivel. The fungus is always present in rainy seasons when the old blooms are not removed. Be sure to prune away any infected buds to halt the spread. It will also help to remove spent flowers on a regular basis. Fungicides will help control Botrytis. Apply according to label directions - weekly applications may be required during wet springs.

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