The Q&A Archives: Rose Petals Turn Brown

Question: I have a climbing rose bush that is approximately 35 years old. For the past two years, the buds have had brown tips. As the flowers open, all the petals have had the same brown tips. The leaves appear fine. What is causing this and what can I do?

Answer: It sounds like Botrytis blight, a fungal disease. When it becomes fully established, some buds will not open at all. The best course of action is to remove all affected buds and regularly remove spent flowers. (Old blooms can harbor the disease.) Fungicide applications will protect the canes and newly developing buds from Botrytis. Be sure to apply according to label directions.

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