The Q&A Archives: Black spots on roses

Question: My wife has several rose bushes. They all have black spots on the leaves to some extent. One climber has had almost all of its leaves fall off and the stems are dying. I have tried taking all the affected leaves off and disguarding them but it just keeps coming back. Is there something that I can feed them or spray on them to solve this problem before all are dead?

Answer: Black spot is one of the most common diseases of roses. Fungicides will help control it, but you'll need to practice good garden sanitation (prune and remove the most obviously infected canes), and try to keep water off the leaves (hard to do in the Pacific Northwest!). Fungicides need to be applied every 7-14 days during the growing season. Some choices include Funginex, Daconil, Captan, Bravo. You'll find others in the garden section of your local Home Depot. I'm afraid black spot is just one of the challenges you'll face when growing roses, but the reward is worth the effort. I don't think there's anything quite as lovely as a garden filled with roses!

Best wishes with your roses.

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