The Q&A Archives: Holes In Rose Leaves

Question: Each year my Carefree Beauty Roses get many holes in their leaves. They flower well despite the holes. What causes them and how can they be treated?

Answer: Holes in leaves can be caused by the leaves rubbing against the thorns when it's windy, or by disease, or by insect activity. Sometimes insects chew on the leaf buds while they're still tightly closed. When the leaves unfurl, they're full of holes. Or little worms can chew holes in leaves and then crawl down the soil to pupate. Inspect both sides of the leaves of your plant. If you find caterpillars, you can pick them off and destroy them. On the other hand, sometimes a bacterial or fungal disease will cause small round dots in leaves. If the plant can overcome the infection, the dead part can fall out of the leaf, leaving a hole. If your roses are otherwise healthy, I'd just overlook the holes in the leaves and concentrate on the beauty of the flowers.

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