The Q&A Archives: Black spot on rose plants

Question: I live in southwest Florida. I'm trying to grow roses for the first time. I know I am in an area that makes roses very susceptible to black spot(?). Is there a specific product that will nip this problem in the bud (pardon the pun)? I do use a soaker hose to water when neccesary. Thank you in advance.

Answer: A fungus causes black spot on roses. Some cultural practices may be helpful in controlling it. These include planting varieties resistant to the disease, ensuring your plants are in a location with good air circulation, and avoiding wetting the leaves when watering. Clean up and destroy any infected leaves, especially in the fall to minimize reinfection from year to year. A clean layer of organic mulch (such as shredded bark or chopped leaves) applied before the plants leaf out in spring should also help prevent infection. The mulch helps keep fungal spores from splashing up onto the plant and the new foliage. Neem oil may also be helpful. Neem controls aphids and mites on roses, and also will control powdery mildew and black spot. Be sure to read and follow the label instructions. Rose Defense is one product but there are other brands available. Best wishes with your roses!

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