The Q&A Archives: Roses

Question: i have noticed over the past week that my rose bush has developed a yellowing of some of the leaves. what is this and how do i get my rose looking helathy again?

Answer: Roses often develop yellowing leaves throughout the growing season. These are the oldest, lowest leaves and are usually replaced with healthy new leaves. However, yellowing leaves can also indicate the beginnings of a disease called black spot so you will want to carefully inspect the leaves and stems of your rose bush. The symptoms of black spot begin with circular black spots, frequently with fringed margins. Yellowing and defoliation are common in susceptible cultivars. In wet weather, spots may become very severe and run together, making large irregular spots. Control practices include avoiding dense plantings (good air circulation all around the plant is important). Avoid overhead watering. Rake up and remove all leaves at the end of the season. You can try removing the yellowing leaves as soon as you notice them, but I suspect the canes might also be infected. A copper-based fungicide should stop the disease in its tracks. If you routinely use a preventative spray in May and June, your rose should not develop black spot in July. Try putting your rose on a regularly scheduled spray schedule. If it still develops black spot, regardless of treatment, you might consider replacing it with a more resistant cultivar. Best wishes with your roses.

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