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Fixing Diseased and Problem Roses

January 23, 2009

Disease prevention techniques will help to guard against some rose diseases and problems, but there still may be one that affects them. When this happens, it will be up to you to fix the problem. The roses will need some extra care during this time, and they may need some specialized supplies.

Aphids are a common problem in gardens. They can affect just about any plant in the garden, and they may spread from another plant to your roses. If this occurs, wash your rose plants, and any other affected plants, with a solution of soapy water. This will wash away the aphids by making the plant slippery. This makes it difficult for the aphids to stay on the plant and will save your roses from being dried out by the tiny bugs.

Fungal diseases take many forms, one of which is the dreaded black spots. These spots may be black or dark brown, but whatever their color they are unsightly. Fortunately, it’s simple to get rid of this fungus. Just take your pruners and cut away the infected portion of the plant. Make sure that you discard the affected portions rather than allowing them to lie in the flower bed and possibly spread back to the plant.

Another type of fungal disease that affects roses is called a canker. These will infect the roses and turn the canes brown or black. If this occurs with your roses, cut away the affected part of the plant. Be sure to cut below the area where the canker is located. If you leave any of it on the cane it may continue to spread across the plant.

If you ever come across a strange, orange powder that comes from the middle of a rose, this is a disease called rust. It is often caused when the weather in the winter is calm and very wet. The typical cure for this disease is to place a few spider mites into the rose and then to use an insecticide to kill the spider mites once the disease has abated. Just about any type of garden insecticide will kill spider mites. If you are growing organic roses, there are organic insecticides that will work as well.

If you have buds that are turning black, you likely have a midge. The term midge is perhaps a nicer term than what is really affecting your roses- maggots that are affecting your roses. If you have a midge, prune away the affected part of the plant and discard it immediately. It should be placed into a plastic bag that can be sealed, or placed into an outdoor trashcan with a tight lid.

If you have a powdery substance plaguing your roses, you likely have powder mildew. This can be fixed by spraying the roses with a simple mixture that can be made at home. Mix together one part Murphy’s Oil Soap with two parts baking soda and spray it on your plants once every two weeks. Spraying it in the morning will be the most effective method. Once the temperature in the area reaches at least 80 degrees, you will not have to continue spraying the mixture.

Another way to treat a plant fungus is to use a solution of soap and baking soda. To make this treatment, mix one quart of water with one tablespoon of baking soda. Add just a couple of drops of any type of liquid dishwashing soap and stir the mixture. Use this to spray down fungus-affected areas. This solution will also work to get rid of some of the insects that can infest roses.

If the soapy water spray isn’t effective, try a skim milk solution. This is made by diluting skim milk with one part skim milk and nine parts water. Only skim milk will work in this solution. Milk that contains fat will not be affective and may actually cause more problems to develop in the roses as well as the other plants around them.

This post is a part of 17 posts about Rose Gardening. If you want to start at the beginning you can click on Caring for Roses

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