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Preventing Common Rose Diseases

January 19, 2009

Like many garden plants, roses can become infected with plant diseases. These come in several different varieties, and some types of roses are more susceptible than others. Preventing rose diseases is easier than trying to treat them later, so prevention is an important part of the care of roses.

If you have little time for treating rose diseases or you simply want an a rose garden that is easier to take care of, try planting landscape roses or shrub roses. These are less susceptible to rose diseases than other rose types. Whichever type of roses you plant, make sure the area has the proper drainage. If you see water sitting above the soil after a rain, the drainage is probably poor. This can lead to fungi and other rose diseases that can harm your plants. If this is occurring, the roses may need to be transplanted elsewhere.

Mulch is often layered over the soil to hold moisture in, but mulch is also a method of keeping plant disease at bay. There are a number of soil-borne plant diseases that can strike roses if the soil is left uncovered. With a layer of mulch over the soil, there is a layer of protection between those diseases and your roses. And, as mentioned before, avoid watering the plant directly. Direct the water to the soil in order to prevent fungal diseases from striking your rose plants.

The ecosystem that your roses enjoy should be a diverse place that houses different types of plants. This keeps the soil from being depleted by too many of the same type of plants growing in it. With a more diverse garden, the soil can maintain a better balance and the roses will have a better chance of resisting disease. But, even with plant diversity, you will still need to fertilize your roses regularly.

Planting roses in soil that has the right pH level is a deterrent to disease. Soil pH testing kits are generally available in online retailers that sell gardening items. If the soil is found to be lower than a pH level of 5.8, add a little limestone to the soil. If it is higher than about 6.2, add in a small amount of sulfur.

When watering, a hose can cause too much water to pool at the base of the plant. If this water stands for more than a few minutes, fungi may be encouraged to grow. To combat this, use a drip irrigation system. These supply a slower, but steady, stream of water to your roses without subjecting them to the risk of fungal disease.

When you undertake your weekly maintenance of your roses, always take the time to inspect the leaves. This will alert you to any problems early, before they get out of hand. If your roses have any type of disease, catching it early means saving parts of your plants that you may have otherwise had to remove for the health of the plant. If your leaves have dark spots, tiny bugs or any fungi, cut them off immediately to prevent the spread of the illness or parasite.

Once the Fall has come and there are leaves on the ground, there will be new opportunities for disease to move in. Pick up fallen leaves from around your roses. This will keep disease from spreading from moldy leaves. If the leaves are around the canes of the rose plants, it can trap moisture around the canes and encourage fungal growth in the plant.

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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