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Question

Charlie from Alabama Asks
I have some rose bushes in the flower bed that have looked really healthy this year. Within the past few days though I have noticed some large drak brownish colored spots showing up on the otherwise healthy dark green leaves. I have no idea what this is but we have had a lot of rain the past month. Is this anything to be concerned about? If so what can I do about it? I live in northeast Alabama if that helps at all.
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Answer

Dianne from Texas Replies
Brown or Black spots are a sign of fungus due to humidity. I too have to deal with that every Spring Here in Texas; the leaves get wet and stay wet throughout the day creating a fungus.

Here is what I do:
• Cut off all the infected leaves place in a bag and throw away; DO NOT let any linger on the ground as the spores will still be active and will infect more leaves so make sure all are removed even on the ground.
• You can get a spray called Rose Defense by Greenlight and spray only early in the morning before the sun shines on the rose's in the heat of the day, otherwise the heat of the sun will "burn" the remaining leaves with the rose defense on it.
• You can also Buy Neem Oil Concentrate and use it in a spray bottle. Both are found at your local nursery; Rose Defense can be found at Home Depot and Maybe Lowe's.

Wheather you choose Rose Defense or Neem Oil Concentrate, you will have to be used repeatedly twice a week until there are no signs of a reoccurring fungus.

As a precautionary measure I always spray them Once a week Until the rainy season is over. I also "thin" the roses (cutting out crossing branches in the middle of the rose bushes) to allow for more air circulation.

I know it's disappointing to have to remove all the spotted, yellowing leaves (and possibly removing a branch or two), but it must be done to restore it's health.

The bad thing about rains and humidity with roses (especially if you have a tree in close proximity) is that the leaves on the tree has rain drops on them that in turn drip on the roses during the day even when the rain has stopped, creating possible fungus.
Posted on May 13th, 2014
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