Black spot on roses
Debra Meschke wrote, asking for advice on controlling black spot on roses.
I did a bit of research, and here are a few tips for fighting this pesky fungus.
First, water the roses only from below. Try not to get the foliage wet when you water. Water in early morning so the plant can dry during the day.
Rake up fallen leaves that have fallen as any fungal disease is transmitted by water splashing back up onto the leaves and stem. Remove any diseased leaves from the plant itself, and cut away any areas that are already infected.
Dust roses with sulfur powder or spray with a wettable sulfur and a soap containing a fungicide. This won't kill the spores, but it will prevent new spores from germinating.
Finally, use dormant oil on the plant when it is dormant (usually in winter).
Because the fungus spreads in dark, moist places, make sure your rosebush has plenty of sun.
Prune the rosebush as much as possible. The denser the bush is, the more likely the black spot will spread.
Also, I read the following idea recently and a friend said it worked for her: Spray a solution of 1 teaspoon baking soda mixed with 1 quart warm water in the early morning.
Hope this helps!
Meanwhile, there's a new rose from Proven Winners called "Home Run" that is touted as the "most disease resistant rose on the market today" and is available in red and pink. They are said to be black spot-free roses, and are resistant to powdery mildew, as well. Worth a try!
Reach Sara Busse at sara.bu...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-1249.