What’s Wrong with My Rose Leaves Now?!

Earlier this month I did a post on the rose sawfly larva chomping on the backs of my rose leaves (and this year they were so bad they were chomping on the tops of the leaves, and the stems and even the buds–but I digress!).

I had photos of the leaves looking a little like stained glass windows–without the pretty colors.  If you think that sounds more like the problem you’re having with your leaves, you can jump over to that post here: http://wp.me/pOm4T-1gV

Now there’s this: this is a whole separate problem.  Usually most of my roses don’t have this problem, and so far this year, only my yellow rose,’ Charlotte’ is showing signs of this fungus called black spot.

What am I going to do?  Nothing. Remember my Black-eyed Susan post where I said that fungicides only control a problem they don’t cure it?  So what’s the point? These leaves will drop off.  I will clean them up.  That’s the extent of my intervention.

I also won’t water overhead, keeping water off the leaves–but I can’t give that advice to nature, who is causing this problem to begin with. Once we get into our hot dry days of July, this problem will self-correct.

By the way, most folks do seem to love yellow roses and I’m included in that “most folks” category.  However, yellow roses are genetically the weakest rose.  The bloom the least and are the most prone to every pest and disease out there.  Therefore, if you truly want to have an easy care rose garden, select your yellow roses very carefully.  This rose is a David Austin™ rose.  And while they are very hardy for me, they are not generally known for their disease or insect resistance.

The other thing that I obviously haven’t done is given my roses enough space.  Roses are supposed to have 2′ around them for good are circulation.  My poor roses are lucky if they have 2″ around them in spots.  For the roses with “good genes,” this doesn’t matter.  For those with less robust genes like poor ‘Charlotte” here, she’s going to catch every fungal spore that blows by.

And then, because she’s already weakened, the few Japanese beetles that I do have seem to find her the tastiest too.  Isn’t it interesting that the insects know the plant that’s already in a weakened condition?

There are “easy care” yellow roses but unless ‘Charlotte’ gets plowed under in a snowstorm or something, I won’t pull her out.  She has sentimental value for me, even though she might be the wrong plant in the wrong place at this point.  The original 4 David Austins in this garden were the last things I planted with my dad before he passed away in 1999.

So unless something happens to one of them, they will stay there, even though they are not native, and even though insects seem to like them more than they should and they require more work than most other parts of my yard at this point.  Because gardening connections to people you love who are no longer with you can’t be explained–and sometimes they are worth all the work.  After all, they are beautiful too!

3 thoughts on “What’s Wrong with My Rose Leaves Now?!

  1. Casa Mariposa June 25, 2012 / 12:12 am

    If your rose is getting too much shade, that could also be a contributor. Because of our warm winter, a lot of places are dealing with black spot problems. It wasn’t cold enough to kill enough spores to keep it in check.

    • gardendaze June 25, 2012 / 2:13 pm

      Thanks for the thought, but these are in full blazing sun–the only sun I have. Thanks for reading!


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