Thursday, January 26, 2012

Rose School- Care of your Rose

As we finish up Rose School, we explore what pests and diseases could 'bug' your rose (LOL).

PESTS: The most prevalent rose pests are aphids, spider mites and thrips. Spring is prime aphid time.Spider mites are hot weather pests, capable of severe damage, especially to under-watered plants.They work on leaves undersides, stripping leaves and giving them a silvery cast. In severe cases the leaves fall off. Mites can also sap growth to the point that flower production stops. Thrips do their damage inside rose buds, making brown streaks on petals, browning petals completely or turning the entire bud brown.

SOLUTIONS: Contact or systematic insecticides can be used, but we prefer ladybugs or praying mantis. These can be purchased at your local nursery.We love watching those brave and clever ladybugs gobble up those aphids!

DISEASES: Mildew, rust and black spot are the big 3 of rose foliage diseases. Mildew is a gray to white furry coating on leaves. Loves high humidity but needs dry leaves to grow on. Poor air circulation, such as crowded plants encourages mildew to grow.Rust usually appears first in late spring as bright orange spots underneath leaves.In severe cases, entire leaf may be covered with orange powder and leaves may fall off. May be spread easily and needs damp leaves to grow. Black spot is the most devastating of the three.It needs water to spread and overhead watering will spread it if the disease is present.

SOLUTIONS: For all three, the first thing to do is thoroughly clean up all dead leaves and debris from last season; Then before new growth begins, spray plants and soil with dormant season spray of oil or lime sulfur. This will destroy any leftover diseases that are lurking from last year waiting to reinfect; it will also get rid of insect eggs.
Ladybug, Ladybug, fly away home...

Well, that completes Rose School! Tomorrow we will explore the garden with some new photos to share!

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