This week in the rose garden I discovered some black spot on the leaves of a couple of the rose plants. Part of rose care is managing rose diseases as soon as they appear on the plant. We’ve just had 3 days of rain here so there’s a lot of humidity in the air. The perfect condition for black spot to make its appearance. Black spot is the scourge of rose gardeners who grow roses in humid coastal climates like Sydney. So I sprayed all the roses in the garden with a fungicide that controls this rose disease.
This is a treatment that I’ll have to continue doing once a fortnight now, right through Spring, Summer and Autumn if I don’t want the roses to lose half their leaves due to black spot.
I also pulled the affected leaves off the rose plants. Good garden hygiene is an important part of rose care especially once the conditions for black spot occur, so I picked up any leaves that had fallen on the ground, so that black spot spores won’t get splashed up on the plant next time it rains.
There’s been a bounty of roses on the plants this last week so there was plenty of deadheading to do. I usually make the cut about 4 – 5 leaves down from the spent rose flower. You don’t want to just snip the flower and the first couple of leaves off as the remaining shoot won’t be thick enough to support the new growth. About 4 – 5 leaflets down the stem seems to be the best place to make the cut – about as long as you’d cut when picking roses for a vase. Always make the cut at an angle just above a bud so water can run off the cut.