Rose black spot is caused by the fungus Diplocarpon rosae, which gradually weakens the plant and produces fewer and fewer flowers if the disease is not stopped. This weakens the rose bush, and if the black spots on the rose spread, the plant will fall off and eventually die.
Since black spot causes roses to drop leaves, there are fewer leaves left to generate energy for the entire plant. Affected leaves often fall off the plant, and if left unchecked, the entire plant can lose foliage. When you leave affected branches around, any spores that may be present on the leaves will multiply rapidly, spreading the infection, as the leaves are easily swept away.
Remove any infected leaves immediately to prevent the spores from spreading to the rest of the bush. Dispose of infected leaves and sticks – do not compost them as the spores can re-infect plants. Remove infected leaves during the dry season to slow the spread of the disease. To minimize overwintering of the fungus, gather and remove all leaves from the soil in the fall, mulch with 2-3 inches of leaf mold or fine bark, and prune diseased shoots before growth begins in the spring.
Existing spores hibernate on infected leaves and stems, waiting for favorable conditions. Spores can overwinter in fallen leaves and infected reeds. Remember, spores are spread by splashing from the soil to the leaves, never watering from above.
The fallen leaves around the base of the plant then act as a reservoir for fungal spores that re-infect the plant during subsequent rainfall. Fruit structures or spots produce spores that go on to infect other parts of the plant, new shoots, or other roses in the garden. Infected leaves will eventually fall off the plant completely, leaving your rose weak, stressed, and fragile.
Some fungal diseases are carried by the wind, but the spores behind the black spots move with the help of water. Black spot doesn’t completely kill infected roses, but repeated defoliation can weaken them, so they produce fewer flowers and are generally less healthy.
The fungus doesn’t kill the plant right away, but over time, leaf loss can weaken the plant, making it more susceptible to other winter stresses and damage. Infected plants produce fewer flower buds and no leaves, the plants are stressed and prone to more problems. Black spot survives in adverse winter conditions on plant debris (fallen leaves) or affected reeds until spring when they produce spores and rains disperse them.
Once the infected leaves and stems have been removed, treat the roses with a fungicide. Spray roses with fungicide regularly during the growing season. Remove infected stems during dormancy and remove fallen rose leaves and stems from rose plants.
Remove and discard any remaining leaves when pruning dormant roses in late winter/early spring. Rake and clean around roses regularly and discard fallen leaves. After harvesting in the cold, apply fresh mulch to prevent any remaining spores from getting on the roses.
Plant roses in a location that receives morning sunlight, which helps dry out the moisture in the leaves. Avoid planting roses in locations that will not receive at least 6-8 hours of full sun. You can limit the spread of the fungus by planting roses where they receive morning sun, or preferably throughout the day.
Ensure good air circulation and prevent the black spot from spreading to neighboring plants by not planting too thickly and by planting roses in full sun. Do not plant in dense stands and avoid windbreaks to ensure good air circulation.
Make sure you trim your roses regularly, including Knockout roses, to leave enough space between shoots for good air circulation. Trim to open the gaps between the stems if the plant is getting too thick and air can’t get through. Thinning rose bushes during pruning and pruning will help air pass through the bush, which will also help prevent black spot on roses and other fungal disease outbreaks.
These strains are found locally, so roses known to be resistant to black spots in your local garden may be best planted in your garden for disease resistance. Other roses are resistant or tolerant to black spots and do not require regular spraying; although they occasionally develop blackheads, they recover on their own (especially landscape roses like Knock Out, Drift, and Belindas Dream). Because of the presence of dark spots wherever roses are grown, prevention and early intervention are essential to keep roses healthy, productive and beautiful.
Unless you’re dealing with a highly effective agent like Daconil® fungicide, black spots can move into your garden and not stop at roses. Left untreated, black spotting (black spotting) will leave your rose garden not only bare but visibly weakened and unprepared for the coming winter. A fungal disease known as black spot is found everywhere roses grow in America, this disease compromises the health, longevity, and beauty of roses, but you can get around its threat with effective black spot control.
By treating every 7-14 days or until conditions no longer favor black spot roses, new unfolded leaves will be protected from the start. If the black dot is already active on roses, act quickly to check and stop it from progressing. In early spring, when the leaf buds on the rose bushes start to push out their leaves, I spray all the rose bushes with a black spot fungicide called Banner Maxx or a product called Honor Guard (a common form of Banner Maxx).