Disease On Roses

by Neil Dickinson
(San Antonio, TX 78258)

YOUR ROSE QUESTION: I have a rose bed that is about 4 by 25 ft.
There are eight different roses in it, several varieties including double knockouts to larger blossom types in various colors.

A second bed is four feet away across a walkway.
All my roses seem to be suffering badly.

The beds are kept watered and sprayed with Bayer rose and veg spray. The problems are twofold. One, the leaves on the new growth (after pruning)
is sparsely leaved and the leaves are small and curled and sickly looking.

The buds exibit a rotten brown edged affect and when open are poor, rotten quality.

I was advised that I needed to spray a pepper/garlic mixture on them. No cure!

I keep pruning them back but the new growth is still the same.

I live in San Antonio where it rarely freezes and the days are hot.

I water with a soaker hose daily for about 10 minutes and the lawn sprinkling system once a week for 15 minutes morning and evening

Hello Neil,
First let me say that you are watering your roses too little.
Watering daily for 10 minutes with soaker hoses will not deep water your roses at all.
The soaker hoses need to be on for several hours at a time in your hot region.
That's a big reason why your roses are sickly for sure.
Your rose flowers with brown edges and not opening properly, sound to me as "rose balling".

There is no cure for rose balling unfortunately. Just remove the bad blooms, but you might have to get rid of the plant eventually.
You mention that you keep pruning the foliage. You should only prune off diseased wood, not new foliage.
When roses loose a lot of leaves, they loose energy and start to suffer.
Spraying with pepper spray won't help much if any.
Start to deep water your roses regularly and spray with Neem oil.
Many rose varieties don't do well in hot climate zones.
I recommend that you contact your San Antonio Rose Society for help with rose selections and treating your roses.
Here is my page about growing roses in texas.

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