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Joined: Tue Jun 01, 2010 11:50 am
Location: Peoria, IL

Newbie with sick rose bushes

Hello. My girlfriend and I bought a house in central IL last fall. The landscaping was in mediocre condition, and this spring and early summer we've been working hard to get it up to snuff. Most of the plants are doing really well, except for the rose bushes.

Initially, one bush seemed to be sick and the problem has since started appearing on the other rose bushes. The other plants we have are not showing these effects.

a little background:

I have no idea what species of roses these are. The first one to be sick was in almost full sun (probably about 80% of the day it gets sun until the evening). The other ones are in partial shade (probably get about 2 hours of direct sun in the morning). They started blooming before showing any signs of trouble. The first plant to be infected has not bloomed at all.

I did not fertilize at all this year. I have not treated the plants with any kind of insecticide. I did use an herbicide on my lawn in the spring, but did so on a windless day and with great care to not allow any to drift onto any of the other plants. It was a crabgrass, clover, and dandelion killer. I used it in late March.

The infection starts the same way; small light colored, irregularly shaped splotches appear on the leafs, and expand to become holes. By the time some of the leafs are done they look as though they were chewed up pretty good.

I have looked and looked and have not seen any bugs on the plants. I have not checked at night (perhaps some pests are nocturnal?). The roses have no vines or weeds growing on or next to them.

there are approximately 8 rose bushes in the back yard and of them, 4 have shown signs of this problem. One is so badly infected I'm afraid it may die. any help will be much appreciated. Here are pictures:

close up of damaged leaves

shows the scraggly growth

newly infected plant

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Posts: 19
Joined: Wed Apr 28, 2010 2:14 am
Location: Renton, WA

I'm a noob too but since you haven't got a reply yet, I might as well try..
I just moved too and my roses (also in a sunny spot) were looking sort of like that as well. (there was some dark/brown color around the holes too) My mom told me to prune off all the worst branches and put mulch around the bottom. I pruned off every bad branch right down to the ground, then I weeded around them, put mulch (just the needles and other droppings from under an evergreen tree) all around on top of the soil (apparently the roses weren't getting enough water, and it holds the moisture in better) and gave them some water with liquid plant food in it. So far the leaves seem to be recovering, a lot of them look more solid and green than they used to.

I don't know if it's an infection or what, but if it is, I guess the extra care is helping the roses fight it off.

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