Watch out for the first signs of blackspot on roses as this irritating fungal disease begins to show up about now. The first thing you’ll notice are purple-black blotches on the foliage of roses, eventually spreading to join together and turn the whole leaf black. Infected leaves soon yellow and fall, so the rose may well be seriously weakened, especially if the infection is allowed to take hold for several years in succession.
Care for your roses
Try to pick off any leaves infected early in the year as soon as you see them – this will considerably slow the spread of the disease. If the spots start to really spread, you can consider spraying: drop into the garden centre here in Poynings and our staff will be happy to advise on the right spray to choose and how to apply it.
As infected leaves fall, clear them up and dispose of them carefully – in the green waste or on the bonfire is ideal. This will prevent the fungal spores overwintering on fallen leaves to reinfect your plants next year. And keep your roses growing strongly so they have a better chance of shrugging off infection: a good specialist rose fertiliser, available from the garden centre, will help boost the plant’s vigour.