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It has been a mild Winter so far and my roses have sprouted a bit if new leaf growth, however some are showing signs of black spot. The roses were chosen to be good or reasonably good disease resistant varieties, but like many others mine were also affected to some degree last year. I was careful to remove and destroy all the old infected leaves last year and I have done so again now. I intend to dig in some manure and good compost in the Spring to help good growth. My question is - would it be advisable to spray with a fungicide treatment now, even though it is Winter?
The weather has been so wet, and mild any fungus infection will persist at the moment.
I personally think it can't hurt, just try to pick a dry few days, and keep the bed tidy around the roses, you've done the important stuff, just burn the infected leaves and pray for a decent cold spell.
Remove the offending leaf stalk. Watch for signs of reoffending. If need be, more into the growing season. Then Yes. A light spray might be well worth it. Take into account. Perhaps your roses have not yet been cut back. Give it some thought. The offending shoots etc might well be in the area of cutting off in any case.
Thank you everyone. We are due rain, again, but Sunday looks to be fairly decent so I will plan to give a quick spray early on. I think it would be a good idea to give a good prune back in Spring to try to tackle the worst shoots. The roses are now in their third growing season after planting as bare root roses, so they are just really establishing now. It is a shame to have to cut back too much on the climbers but my mind is saying that it may do them good and give them a boost.
I have just bought a new rose to add to our collection. The Wedgewood Rose climbing, a soft pale pink and the write up says exceptionally healthy - that clinched it! Roll on Summer!
Cutting back, pruning etc, always seems to terrify people. Depending upon the type of rose you are dealing with. To prune back HT's for instance to within about six inches, is a good idea. Especially for fairly young plants. It will allow new growth to start low down. Over time you can cut back allowing greater length. Always keep in mind your idea of a well balanced plant.
Spraying. I think most of us will agree. To spray during the present 'Monsson' season is just throwing money down the drain. Let the leaves dry out for a couple of days, then spray.