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I have grown roses for fifty years and have never had a year like this one! The poor roses are keeling over with blackspot - the whole shrub, not just the leaves - despite annual application of sprays and care in the clearance of affected leaves. I reckon I have lost a good two thirds of them already, and I live in a 'Rose Cottage', so it's a great pain!I am in my seventies and could not manage to  replace all the soil in order to plant new ones. Can anyone suggest some really resistant roses, if I could find new spaces for them?


I planted David Austin's new rose The Mayflower last year and have been very happy with it - it is a lovely deep pink, has a fantastic old-fashioned almost musk-rose perfume and is advertised as being 'totally resistent to black spot'.  It bloomed well last year and is covered with buds  at the moment 

Thank you! I love English roses. I'll look at their website.

Woodgreen wonderboy

 I live close to you and do not have this problem, yet! Which is no consolation to you of course. I did manage to spray mine very early as the buds were first showing. I note you spray as well, so was timing the difference, do you think? Good luck with your plantings. You could try Bonica 82, and Complicata, which is a big flowrerer



A deep mulch and general tidying of leaves as soon as they show signs is also recommended as a preventative measure once your garden is subjected to this disease.


Thank you for the suggestions. You are lucky, Woodgreen wonderboy! I know one or two others in the area who have decided to give up on roses entirely for the reason of blackspot. It could have been the timing of spraying - it was a little late this year as the weather conditions didn't  seem right. I usually mulch in the spring, Wintersong, but it has recently been suggested to me  that mulching should be done in the autumn to avoid trapping the fungus beneath in the spring. I'll try it this year.  I am wondering if the fungus spreads far from the affected plant - in other words, will I be able to plant in the spaces between those I have to remove?

On another matter -  three years ago one of my daughters gave me a Rosa banksiae lutescens which is growing very healthily in a sunny spot but shows no sign of flowering. Has anyone grown it?  

 NB so far it is unaffected!!


I've never seen blackspot on a r. banksiae - I believe they are quite resistant 

Good! I was wondering if it normally takes a few years to flower?

Woodgreen wonderboy

I vaguely remember that Banksia etc. is a bit shy to get started. Patience will no doubt be rewarded.


Yes, a bit slow to get started but once it gets going ......... 

i was advised at a garden centre to spray with copper in january, including the ground all around the roses.  apparently the spores are also windborne, so they are likely to be everywhere.  and then after pruning, the mulching, and a dressing of potassium to boost the immune system of the roses.  it seems to have worked quite well so far!  i was told not to use copper later in the year, better to spray with epsom salts - less damaging to the ecoflora. 

Oh, thank you. I'll try it, starting with the epsom Salts!


Blackspot is a result of clean air.  It was not nearly so prevalent when there was sulphur in the air from factories and the like.

so then blackspot is good!  


Gardening Grandma

I don't know if I am right about this, but it seems to me that species roses are much more resistant than hybrids. Also , really well-fed roses are more resistant to everything. Blaack spot is a curse here in Wales, and I'll remember the tip about copper and use it next year. I've been spraying with a systemic fungicide.


No blackspot is disfiguring and unsightly.  Many roses are prone to it.  In the past there was sulphur pollution in the air which kept it in check, especially in cities.  Now the air is cleaner it is prevalent.

I'm used to the fact that many of my roses would get blackspot on the leaves (agree, Welshonion), we previously live in wales) but I've never had the whole plant die back before - you can see the stems being affected one by one. I cut them off  but within a day or two another will start to go and complete die-back happens very quickly.  


I've looked on the RHS site, and nowhere does it mention copper or Epsom Salts as a treatment for blackspot.  Has there been wrong advice or misunderstanding?

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