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We bought and planted six David Austin Roses in February this year and planted them in our garden. At first everything went well, with the plants growing and seemingly establishing. However, the leaves on four of them have now turned blacky brown and the plants look awful. We've fed and watered them regularly, and we enriched the ground before planting them. We have good drainage and there is no root rock. Any suggestions other than digging them out and burning them?
could be fungal issue? I had rust and some back spot via some DA Roses. Rose Clear seemed to sort it once the infected leaves where removed. I'm not an expert on roses but presume once they go deciduous most of the fungal spores go with the disposed of leaves?
Did the blackness begin as spots that then merged together? If so, it's a fungus called blackspot. It exists in the soil and gets splashed onto the leaves in the rain. It's a natural thing to happen and can be mild or very bad according to the rose variety.
You certainly don't need to dig up the roses. Every rose gets it to some extent just some fight it off more successfully than others. There are lots of sprays for sale to deal with it but now isn't the time really as the leaves will be falling in the autumn. Pick off the bad ones and burn them or bin them.
Next spring pay close attention to them and when you see black spots appearing treat them with the spray.
Excellent advice from waterbutts. Additionally, you should be meticulous about clearing the fallen leaves from beneath the bushes and always burn or bin them - don't put them on the compost heap. Each Spring, put down a fresh layer of compost or manure under the bushes which will both feed them and cover any fungal spores which will be on the surface of the soil.
If you plant any more roses in the future, it would be wise to look for blackspot resistant varieties now that you know your area is susceptible to the disease.
Thanks to all. I've seen blackspot before but this literally looks like the whole plant has been infected with something and gone completely discoloured. We were warned that roses don't do well here in Somerset before we planted them, but decided we love roses enough to have a go. However, I will attend to the plants and see what happens.
Why not send an email to David Austin customer services to ask for their advice, it may be something that is known to that certain rose and they may give you advice.
An excellent idea.