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I'm looking to grow a couple of disease resistant roses, could be patio roses/shrub roses and scented. I've done some research but would like to hear your opinions  which roses you have growing in your garden.

The roses I have now suffers from black spots and I'm spending so much time getting rid of the leaves, cutting back, applying fertilisers, watering... There must be an easier way of gardening.


Hi Fluffy, Im growing Mayflower which is a pink David Austin rose and its supposed to be disease free there is also a white one from the same sport that is also disease free but I cant remember the name.  Check out the DA website, they always give a guide regarding disease resistance and so far what they have said has been true.  I pick my roses based on smell and resistance to disease and I really dont have any problems, just one spray early on in the season and feed them well and thats all.

Fluffy I only grow english roses from David Austin they are without doubt resistant. Over the years I've tried many and like you got frustrated with black spot especially. After much experimentation, I have finally found a good way of keeping black spot under control, and I use it in other gardens for people who I garden for. I have found it works. 

No matter what the rose, remove and burn the affected leaves, even if it means you have just bare stems and no blooms. Clear the ground around the rose, no detritus or dead leaves. Water well and feed. Then spray/soak with fungicide, rose clear is as good as any, and spray the ground around the rose as well. You can then mulch and make sure you have good air movement around the rose. I have never read or seen anyone recommend spraying the ground around the rose, but common sense dictated that the spores that cause black spot fall to the ground and rain falling makes them rise and re infect the rose. 

It works for me and my customers, it may seem brutal to strip the rose bare, but they produce new growth within a few weeks, and it's usually healthy.

If you get a further infection just follow the same process. I can honestly say, I haven't had a failure yet.

There are so many beautiful roses, I wish I had room for more, confining yourself to one type is a matter of choice and one I made for more than one reason, but I'd hate to see anyone who can grow whatever is their choice.

Hello Yviestevie..tks for your prompt reply...all the roses I have are from David Austin. I have Gertrude Jekyll, Falstaff, Young Lucinda, Munstead Wood, William Shakespeare, Grace, Teasing Georgia...this is the worst!!, Wildeve.  I'm doing what Dave Morgan suggest but it's so time consuming!!

Hello Dave Morgan..Thanks for your reply... I've been doing what you suggest. Last year was the worst. I did the stripping etc..the second flush was good. This year Teasing Georgia was still very bad!! and the rest followed. I may be missing something!!

Salino's surprising that you are having so many problems with the Austin's as they are usually so resistant to black spot...although one of mine has a little this season, which is quite unusual... but not too much to worry about..

...Bonica is totally disease free, but it's not an Austin...I bet they wish it this problem seems to be recurrent in your garden, and most troublesome, I would suggest removing all your roses and growing other shrubs instead... harsh, costly and soul destroying, but sometimes we have to make these decisions... if they don't enhance your garden, then don't grow them  would be my attitude to this sort of thing... otherwise you can only resort to a frequent spray regime.... which really you shouldn't have to with these roses....   it's the sort of thing that American gardeners, in such differing climates, usually report...

..have a think and see what you want to do later on...



I have a rugosa rose hedge which is completely disease-free - flowers smell gorgeous too!

Thanks Salino. I have on several occasions have thought of doing what you suggest...but I haven't got the guts at the present!! The roses start the season very well...after the first flush of flowers have finished...the spots appear!! I have followed the suggestion Dave Morgan gave last year and again this year. So I wait!!!!!

A pair of David Austin I grow are 'Mary Rose' pink and a white sport of it is ;Winchester Cathedral;Both have a good perfume and seem trouble free

the tidy gardener

I have the same  problem,, got rid of 3 climbing roses, the rest are in pots and patio roses, you can keep you eye on these

I do find constance vigilance works. find it,get rid,tidy up.cut back.

Airwaves...I havent got both of your roses. Am I tempted to get one...

Claire..Im pleased Im not the only one suffering from rose problems!!All 8 roses now have new leaves growing. I was thinking of spraying them today but its started to rain!!

It's the being vigilance that's can be difficult. I go away for 3 weeks, I leave the garden in good shape and come back to rose problems. Can be quite fustrating!!!

It seems a particularly bad year for blackspot, I've got a mixture of about 15 roses, many of them DA's and most have been affected. This year for the first time I started spraying with Roseclear early in the season every 2 weeks, but it's not always possible to keep strictly to this routine due to rain, being away etc. and I don't like using too much spray anyway. I do try picking up the dead leaves underneath - not always easy in the middle of a mixed border! and I mulched every rose this year with a thick layer of manure/compost thinking that would do the trick, but not, it seems. I have quite a windy garden in the south west here which you'd think would help.

I've decided just to live with it, although I might try David's suggestions, the roses have been in for 7 years and none have died of it yet, they all flower very well - apart from my Margaret Merrill- which is supposed to be just 3ft tall, mine is reaching 6 ft, lanky with no flowers - don't know why.


..can we see a photo of your Margaret Merill...?  I've never heard of this rose growing like that... are you sure it hasn't been wrongly labelled?  how long have you had it now? and do you think a sucker might have taken over this bush...?

..questions...but there's something not right there...

I have 21 DAs roses and it seams that it is the climbers that suffer the most from black spot, but as Lizzie27 says, it is a bad year for black spot. Don't know whether it is due to our hot spell or not. It does not appear to have affected the flowering though.

You appear to have done all the right things, maybe you should inform DA about this and see what he says.

To be honest I'm stumped.   

Woodgreen wonderboy

According to Stuart Pocock of Pocock's Roses all roses will succumb to diseases eventually, say 12-15 years as diseases mutate and resistance drops to the changing pathogen. It's a shame but that means you may have to forgo your favourite rose and replace it with a newer variety..

Taking a step sideways. In the autumn, at the end of Aug-Sept when the new catalogue is out .it usually has an offer in it e.g. freepostage or buy2 get one free.. Of course they may not have offers this year but if you  are thinking of buying it is worth sending for a catalogue in a few weeks time. It has  super photographs in too!


Should have said I was writing about David Austin Catalogue.

Another of his is Graham Thomas , a beautiful golden yellow, named for the great Rosarian It makes a wonderful show I have grown it without problems for many years


It's curious how some, but not all, species roses seem unshakeably healthy.  I grow R. rugosa, R. glauca, R. rubiginosa (I think - sweet briar) and R. moyesii, all of which are entirely free of black spot, rust and mildew.  But R. canina (wild dog rose), on the bank behind my house, has just dropped most of its leaves due to black spot.  And of course my two "old" roses - R. damascena 'Versicolor' (the Yorks & Lancs rose - we live on the border) and R. 'Maiden's Blush' - are riddled with disease.  Presumably it must be really difficult to "breed in" disease resistance by crossing with species roses...

Woodgreen wonderboy

Saw a little stunner at the New Forest show, Pococks again... Super Trouper... smallish, tangerine... wow

Hi Salino,  I'll try to take photos later today, weather and visitors permitting.


My David Austin climber "The Pilgrim" has never had blackspot at all. A few years ago my climbing Paul's Scarlet was very ill with mildew and black spot. I did what Dave Morgan has said, sprayed and fed and watered it well and it has made a complete recovery. So I would never throw away a rose. I love roses.