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Rose rust

Symptoms

Orange speckling on rose leaves in early summer, sometimes causing the leaves to drop, is followed by black pustules on the leaves in late summer. By autumn it's almost inevitable that the leaves will drop off.
Find it on: roses
Time to act: early- to late-summer

Overview

The fungal spores that cause rust are spread on the wind, and they can survive over winter on the soil surface, on fallen debris and even objects such as fences and stakes. The symptoms spread in early summer from patches of orange on the stems and leaf stalks of roses to more obvious orange speckling on the leaves. This can lead to leaf fall. In late summer, look out for black pustules on the leaves. Learn more about rust and hollyhock rust
Solution
Orange speckling on rose leaves in early summer, sometimes causing the leaves to drop, is followed by black pustules on the leaves in late summer. By autumn it's almost inevitable that the leaves will drop off.
Organic
Promptly prune out any infected stems and destroy them, along with any infected leaves. Grow roses with lots of room around them so the air can circulate, and prune out any congested growth..
Chemical
Use a preventative copper fungicide in spring before the overwintering spores strike. Make sure you cover all the leaf surfaces.



Discuss this problem

Talkback: Rose rust
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cherrytree 24/11/2011 at 15:28

My climbing rose has some yellow leaves amongst the new green leaves is the plant short of food?

Abifloralartist 05/01/2014 at 16:27

I know the weather is crazy but I cannot believe that a rose bush that was perfectly healthy in October now has raging rust! Its a small patio rose TG not near any others but is it too late in the season to give it a serious prune? I did prune it in Oct but now has lots of new leaf growth - go figure! Any ideas folks? Its a lovely little rose and I don't want to lose it but am worried the fungus will spread.

BobTheGardener 05/01/2014 at 21:39

As soon as we get a good prolonged frost it will drop its leaves and you should remove all of them, including any still on the bush.  Either burn them or throw in the dustbin.  You should really only prune in spring otherwise the new growth which pruning promotes can be damaged by the frost and lead to more diseases so I'd leave it well alone now until spring.  RHS advice on pruning patio roses here:

http://apps.rhs.org.uk/AdviceSearch/profile.aspx?PID=182

Note the link at the bottom under "Problems" to dealing with rust.