I ordered 3 roses, “Love,” “St. Patrick,” and “Stainless Steel” from Fork and Spade this spring and my mom planted them because I wasn’t home from college yet. I don’t have problems with powdery mildew ever, and blackspot only on one ancient rose that I can’t seem to get rid of, but everything has rust worse than I’ve ever seen it, including the new bushes that hadn’t even been touched since planting. I’ve started spraying with a fungicide cocktail, but it’s not going away. Any ideas for how to get rid of the rust or live with it?

Jaime, not sure what fungicides you are using, but you might want to go through the garden and do a good clean up first. Remove any fallen leaves or debris around the base of your roses as well as the leaves ON the roses that are infected. Leaving the fallen leaves and infected leaves will only continue the problem as rust is something best controlled through prevention rather than reaction. You might feel bad about pulling the leaves off, but ultimately the rust can cause complete defoliation if you do not get it under control. Some good organic approaches for spraying would be a baking soda in water and milk mix (1 tsp. baking soda to 1 qt. liquid that is made up of 7/8 water and 1/8 milk)…or you could try some Volck oil (be sure to read the label to make sure you get the growing season concentrations recommended). If you do not mind spraying chemicals, give Funginex, Daconil Ultrex, Banner Maxx or Systhane a try. When fall clean up rolls around in preparation for winter, you should probably go through the garden with a good spraying of something like lime sulphur, Bordeaux mix, or dormant oil and/or a dusting of sulphur powder. Rust can overwinter and come back with a vengence in the spring, so anything you do in the Fall to remove debris and spraying to help fight it will help put you out one step ahead of it next year.

Jaime,last year I had a “myster alba rose” with rust. I’ve never seen rust in Northeast Iowa before. I used Banner Maxx and it worked great. Banner Maxx is a systemic single-site fungicide that acts as a treatment. As are the ones Michelle mentioned in her post. The active ingredients penetrates the interior of the leaf. They enter the plant and interfere with a specific metabolic process in the fungus. Banner Maxx can be pricey. With 300+ roses of my own, I found it to be cheaper, as a little goes a long way and it reqires less frequent spraying. It’s available from I agree with Michelle on the fall spraying. I also did that and had no reoccurance of rust this year. rust

Many years ago I purchased a potted rose that was highly infected with the leaf version of rose rust. I removed and destroyed ALL the leaves since all the leaves were infected. The rust did not come back!

Perhaps choose another variety of rose… A sick rose is pain in the butt, which defeats the purpose of having flowers in the garden: they are suppose to give you a sense of happiness…

I do like Bill, with the same result.

Like with blackspot, a little “infection” can be

overseen. Roses “diseases” aren’t like human ones.

They are often temporary, and follow a stress (adaptation process to a weather change, for instance). If it lasts

and becomes worrisome, I move the rose in November to

another place.

Spraying don’t work, it only promotes the stronger strains.

If we follow any “keep only the ones that don’t get it”

quick fix, we shall end up with three or four vars left,

and that’s not precisely what we want here…

Best wishes,

Pierre Lauwers.

Thanks for all of your help guys. Just knowing you’ve been there too is a lot of comfort. I’ve taken ALL of the leaves off of one rose and have been spraying my coctail (bakingsoda, oil, water, insecticidal soap) every two days on what’s left. The rust was so bad that when I took off some lower leaves the powdery spores flew off in a big cloud all over the rest of the bush and the soil. If it manages to come back I’m going to have my mother do the same to the other two roses, since I’ll be back at school in MN on the 3rd of September. It ought to be interesting raising my first batch of seedlings in a dorm room and mailing the good ones home in May…cross your fingers. Thanks again.