18 Common Rose Plant Problems: How to Fix Them, Solutions, and Treatment

Roses have a reputation for being problematic. A significant part of many home gardens, Roses are known for their beautiful flowers and dense leaves. If you keep your Rose bushes healthy by giving them plenty of sunlight, food, and water, you should also face some problems, regardless of what type of Rose you’re growing. However, although Roses are sometimes considered the Queen of flowers, even the Queen faces problems and needs some outside help. Let’s check out 18 common Rose plant problems.

Common Rose Plant Problems
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Common Rose plant problems

Rose petal edges turn brown

Solution

Frozen temperature

If freezing temperatures reach unexpectedly, the Rose buds’ petals appear to be brown. Unexpected freezing temperatures in the fall cause the petals to brown the edges.

Sun damage 

The roots of Rose plants that fail to get proper moisture become stressed, especially during a long period of direct sunlight exposure and insufficient soil moisture. Transplant the Rose to a well-draining place or provide 3 to 4 inches of water each week to the Rose plant.

Roses plants are dying

Roses will die if they have a fungal disease or pest attack. If Roses do not get six to eight hours of sunlight daily or are not planted in well-draining soil, they may develop problems that cause their death. If more fertilizer is put in, they can also die.

Fungal diseases 
Powdery mildew

One of the main problems that Roses suffer from is powdery mildew. Powdery mildew can significantly weaken your Rosebush, and when combined with other problems, it can lead to plant death. 

Solution– To prevent powdery mildew, ensure your Rose bush is planted in a place with six and eight hours of sunlight daily. You should also ensure your Rose bush is at the right distance from any neighboring plants and get enough fresh air.

Black spot

If you have a black spot in the Rosebush, remove and dispose of fallen leaves to avoid spreading the disease. 

Solution – Apply fungicides on the leaves of the plants and repeat the application every three to four weeks.

In case you missed it: Growth Stages of Flowering Plants: Rose, Marigold, Hibiscus, Dahlia, Gerbera Daisy, and Jasmine

Pink Rose
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Pests
Aphids

The aphids are juice-sucking pests that will appear on Rose bushes. 

Solution – If your Rose bush is infected with aphids cut the most affected areas and treat your Roses with a healthy pesticide. Reapply the pesticide every two to three weeks for the remainder of the growing season. 

Sawfly

If your leaves start turning downwards and inward, that means your Roses are affected by the sawfly.

Solution – Pesticides are not particularly helpful against sawflies, but you can use natural pesticides lightly if you have noticed that the leaves are rolling downwards.

Inadequate sunlight levels 

Roses require six to eight hours of direct sunlight per day. 

Solution -If your Rose is getting too shady, you may need to transplant it to a location with better sun exposure. 

Wrong soil

You must plant Roses in fast-draining soil to avoid root rot, which can cause drooping Roses and even plants. If you see your Rose leaves drooping or wilting, or if your flowers are not fully blooming, try checking the pH level of the soil in which your Roses are growing. 

Solution – If the pH level is not between 5.5 and 7.0, you may need to add limestone to the soil around your rose bush. 

Excess or underwater

Roses are the happiest in the soil, which is constantly moist but not full of water. 

Solution – You should water your Roses regularly, but they should avoid sitting in wet soil. It rots the roots and can cause your Rose to die.  

Rust on Rose leaves 

Rose rust produces a distinctive mottling of leaves on the upper surface of the leaves, with orange spots on the bottom that turn black as they mature.  

Solution – Prune and destroy any affected leaves along with the infected stem. Grow Roses with many rooms around them so the air can circulate and prune out any dense growth. 

Spindly Roses

Air circulation

Spindly Roses are often the result of bad air circulation due to crowded conditions. When your Roses are very close to other plants, they will not get proper wind or sun. Moreover, if you don’t prune your Rose bushes, they grow and become weak. When the sun can’t reach your Rose center, they become leggy rather than strong. 

Disease

The spindly appearance is often caused by defoliation as a result of black spot disease as well as overall weak, unhealthy condition. As the disease progresses, leaves fall, health diminishes, and plants can die.

Solution

To remove poor circulation, place your Roses properly and prune them. Place your Roses about 2 feet away or about two-thirds of their last height. To avoid a spindly growth, dead or damaged canes, or those that look much larger than others so that the sun can reach all parts of your plant. 

Avoid overhead irrigation for black spot control, which promotes the development of fungal disease. Spray your Rose plant with neem oil. If you expect black spot disease, avoid infection by applying fungicides with an active ingredient like chlorothalonil during the beginning of spring.

In case you missed it: How to Prepare the Soil for Rose Plants: Best Soil Mix, pH, Compost, and Recipe

Yellow Rose
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Buds are turning brown and wilted

Not enough deep water 

If the plant is only being watered, it is not getting enough water to sustain flower growth. 

Solution – Roses benefit from a long soaking every five to seven days, depending on the weather. 

Fungus

This is often when the Rose frequently hits the water, either by water or irrigation. Sometimes it drifts away by a sprinkler that is watering the lawn. 

Solution – You can help the situation by preventing water from hitting flowers and using one of the copper, sulfur, or beneficial bacteria, an organic fungicidal drug.

Thrips

These small insects damage a bud, but when you open the bud, you see small, eye-lashes-sized insects. 

Solution – Use suitable pesticides to control thrips. 

Nutrient deficiency

A lack of nutrients can present several symptoms, including chlorosis and yellow, brown, or purple leaves. 

Solution – Avoid this long-term by mulching with good quality compost every year. 

Rose leaves are turning yellow

Overwater

Determine the moisture by sticking your finger into the soil; it’s fine if it is still moist.

Solution – Dig trenches to redirect water or transplant them to a different place or raised bed. If the soil is clay-based, you can still use it as long as you modify it with organic material, such as coconut coir or garden bark, and you can add perlite or pumice as they all improve drainage. If they are in containers that do not have drainage, report them or install drainage holes and keep them slightly higher than the ground.

Drought stress

If the soil dries up, the root system is not getting the only water it needs to survive, and your Rose bush leaves will turn yellow and fall.

Solution – Mulch is an effective way to deal with several causes, as it holds water around the base of the plant, reducing vapor. It also modifies soil with organic matter, so if your soil is very sandy, it will gradually improve with regular mulching. An inch of compost is rich and effective mulch, but wood chips are also often used with Rose bushes.

Too much fertilizer

Excess quantity or too much concentration of fertilizers can produce yellow and burnt pigmentation on Rose leaves.

Solution – Use a natural, slow-release fertilizer specific to Rose bushes or a well-balanced fertilizer. Be aware of the fertilizers you use elsewhere in your garden and if they are soluble in water. Trim back the affected leaves and give your Rose bush a large drink of water; it should be fine in no time.

Soil nutrients are closed

Very high soil pH is also unfavorable for Roses, as it limits the availability of nutrients like Roses through chlorosis. If your plant leaves are turning yellow, but the main veins are still green,

Solution – If there are fewer nutrient problems, you can modify it as needed with certain manures or fertilizers, but transplanting it to a pot or a different place can be a good idea if pH is a problem. You can change soil pH by adding cooled ash, but it is risky and inconsistent as you can affect more pH than intended.

In case you missed it: How to Grow Rose Flowers at Home in the USA:: From Seeds, Cuttings, Faster, In the Backyard, Indoors, and Containers

Red Rose
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Overheating 

If your Rose plant gets overheated, it will start to stress and turn yellow, and its leaves will fall. 

Solution – Make sure you’re not giving much water, check the water is absorbed by the soil and not accumulating above the ground around the stem. If extreme heat persists, provide shade for a few extra hours of the day or move to a slightly cooler and partly shady area on your property. 

Rose leaves can’t get enough sunlight 

The leaves can be yellow everywhere if the Rose plant is in a shady area. 

Solution – Prune the upper branches to get sunlight to the lower leaves. Prune back the surrounding plants to more sunlight. If your Rose is in full-shade area, transplant it to a different place because it never thrives or will not fully flower in a permanent shade.

Pests and diseases 

Solution – Use homemade fungicides with four teaspoons of baking soda in a gallon of water and apply lightly on leaves to prevent further spread. Try pouring water on the plant base to reduce the leaf moisture content.

Spider mites and Rose leaf hopers won’t like the appropriate fungicides. Still, as an additional precaution, you can apply small amounts of neem oil such as natural pesticides to the affected areas and wherever you see signs of their presence.

Dieback

The dieback on Roses is usually the result of incorrect pruning or mulching. 

Solution – When mulching, ensure you don’t bury any stems, as it encourages dieback. Always cut back into a healthy bud when pruning to prevent the ugly dead trunks from appearing. If dieback is seen, reduce healthy growth and prune it out.

Rose plants growing so tall

Roses are fast-growing plants (especially when grown in fertile soil) and are encouraged to grow taller when they are not getting enough light.

Solution – Roses grow to get more light on their leaves, but tall Roses suffer from strong winds, and there may not be much space for new growth. You can remove dead wood the plant needs to get rid of to produce new, healthy growth. Pruning your Rose increases the circulation of the air and can also reduce the chances of the plant rotting or suffering from fungi. 

Newly planted Rose bush dying

If your newly planted Rose bush dying, it’s likely experiencing a transplant shock. A transplant shock is a common term for a plant’s anxiety symptoms after a transplant. 

Solution – If your newly planted Rose bush has signs of a transplant shock showing wilted or colorless leaves or even dropping leaves, you may take some steps to bring it back to health.

Pruning

Pruning is an essential part of the procedure that helps reduce stress on transplanted Roses.  Selective pruning is not cutting your Rose on the ground. Instead, make sharp cuts that remove dead wood and cross canes and promote the growth of the outer-facing buds. 

Staking 

Staking or otherwise helping your transplanted Rose stake will help to immobile the root ball, helping it send new root hair and eventually full-size roots. Plan to maintain the stake for a full year after transplant. Next, the Roses may have grown enough roots for you to safely remove the stack and allow Roses to create more structural integrity without support.

Mulching

Mulch helps the soil maintain moisture, meaning transplanted roots have more time to get the necessary water before evaporating. The transplant is usually very thirsty, but more water can lead to the soil so full of water that it has no room for oxygen, which is bad for root health and gives birth to fungus. 

Fertilization

Do not reach the manure or chicken manure for a new transplant suffering from shock. Instead, choose special starter fertilizers designed to stimulate root growth in the new transplant. 

Climbing Roses are growing well, but why not bloom any flowers

Insufficient light

If your climbing Rose plant is not getting enough sunlight, it can still produce leaves but won’t have the energy to produce flowers. 

Solution – Try planting your climbing Rose plant to a point where it gets morning sunlight. This ensures that the leaves will dry up, and you can avoid fungal infections. 

Improper fertilizer

Use fertilizer on the manufacturer’s recommended period and post-dose package label. 

Solution – Applications are common three to four times during the growing season, starting in spring when your plant is actively growing. Water your plant well before fertilizing, and re-water the day after fertilizing to prevent fertilizer burn.

Drought stress

Climbing Roses that are drought-stressed will not produce flowers. They excel in loose, well-drained soil with about 1 to 2 inches of water every week. However, too much water will also stress your plant, so check the soil before watering. 

Solution – If it is still wet, do not irrigate until the soil dries to the touch. 4 to 6 inches of compost or peat improves soil water holding capacity and provides nutrients.

Pruning problems

Pruning your plant creates a strong framework. Just prune dead stems and dim flowers and remove weak growth for the first two to three years of growth. 

In case you missed it: Rose Planting Questions and Answers (FAQs)

Red Rose Garden
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Solution – If you’ve pruned this type of Rose in spring, you can’t see the flowers until next year. Prune to repeat flower varieties at the end of winter, and in summer, immediately after flowering for once flowering varieties.

Rose bush is drooping

The soil needs to be permanently moist for Roses, so the reason your Rose drooping is a sign of drought stress is caused by underwater, high temperatures, or sandy soil that disappears very quickly. A drooping Rose can signify too much fertilizer or root rot due to soggy soil.

Solution – Mulch also contributes nutrients to the soil and helps improve the soil to retain moisture, yet it also has a well-draining porous structure that is conducive to growing Roses.  Leaves should not droop or wilt with constant moisture on the roots of Roses but keep in mind that your Roses may have to be watered at the hottest times of the year to prevent you from drooping. Always water with a generous soak because it encourages and establishes roots to grow up to 18 inches deep, which means roots can reach moisture deposits and increase Rose’s resistance to drought.

Diseases

Black spots

The black spots start as small black spots on leaves that grow up and are painted yellow, eventually yellowing the whole leaf. Once yellow, the leaves start falling from the plant. 

Solution-To controls the black spot, spray with Bordeaux mix, neem oil, or sulfur is effective if you see evidence of a black spot.

Powdery mildew

Powdery mildew, like a black spot, is a fungal disease that is inactive until the right conditions appear. Young leaves will start to pucker or crinkle, a thin white coating that will begin to spread in the Rose bush.

Solution – If you live in an area where powdery mildew is often there, you can use homemade baking soda spray as a deterrent. After powdery mildew is already present, this treatment does not work well. Once your plants show signs, a homemade milk spray is the easiest control.

Cercospora leaf spot 

Symptoms start as small round spots of different sizes. Eventually, a purple halo develops. As things get worse, spots spread, and centers turn to grayish tan as the tissue dies out. Spots are formed mainly on leaves but can occur in other parts of the plant.

Solution – To control the fungus, remove and dispose of the affected leaves first. Also, remove all fallen leaves and debris at the end of the season to limit spores that may be more than winter.

Rose mosaic virus 

Symptoms are yellow in a mosaic pattern, chlorotic (yellow) rings or wavy lines, and mottled flower color.

Solution – Unfortunately, there is no control. Cutting the cane that is having symptoms of mosaic virus. Avoid the problem by buying certified virus-free plants.

Pests 

Aphids 

The Aphids love Roses, especially the small, gentle growth of new leaves and flower buds. 

Solution – Blast them with a hose, or squash them as you see them. You can buy and drop ladybirds on infected Roses to eat the aphids. Grow plants for natural aphid enemies like Hoverfly, Fennel, Cow Parsley, and Sweet Alyssum.

In case you missed it: Rose Plant Growing Tips, Ideas, Techniques, Secrets

Pink Rose Garden
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Thrips

Flower thrips will cause buds to be distorted. If buds open, you may also see brown stripes on individual petals. 

Solution – Thrips are difficult to control as they live inside Rosebuds, and their population can grow rapidly. They may also more in winter, so autumn cleaning is essential. Remove any buds that show signs if you start seeing buds getting distorted. 

Conclusion

Growing Roses don’t come without challenges, and it can sometimes feel overwhelming. With the treatment methods above, you will feel more confident about dealing with Rose diseases and pest attacks. By following all these solutions, you’ll have healthy, picture-perfect Roses in your garden to enjoy.

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