Black Spot on Roses

October 14, 2012 | By | Comments (4)
'Nearly Wild' rose

‘Nearly Wild’ rose with black spot. Photo by Steve Bender.

Question from Desperate Reader: I have black spot on my ‘Nearly Wild’ shrub rose. What can I do about it?

Grumpy’s Totally Correct Answer: Black spot on roses and whiskers on kittens…….only the latter is one of my favorite things. Black spot is the most common fungal problem affecting roses. As its name implies, black spots appear on the leaves. A few days later, the leaf turns yellow and falls off. If enough leaves drop, the rose stops blooming. A rose that doesn’t bloom has no reason to live.

How can you control black spot? Try the following.

  • Plant a rose that’s resistant to black spot, like ‘Knockout,’ ‘Home Run,’ or ‘Drift.’ Unfortunately, ‘Nearly Wild’ (like many roses) gets devoured by black spot unless you take the next two steps.
  • Don’t wet the foliage when watering. Pick up and throw away all diseased leaves. Make sure air moves freely around the rose.
  • Spray according to label directions with a fungicide that controls black spot. Use Immunox or Daconil or if you prefer an organic product, Natria Disease Control or Safer Brand Garden Fungicide.

Grumpy’s on Vacay!


The isle of Santorini. Photo by HBarrison.

That’s right! For the next couple of weeks, Grumpy will be cruising to exotic locales all over the known world as he seeks to recharge his gardening batteries. He will not be able to check email during this time, so either wait until October 29 to post a gardening question or wait patiently for an answer.

Don’t think Grumpy has abandoned you. In the time I’m away, I will be answering a gardening question sent in by a faithful reader right here every Tuesday, Thursday, and Sunday.

Now could I please have another glass of red?


Next Post: Why didn’t my Confederate rose bloom this year?


  1. April

    Very good! I’ll be passing by for more later 😉

    November 18, 2015 at 1:24 pm
  2. Merri

    Thanks for finally talking about >Black Spot on Roses | Your Hub
    for Southern Culture <Loved it!

    October 18, 2014 at 2:29 pm
  3. Steve Bender

    Thank you! I’m sure it was the best comment ever. 🙂

    June 12, 2014 at 2:04 pm
  4. best quotes ever about life

    Wow that was unusual. I just wrote an very long comment
    but after I clicked submit my comment didn’t
    show up. Grrrr… well I’m not writing all that over again.
    Regardless, just wanted to say excellent blog!

    June 10, 2014 at 5:29 am

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