Problems With Rose Bushes

Devoted and passionate rose gardeners understand the importance of beginning a rose garden with healthy plants, monitoring each bush's exposure to the elements and using clean gardening tools. Novice rose gardeners can avoid problems with their rose bushes by appreciating basic truths about rose cultivation before selecting the first rose bush for the garden.

Pre-existing Conditions

It is tempting to take in a wounded animal and nurse it back to health. A novice rose gardener should avoid such empathy when selecting rose bushes for a garden, and choose only those that are in perfect health. If a rose bush is sick, the ailment can quickly spread to other rose bushes, contaminating an entire rose garden. Some rose diseases are difficult to treat or cure, and ultimately the gardener must remove and destroy the ailing plants.


Moisture and humidity can bring on certain rose diseases, such as powdery mildew and rose blackspot. Rose bushes need plenty of sunshine, especially in the early morning and afternoon, so that the dew from the previous evening can completely evaporate before nightfall. Roses should be watered in the early morning, so the soil isn't damp in the evening. Rose bushes shouldn't be crowded in the garden, as that encourages humidity and diseases, such as spot anthracnose, which can be distributed during a rain, when the rainwater splashes or moves from one bush to another, spreading the fungus.


Before pruning, wipe down the gardening shear blades with rubbing alcohol. Not only should you do this when moving from one rose bush to another, it should be done after removing a diseased segment of the bush, before cutting on another section of the plant. A common way of spreading plant disease is to use an unclean gardening shear. Injury to the rose bush (perhaps from a careless wheel barrel or a stray football) makes an entry for fungi and bacteria that can cause serious diseases such as canker or crown gall.


Pests can cause problems for rose bushes. Common insects and other pests that attack roses include aphids, beetles, bristly rose slugs, caterpillars, earwigs, leafhoppers, nematodes, rose midges, rose scales, small carpenter bees, spider mites and thrips. Dealing with the pests involves a variety of remedies, depending on the infestation. Possible solutions include chemical applications, cutting off parts of the plant, manually picking off insects or removing and destroying the rose bush. Keeping the garden free of leaves and debris and introducing ladybugs can help prevent some pest problems.

Keywords: problems with roses, rose care, growing roses

About this Author

Ann Johnson was the editor of a community magazine in Southern California for more than 10 years and was an active real estate agent, specializing in commercial and residential properties. She has a Bachelors of Art degree in communications from California State University of Fullerton. Today she is a freelance writer and photographer, and part owner of an Arizona real estate company.