Planting and caring for rose plants is one of the best things you can do. This is because they produce roses, which are among the most attractive and most sought-after type of flower in the world!
However, rose plants / bushes are not very easy to care for. This is because they are not hardy plants and need vigilant care to grow to maturity and bloom spectacularly.
In this post, I am going to tell you all about white spots on rose leaves. I am going to tell you what causes them and how to deal with them.
What Causes White Spots On Rose Leaves?
This is often the number one cause of white spots on rose leaves. Mildew, by definition, is a disease of the fungus kind. It affects leaves. The disease is often prominent during the humid season and is spread chiefly by wind action. The best way to deal with mildew on rose leaves is to use a good fungicide. Pruning can also help.
2. Scale Insects
Scale insects love attacking rose leaves. When they attack and lay eggs, it is the eggs and the nymphs that look like white spots on the leaves. The best way to deal with the insects is to prune the attacked branches.
Like scale insects, aphids also attack rose leaves. When aphids attack rose leaves, they position themselves to start sucking the sap out of them. This can lead to their yellowing, curling, and death. Some aphids are known to develop a white waxy coat and this is what often manifests as white spots on aphids. Aphids can be fought using insecticidal soap.
4. Leaf Hoppers
Leaf hoppers are bugs that love feeding on the underside of leaves. They are often yellow, green, or grey, and measure about 0.5 inches in length. An attack by leaf hoppers is often confirmed by looking for a white stippling pattern underneath leaves.
5. Sun Burn
When rose leaves are exposed to too much sun for too long, they can also tend to develop white spots. So white spots can be caused by disease, pests, or the sun. The sun causes white spots on rose leaves by bleaching them. This almost always leads to the death of rose leaves when it continues for a while. Moreover, continued exposure to the sun can also cause the wilting and death of entire plants.
How To Deal With White Spots On Rose Leaves
Now you know what causes white spots on rose leaves. In this section, I will share with you detailed information on how to get rid of white spots on rose leaves.
As mentioned in the previous section, white spots on rose leaves are caused by mildew, pests, or excess sunlight. To get rid of white spots caused by mildew, you should use a fungicide. To get rid of white spots caused by pests, you should use a pesticide/insecticide. And to get rid of white spots caused by excessive sunlight, you should relocate your affected plant or plants to somewhere where they are protected from direct sunlight.
Below are some of the methods you can use to deal with white spots on your rose leaves.
1. Neem oil Fungicide
If you believe that the thing causing white spots on your rose leaves is powdery mildew, you should get a fungicide. One of the best types of fungicides to use for powdery mildew is fungicide based on neem oil. This is because it has previously been proven to be very effective against the disease.
If you suspect your rose bushes are suffering from a powdery mildew attack, you should examine the petals, stalks, stems, and leaves for white spots or coating. If you find this then you should get a neem oil fungicide.
For neem oil fungicide to work properly, you should spray especially the underside of the affected leaves. You should also spray it on leaves that are unaffected to prevent the spread of mildew on them.
The best time to spray neem oil fungicide is in the morning. This is because this move helps to protect birds, butterflies, bees, and other useful insects, which are often not present at the time.
When you use neem oil fungicide or any other fungicide to fight a fungal disease, you should always collect and burn all fallen leaves. You should also use a pruner that is sterilized to remove heavily damaged leaves.
Pests that attack rose leaves include aphids, scale insects, and leaf hoppers. They usually appear as white dots or spots on rose leaves. Scale insects and leafhoppers generally attack the underside of rose leaves, while aphids attack the upper side.
The moment you identify pests on rose leaves, you should wash them away using a water sprayer. Use moderate water pressure to remove the pests as too much pressure can blow off leaves and blooms on your rose plants.
Target both the top and the underside of leaves when spraying to get the pests dwelling on both sides.
If you find it difficult to wash pests off using water, follow the step below to eliminate pests.
If you cannot wash off pests from your rose leaves, you should buy and use a pesticide on them. There are many different types of pesticides that can be used to kill scale insects, aphids, and/or leaf hoppers.
The best types are those that are natural and only harmful to known pests and do not destroy other organisms. This is because you do not want to harm beneficial insects and organisms in your garden as this can negatively affect your garden and make it difficult for you to grow many plants and crops successfully.
If you do not want to purchase an insecticide, you can make one on your own. You can simply make one by mixing baking soda and dish soap with a bit of water. When this solution is sprayed on leaves, it makes them too alkaline for fungi to survive. It also makes them toxic to insects. Bugs that consume baking soda develop carbon dioxide complications and die. So the solution is quite effective against both fungi and pests.
4. Simple homemade solution
If the white spots on your rose leaves are caused by aphids and other pests, you can get rid of them by killing the pests using a simple homemade solution. The solution is simply a mix of dish soap and water. This solution when applied extensively to affected plants, will stick to and desiccate the delicate bodies of aphids and similar pests leading to their deaths. To make sure this solution does its work, you should apply it every two days for two or three weeks. This will eliminate the aphid population in your rose plants.
5. Natural plants
Several plants are known to attract aphids. Several plants are also known to repel aphids. This means there are plants you can plant in your garden to make sure aphids leave or do not visit your rose plants again. They include plants such as leeks, chives, and garlic. By planting any of these plants close to your rose plants, they will give off a scent that will keep aphids away.
Roses are not very easy to grow. This is because they need a lot of care and maintenance to reach maturity and bloom. If not well taken care of, they can be diseased and killed. When you notice white spots on your rose leaves, you now know there is a problem that needs to be quickly addressed. You also now know how to find out the problem that needs to be addressed and how to deal with it. Remember, by taking good care of your rose bushes, they will reward you with healthy, color-rich, and good-looking roses. So don’t slack off after getting rid of the spots on your rose leaves.