Botrytis is a fungus that is more prevalent in cool, wet weather and generally only effects the flower head and neck. It is caused by water sitting in the flower head. Usually a problem in the garden where there is little or no air circulation and wet conditions or overcrowding.
The first symptoms appear as pink/red spotting on the petals. The petal edges may also turn brown and soft. Sometimes buds will ball and fail to open, leaving a head of brown petals. In the advanced stages, botrytis can have a gray fuzzy growth on the infected tissue, there can also be a brown liquid coming from the bud.
- Cut off the offending bud, increase air circulation around the plant and do not overhead water. Remove bud from your garden. Do not leave it lying around.
Note: Always use caution when spraying chemicals and read the instructions on the back of the packaging.
- Spray roses during the growing season with preferred chemical. Never in the heat of the day. Rose sprays used during the growing season will only hold the problem in place. The new growth should become clean.
Organic Rose care recommendation:
- Spray with lime sulphur in winter.
Eco Oil - for things that bite
Eco Fungicide - for the diseases
Charlie Carp - foliar feed (this will make your garden smell a bit fishy but it is great stuff)
Put all three of these in the recommended dosages (on bottle) into one spray bottle. Religiously spray both under and over leaves till they drip.
This will need to be repeated once a week as it is organic, not systemic.
When winter pruning has been done and all waste removed, spray with Lime sulphur on the plant and ground around. This will clean the area of fungal problems giving you a fresh start in the new growing season.
Prevention is better than a cure
If you are living where roses are known to have this problem, make sure there is good air circulation around your rose and prune to take away dense foliage from the heart of the bush.
Start your chosen spray routine before you see the problem on the leaves.
Make sure your roses are well watered and fed regularly. A happy rose is a healthy rose.
Choose varieties that are strong growers and either newer varieties or those recommended by the rose society in your area.
Important: signs and symptoms will vary significantly between varieties, even within similar categories. The information provided here is a basic summery of the most common affects and will not always be applicable to all rose varieties.