Rose Diseases and Pests

rose diseases and pests

Don't let rose diseases and pests spoil YOUR beautiful rose garden!

Roses can be bothered by a number of different diseases and a host of insect problems! Mother nature, and your own particular climate can be to blame for most of them.

When starting your garden, choose plants wisely! Try to grow ones that are less susceptible to these problems.

Plant ones that resist some of the common rose diseases and pests, like problems such as black spot and powdery mildew.

Keep your plants healthy! They will be less susceptible to insect attacks and diseases. For information on caring for rose bushes keep reading...

Common Rose Diseases

Rose Mosaic Virus A viral disease with no known cure. It is spread through infected plants that are used for budding or grafting.

Stem Canker

Brown, reddish or yellow sunken areas on the cane. They may be cracked or have a purple margin.

Usually noticed in the Spring during pruning time. The lower part of the cane is green and healthy, while the top is brown, black or purple.

Fungi enters the plant at a wound in the cane, usually during wet or humid weather.

Cut off and dispose of the cankered canes. Learn more about stem canker and what to do.

Black Spot

Extremely common fungal disease. Most roses will have at least a little black spot by late summer. This disease infects the foliage with black rounded spots with feathered margins. When it becomes severely infected, the leaves turn yellow and drop off. more about black spot...

Botrytis Blight

This Fungal Disease is also called Gray Mold. It destroys the flower buds, causing them to turn black. The best solution to this problem is prevention. Prevent Botrytis Blight before it ruins your roses

Crown Gall

Crown gall appears as a large corky growth at the base of the plant,and on stems and roots. It can be as big as several inches in diameter.

They will weaken the plant and cause yellow leaves. Whole branches could die back. Read more about Crown gall.


More about Rose Rust on Roses... Rust appears as bright orange spore masses on the undersides of rose leaves. On the top side of the leaf,you will most often see a yellowish spot. If the plant is severely infected, the leave may twist, curl, turn brown, and fall off.

These rust spores overwinter on fallen leaves. The bush becomes less vigorous, and the plant becomes more prone to winter kill. Rose diseases and pests like this occur most often in cooler temperatures and require wet conditions to infect foliage.

Powdery Mildew

This common rose disease appears as powdery white or light gray patches on the leaves. Severe infections can cause young leaves to twist and become distorted.

Powdery Mildew do not need wet foliage to develop. It is more common on roses that are shaded to much.

Although many of your flower plants can be affected by powdery mildew (Phlox, Lilacs, Zinna) this is not the same fungus that effects your roses. Each is a plant-specific species of this fungus!

Here is an easy recipe you can make yourself to help with this fungus.

More Help with Rose Diseases and Pests

Common Rose Pests

Caring for rose bushes includes 'Knowing Your Enemy' If you see an insect, you should identify it before attacking it! It could be just a harmless bystander, or it could be a beneficial bug! The majority of the bugs in your garden ARE beneficial.

The (GOOD BUGS) prey on damaging insects , which is in turn helpful in reducing the pest population. Lady bugs for example, the adults and their larvae, feed on aphids. Praying mantis, Green Lacewings, and predatory wasps are also beneficial bugs.

I don't like using chemical sprays in my garden, because of the potential harm to the beneficial insects. A heavy stream of water, insecticidal soap,or Neem oil is usually pretty effective to control a wide range of insects.

Below you will find some common rose garden pest, along with some natural pest control for them. Pests in the garden, can be controlled if you know how to repel them.

Aphids   These are tiny little insects that suck the juices from leaves, stems and flowers. They cluster at leaf tips and on the flower buds. Read more about them here....

Cane Borers and Gall Wasps These rose insects, including rose stem girdlers and rose stem sawflies, produce larvae that develop within the rose canes.

Remove the swelling, by pruning below the brown, infested area, and destroying the larve inside the swollen tunnel or gall.

~They are somewhat repelled by Alliums ~

Caterpillars and Sawfly Larvae

Sawfly larvae often roll themselves up in a leaf. Not all caterpillars are bad, so when in doubt, identify them before eliminating them!

-They are repelled by certain Petunias(usually those old fashioned varieties~


These are fast moving, sucking insects, that do little damage, unless you get a heavy population of them, in which they can destroy the foliage.

~They may be repelled by Alliums, Tansy, and Wormwood ~

Pillbugs and Sowbugs

These unusual crustaceans don't cause much harm to mature plants, but they can reek havoc on weak, or new seedlings.

Pillbugs will curl up when disturbed. Sowbugs do not curl.

~ They like moist, wet conditions, so if you have a problem with them, change your mulch to a coarser texture, and avoid giving them the moist area to hide in. ~

Rose  Midges

These tiny white maggots from the midge,cause growing tips and buds to turn crisp and shrivel up. They look as though they were in a fire. You should prune off all that looks infected.

~ They are repelled by Alliums and strong scented Herbs ~

Snails and Slugs

They like to reside in ivy and other succulent ground cover. There are many ways of catching them..."beer pits", inverted grapefruit halves, or raw potatoes, set out in the evening... When morning comes....collect the nights catch, and drop them into soapy water.

~ They are repelled by Wormwood ~

Spider Mites

They appear as a dusting of pale dots on the top of the leaves, and fine webbing on the underside.

 ~Repelled by Dill ~


They are particularly attracted to lighter colored flowers.

~ Repelled by Alliums ~

I hope this list of rose diseases and pests is helpful to you! Check the links below for more help with rose diseases and pests in your garden;

More Rose Diseases and Pests: Common Rose Diseases

Home Page

Rose Pests and Bugs that affect roses

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