Roses sure can have their fair share of problems. To keep 'em healthy, you've got to watch 'em closely, and spring into action at the first sign of trouble. One of the most common rose diseases is black spot—if you see black spots on your roses before they turn yellow and drop off, then you know you're under attack. To fight back, treat it with my Black Spot Remover Tonic:
15 tomato leaves,
2 small onions, and
1/4 cup of rubbing alcohol.
Chop the tomato leaves and onions into finely minced pieces, and steep them in the alcohol overnight. Use a small, sponge-type paintbrush to apply the brew to both the tops and bottoms of any infected rose leaves. Then follow these tips to get 'em back on their feet and keep 'em good and healthy:
- Pick up all of the leaves that have fallen, clip off those that are about to, and put them all into the garbage.
- Rake up the mulch under your plants, and replace it with fresh straw or pine straw.
- Prune your plants, if needed, so that sunshine and fresh air reach every leaf.
- When you water, take care that you don't wet the foliage.
Problem: The Japanese beetles that eat my rose blooms were really bad last year! They were back within 2 days after I sprayed them. Is there something else I can do?
Solution: In the long run, you can reduce Japanese beetle problems by treating your lawn with a safe and effective powder called Milky Spore Powder. That's right—your lawn! That's because Japanese beetle larvae live as grass-root-eating, white grubs over the winter. So, therefore, Milky Spore Powder can help your lawn, and your roses, too. Meanwhile, keep spraying your roses as often as you need to with Total Pest Control (the active ingredient, pyrethrin, will knock them down quick). Or, if you want a spray break, go out first thing in the morning and jiggle the beetles into a bowl of soapy water.