Q. My roses are covered with mildew. I have sprayed them and hope they will recover. I have not had this problem in years. What causes mildew and how do you keep it from coming back?
|Powdery mildew of roses, severe|
Let’s break each of these factors down. Remember, when dealing with diseases it is most important to prevent diseases from happening rather than cure them with a pesticide after the fact.
Powdery mildew of roses, or powdery mildew of any plant for that matter, develops best in shady spots during cooler times of the year and when it is moist. It does not like to develop in full sun and when it is hot and dry.
We see powdery mildew during cool weather of spring and fall and times just after it rains. It is common when roses are grown in shady spots and watered with sprinklers.
|Powdery mildew of weeds|
Powdery mildew likes some roses better than others. The variety of rose and how healthy it is has a lot to do with how often you will see powdery mildew on it.
So if you want powdery mildew on roses then grow a variety susceptible to powdery mildew, don’t fertilize it very often, prune it incorrectly, place it in the shade and water it with sprinklers.
The flip side is best for disease free roses: select a variety resistant to powdery mildew, plant it in at least 6 to 8 hours of full sun each day, apply compost and wood mulch to the soil, keep it healthy with at least one application of a rose fertilizer every year and irrigate using drip irrigation.
These links may help you with some general information on powdery mildew.