The dreaded blackspot has returned to my roses this year. Oh how my heart sank when I first saw it on those pretty rose leaves that seemed to be so healthy! But treating blackspot with milk? Really? Are you sure??? Well, here is my story so far! I love roses. So much so that they were the first flowers that I planted into my first flowerbed. That was way before I knew anything about blackspot. or roses. The next rose plant I buy will definitely be blackspot resistant. But for now I must deal with what I have, and that is rose plants with blackspot…
I gave Fruit Hill Farms in Cork a call last year (https://www.fruithillfarm.com/). They are an organic center and they suggested that I try and build up the health of the plant to prevent blackspot. I wasn’t too surprised to find that what they suggested, Mucofol, was quite smelly to use!
For those who wish the details of the Mucofol, here you go:
Mucofol (L) is absorbed by the leaves and the soil. Thanks to its root stimulant and crop care ingredients the roots, leaves and soil are increased with endogenic capacity and develop its own immune system. The ingredients in the product are working as soil conditioner, plant strengthener and have an indirect effect on pests and diseases. It consists of a highly concentrated composition of specific herbs based on water. The product is natural and of vegetable origin, non-toxic and not persistent. The product will be degraded in the soil and leaves no residues in nature.
The Mucofol is in liquid form which you then dilute with water. We sprayed the roses a few times early this spring. They initially seemed to be doing well. But unfortunately, the blackspot has appeared.
The same week that I noticed the blackspot, one of the blogs that I follow had a post about treating blackspot with milk. Kevin Lee Jacob, blogging from the Hudson Valley in New York (which is where I grew up), has a wonderful blog called A garden for the house. You can click on his post about treating blackspot here: http://www.agardenforthehouse.com/2012/05/got-black-spot-get-milk/ It seems easy enough: add one part milk to two parts water, and spray once a week. The feedback on Kevin’s blog is quite good. I have my fingers crossed that it will keep the blackspot from spreading.
I do know, as I am sure all of you do too, to clear away all of the bad leaves (and never put them in the compost). I pruned the roses this past winter to help with air circulation. I might have to revisit that, though, as my old fashioned rose plants (the Rosa Jacques Cartier) seem quite crowded despite my pruning.
Speaking of pruning, I am filing this other blog post away for next winter as I think there are quite a few good points to it. Have a look and let me know what you think: http://www.hometalk.com/3816372/the-10-biggest-mistakes-people-make-when-pruning-roses
For now, I have cut off as much of the blackspot affected leaves as possible, and I will continue to spray once a week with my water and milk spray. Oh, and I’ll be taking as many pictures as possible while they still look pretty!
It is amazing how different things look with different lighting! Our evenings can be so beautiful, with sunlight right up until 10 P.M.
My garden has been buzzing for a few weeks now, with the busy sound of bees. Early this spring we had millions (really!) of lady birds (or called lady bugs, depending on where you are from). It was neat to see them all as they were everywhere! And unlike last year, I didn’t have any issue with aphids. At all. Just blackspot…
I hope if you have roses, they are nice and healthy! If you happen to get blackspot and try the milk/water solution, please let me know how that goes for you.
Your blooms are beautiful Dana. Two weeks ago I used baking soda dissolved in water (1tsp baking soda/1gallon water, then sprayed on) to treat blackspot at work. I haven’t been there to check since Friday but as of then it hadn’t reoccured yet.
Hi Michele, is the baking soda solution something to put on weekly? Let me know if that works for you! It is a pity how blackspot can really ruin the roses. Thanks for stopping by!
We did two applications over a week and it hasn’t returned since we started it. I’ll probably spray it again tomorrow or Monday. I’m really kind of surprised that something this simple did the trick.
Milk and water worked for me when some squash leaves had powdery mildew on them. Good luck!
Hi Spy Garden, I don’t know how this slipped through, but three months later I see this comment! I think the milk/water combination was a big help while I continued to do it. I could probably use it throughout the entire garden, actually! Thanks for the thought on using it further a field! Dana
Do you have an update on this? Did the milk solution work for you?
Hi there! I do have an update: the milk solution did work to stop the spread of the black spot. It took some work, diligently spraying in the mornings, but I found it to be worth doing. Dana