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Fight rose rust with home remedies: How you can treat the fungal disease naturally

Small, unsightly, red-brown spots on the rose leaves are a sign of rose rust. If not treated in time and properly, the fungal disease can have serious consequences for the plants. Fortunately, there are effective methods of control and prevention. We explain how you can treat rose rust with home remedies.

1. fight rose rust with home remedies: the most important facts about the fungal disease

Spraying roses with home remedies

Rose rust is a fungal disease caused by the rust fungi “Phragmidium tuberculatum” or their closely related fungal species from the department of the stand fungi. The pathogens attack only roses, and the damage is easily seen, especially in spring and summer. Most new rose varieties are resistant to rose rust and do not get sick at all if cared for properly. These are usually marked with an ADR seal.

1.1 Combating rose rust naturally: Possible causes of fungal infestation

Rose rust naturally fight the damage picture the spores

However, even robust varieties are susceptible to the fungal disease if the location does not suit them. As true sun children, they feel comfortable in full sun. Although there are roses that tolerate light shade , they are weakened. Possible causes of fungal attack include:

  • Too little spacing between plants in the bed. If the bushes are too close to each other or to other perennials, then their leaves can not dry. Damp leaves make roses susceptible to fungal diseases.
  • Improper watering: Roses should be watered at ground level around their base. The leaves should remain dry when watering.
  • Wrong watering time: roses should never be watered in the evening or late in the afternoon. This will leave moisture in the soil overnight, and a moist soil provides food for fungi. It is best to water perennials early in the morning to allow water to evaporate during the day.
  • Wrong planting partners: roses are often combined with other sun-worshippers such as lavender. Yet the two plants have completely different soil requirements. Roses require nutrient-rich soil and need regular fertilization. In contrast, the lavender prefers a nutrient-poor soil.

What do diseased roses look like Damage and tips for prevention

  • The same location for new roses: where a month ago the old rose bush grew without problems, the new rose variety does not feel comfortable? The culprit is the soil. A basic rule in the care of roses says: never plant new roses in place of the old. Either completely replace the soil 100 cm deep and at least 150 cm wide around the roses or find a new place for the roses.
  • Wrong tub size: roses grown in tubs also have special requirements. Especially the size of the tub and drainage play a crucial role.

So the first step to fight a fungal disease in the roses is to identify the cause and take the necessary measures to prevent a second infestation.

1.2 Combating rose rust with home remedies: the damage pattern

Rose rust damage picture What does the fungus look like in roses


What does the fungus in roses look like?

The pathogens become noticeable shortly before budbreak in spring. First, the shoots are attacked – spore deposits develop there, which have a strong orange color. Later, they spread and infect the plant leaves as well – reddish spots appear on the tops of the leaves, which then turn black at the end of summer. It is typical for the rose disease that the affected leaves fall off still in summer. However, the fungi overwinter on the woody parts of the plant and attack the new leaves the next spring.

What do diseased roses look like?

The damage pattern changes in the course of the summer. In the spring, the experienced amateur gardener can already see the first signs of infestation. Check the young shoots and woody parts of the plant for reddish-brown powder. At the beginning of summer, the orange-red spots on the leaves also appear, and if you turn them over, you can find spore deposits on the back. In the middle of summer the infested leaves begin to fall off, and at the end of summer the orange spots turn black. Affected roses appear weakened, grow more slowly, and flower formation diminishes.

Powdery mildew, downy mildew and rose rust: these are the differences

Identify powdery mildew and powdery mildew and rose rust difference

Both powdery mildew and downy mildew have one thing in common with rose rust: the pathogens are fungi. But that is the only similarity. The damage patterns of the three plant diseases differ significantly from each other.

Powdery mildew covers only the upper side of the leaves with an ash-gray dust, but does not attack the leaf structure. You can easily detect an infestation because the fungi can be wiped off with your hand.

Downy mildew only covers the lower side of the leaves and also attacks the leaf structure. This means you can’t wipe it off as easily.

Rose rust also attacks the leaf structure and covers both the lower and upper leaf sides.

Where does rose rust come from?

The fungi that cause rose rust reproduce through spores. They are spread through the fallen leaves. Wind can also spread the spores, often throughout the garden.

What to do about rust spots on roses?

How do sick roses look_ Damage to rose rust shrub


If you have discovered rust spots on your roses, then you should proceed as follows:

1. check the whole plant for orange-red spots or spore deposits. Also check the other nearby rose bushes, ground cover and climbing roses.

2. in case of light infestation, you can remove and dispose of all infested leaves, as well as thinning the plant a bit so that its leaves can dry faster.

3. regular applications of fertilizer can strengthen the plant and make it more resistant to fungi. It is best to use a special fertilizer for roses with potassium and lime.

When to use means against rose rust

Treat rose bush against rose rust tips instructions

Unlike other fungal diseases of roses, rose rust rarely threatens the entire plant. However, an infestation weakens it and makes it vulnerable to pests. Therefore, you should combat a fungal infestation as soon as possible. Often it is enough to simply use a home remedy in the fight against rose disease. Rejuvenation pruning and good care (regular fertilizing and proper watering) will help the plant recover and successfully fight rose rust.

What to do about rose rust: home remedies or chemicals?

For the first time it is not advisable to use chemical agents. Only a few agents are approved and if you do not use them properly, they can cause damage to the environment. Therefore, you should resort to chemicals only after a detailed consultation with a professional, and only as a last resort.

However, you can also treat rose rust with some home remedies. We list several home remedies that you can use to fight the fungus.

2. fight rose rust with home remedies

Rose rust with home remedies naturally fight tips

The following home remedies can help against rose rust. However, their effectiveness has not been scientifically proven. Nevertheless, many amateur gardeners report success. It is very important for a good end result that they cut off and dispose of all affected plant parts beforehand.

2.1 Home remedy against rose rust: milk

Milk against rose rust home remedies to combat fungal disease

Milk has proven to be an effective home remedy against powdery mildew. Some amateur gardeners also use it in the fight against rose rust. The home remedy has the advantage that it is not harmful to plants, insects, birds and mammals. You can make a spray against rose rust yourself with milk:

Milk spray against rose rust:

  • A spray bottle, 1 liter
  • Whole milk
  • Water

First, make a solution of whole milk and water. For this purpose, dilute the milk and water in a ratio of 1 to 8. Fill the solution in a spray bottle and spray it on the plant leaves and shoots every 5 days.

2.2 Make your own spray with field horsetail against rose rust.

Spray with field horsetail against rose rust recipe for natural home remedy

Next, we will explain how to make a spray with field horsetail yourself. The plant helps not only against rose rust, but also against other fungi, such as powdery mildew or star sooty mold. You can also use it to drive away aphids.

Spray with field horsetail against rose rust:

  • 300 g of field horsetail, fresh (alternatively, several drops of field horsetail extract).
  • 10 cloves of garlic, peeled
  • one onion, medium size
  • 2 liters of water
  • vegetable oil of your choice

Chop the field horsetail and onion, halve the garlic cloves. In a large pot boil 2 liters of water, add 2-3 drops of vegetable oil and add the ingredients. Reduce the heat and simmer for about fifteen minutes. Then remove from heat, strain and pour the decoction into a bottle. Then dilute 100 ml of the decoction with 500 ml of water and pour it into a spray bottle. Early in the morning spray the affected plants.

2.3 Nettle liquid manure against rose rust

Nettle liquid manure make yourself recipe for organic fertilizer

You can fight rose rust with home remedies. Nettle liquid manure is a popular fertilizer that makes the perennial less susceptible to fungal diseases.

Fertilizer from nettles:

  • 500 g of nettle leaves
  • 5 liters of water
  • a plastic bucket with a volume of 10 liters
  • a handful of rock flour

Cut the leaves into small pieces, put them into the plastic bucket and pour lukewarm water on them. Put the plastic bucket in full sun and stir in a handful of rock flour after 3-4 days. Stir the slurry every morning. After about two weeks, the nettle liquid manure should have a brown color. When you no longer see foam on the surface, it is ready and you can use it to fertilize your roses.

2.4 Fighting rose rust with baking soda

By the way, you can also use baking soda to make a spray against rose rust. For this purpose, simply pour 2 liters of warm water into a spray bottle and add 4 tsp of baking soda. Mix well until the soda dissolves and spray the roses with the solution once a week.

2.5 Other home remedies

Other home remedies for rose rust and recipes

There are several other home remedies whose effects you can try. They will not harm the roses, so it is worth trying. For optimal effect, you can treat the plants with milk on Monday, and on Sunday – with garlic broth. Before each treatment, remove all affected parts of the plant.

Garlic broth:

  • 10 cloves of garlic
  • a handful of garlic leaves
  • 2 liters of water

Pour the water into a pot and bring to a boil. Add the garlic cloves and the finely chopped garlic leaves and stir. Reduce the heat and simmer the broth for 20 minutes. Strain the garlic broth and pour it into spray bottles. Spray the plant twice a week.

Eagle fern decoction do it yourself recipe against rose rust

Bracken decoction:

  • 50 g of bracken leaves, cut into small pieces.
  • 500 ml of water

Cut the bracken leaves into small pieces, put them in a pot and pour warm water. Bring to a boil briefly and simmer for 20 minutes. Then transfer to a plastic container and leave to infuse for 24 hours in a shady spot in the garden. Then strain the decoction and use it to spray the plant.

Spray with vegetable oil and dishwashing liquid:

  • 10 drops of dishwashing liquid
  • 50 ml of vegetable oil of your choice
  • 1 liter of water
  • 1 package of baking soda

Put all the ingredients in a plastic bucket, pour hot water over it and mix well. Pour the spray into a spray bottle and spray only the leaves of the plant. Do not allow the spray to get into the soil. So it is best to use it sparingly and spray the leaves with it early in the morning. Apply every two weeks.

If you do not succeed in combating rose rust with home remedies, then you can strongly cut back the roses and replant them next year.