Rose bushes are nice to look at, but can be a challenge to take care of. One of the most common problems you will face when taking care of rose bushes is the formation of powdery mildew. This usually results from dampness on the flowers, buds or bushes during early evening. Powdery mildew will not necessarily kill your rose bushes, but it will result in smaller flowers.
Curing powdery mildew on rose bushes will involve pruning, washing, application of a vinegar solution, and making sure the mildew does not reappear. Here are a few things you will need:
- Spray container
- Baking powder
- Liquid detergent (meant for dishes)
- Cooking oil
Make a visual inspection. Check your rose bushes to determine the severity of the powdery mildew. These will usually be found in new plant growth. This can include the rose flower, leaves or the foliage.
Prune your rose bushes. If you find any growth that’s covered in dense mildew, you will have to prune this. Rather than have the mildew spread to more parts of your rose bushes, it’s better to reduce the foliage area that you need to treat.
Spray with water. After pruning, you can water down your rose bushes to get rid of the mildew. This is effective during the early stages of infestation, before mildew has set in.
Prepare a vinegar solution. Vinegar and baking soda have anti-bacterial effects. You will need to prepare a mixture of about four gallons of water, a quarter cup white vinegar, one tablespoon baking powder, one teaspoon cooking oil and one teaspoon dish detergent. Mix the solution well. You can usually prepare this in a medium bucket filled with water, leaving about 1/5 of space for the other ingredients.
Spray on the vinegar solution. Transfer some of the solution into a spray container and spray onto affected areas of the rose bushes. You will need to drench the rose bushes to get the solution deep into the mildew-afflicted areas. Treat your plants this way for several days until mildew disappears.
You can keep some of the solution in a different container and keep it in your shed for future use.
The key to curing powdery mildew on rose bushes is to keep your rose bushes dry except when watering in the early morning. Water from the ground, so you give moisture to the roots, and not the foliage. This way, microorganisms won’t thrive on the bushes’ flowers, leaves and stems. If this cannot be avoided, then be sure you have the solution described above within easy reach, so you can spray your rose bushes with your home-made solution whenever necessary.
If all else fails, then it would be sensible to prune away all parts of the rose bush that cannot be salvaged from the powdery mildew. It’s better to prune away parts of your plant than lose the entire thing to mildew. Prevention is the best cure. But if the problem is there, then the best way to cure it is to minimize the damage and remove the source of the problem, which is, in this case, mildew.