02 June 2009

Homemade Treatment for Fungus on Rose Bushes


My roses are under attack from black spot fungus. I don’t like to spend a ton of money on chemicals that could be bad for my little Chihuahuas so I've been looking for a less toxic treatment. I have found a few non-toxic homemade remedies that you can try. I’m going to start my treatment today. Here’s a few of the possibilities that you may decide to try. I can’t guarantee these because I found them on the Internet and haven’t tried on my roses yet. A few things to remember are:

· No matter what you do, start with trimming off the damage leaves and limbs. Burn them or toss in trash. They are carriers of the disease and must not be left laying around! Do not compost any diseased parts!!!
· Get a good hand-held sprayer. The empty spray cleaner bottles don’t have enough oomp to them.
· The secret to successful treatment is to spray UNDER THE LEAVES EVERY DAY when your Roses are under attack.
· Do treatment as a preventive measure--don't wait for damage; spray weekly with your treatment of choice.
· It is important to keep roses well watered at the root level during hot days and prevent water from getting onto the leaves, especially before nightfall. Providing good air circulation between roses is vital. This helps dry up the roses more quickly. Good pruning methods and generous spacing between rose bushes when planting (generally 3 feet between hybrid teas and 4 feet between larger rose bushes is recommended). Treat dormant plants with lime sulphur in spring and spray with fungicidal soap.

1. Mix 3 tsp Baking Soda in a bucket of water dissolved with 1 Tbsp dish detergent in a bucket of water. Hose down all leaves before you spray and let them dry. Wait until evening then spray under the dry leaves.
2. Spray with a mixture of equal parts fat free milk and water
3. spray weekly with 1 tsp. baking soda mixed with a quart of water
4. Take a gallon of the basic baking soda recipe above (#3) and add 1 tbsp. fish emulsion, seaweed, Vitamin B1 and molasses
5. Cornmeal fights fungus so a good preventive measure is too sprinkle it at base of your rosebushes
6. A remedy recipe I found at a gardening magazine is to mix the following ingredients with 1 cup water. Add the vinegar last so that the mix won’t bubble over. Pour the mixture into the sprayer and add 1 gallon water. Shake to combine. Spray plants thoroughly. This formulation may need to be reapplied after rain since it tends to wash off. One side benefit to the baking soda spray is that insects don’t love it either! Baking Soda Spray:
1 tbsp vegetable oil
1 gallon unchlorinated water
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 tsp regular flavor Listerine
1 tbsp liquid soap
1 ½ tbsp baking soda
Pump sprayer (large)
7. Some gardeners use stinging nettle spray. It is meant to help plants resist mildew and other diseases such as blackspot and rust. To make: gather 1 pound of stinging nettle plants (use long rubber gloves and protective clothing to prevent from being stung!); crush stinging nettle leaves and put into an old burlap sack or pillow case. Submerge the bag in a one-gallon bucket containing unchlorinated water, cover and let sit in a warm place for a week. Strain mixture through cheesecloth or mesh. Dilute liquid stinging nettle concentrate with 5 parts water to 1 part concentrate. Spray this over rose bushes every two weeks.

Remember, these are suggestions that I have gleaned from the Internet. I’m not entirely sure of the effectiveness of these remedies but I will be trying one or more of them so that my roses will be healthier and more beautiful.

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