Roses
Q.

Garden lice or fungus

Zone Fall City, Washington | Anonymous added on June 1, 2017 | Answered

Hello, I just wanted to ask about a potential fungus in my garden. Unknowingly, I cut our roses back a bit too short this early spring. I thought this may have been a happy accident because the new growth has been extremely healthy looking and strong. (They're very old bushes). However, while the leaves and stems look great, the blooms look shriveled and unhealthy with no usual fragrance. I just pulled out a hollyhock because it had very diseased looking spots that were yellow. I figured I better get it out as soon as possible, but fear that it may have been too late. So, my question is do you think from my description that I have a fungal infection in my garden and if so how do I fix this problem. Additional side note, I did pull the petals back on one of the roses and saw tiny bugs (lice?). I'm obviously not a seasoned gardener but want to save my moms roses. I tried very hard to get you a specific picture but I couldn't get it to download.

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Downtoearthdigs
Certified GKH Gardening Expert
Answered on June 1, 2017

It looks like you may have several things going on. There is some evidence that points to insect issues as well as perhaps some light fungus problems at the moment. Also the roses are just starting to show some signs of stress in dealing with it. First, water the roses very well. Then give all of them a treatment of Bayer Tree and Shrub Granules per the label instructions for Ornamentals/shrubs/roses. Water it in after the application. After about a week see if things are improving, as they should be. The tiny bugs in the petals could be thrips and they are very hard to get at using typical sprays except the Bayer Complete Insecticide may help knock them down, You could spray them all with the Bayer Complete at the same time as treating them with the granules to get a jump on the insect issues. I would prune off the blooms that do not look so good, place them in a plastic bag that can be sealed up and place them in the trash. I recommend spraying the roses and any other plants with a fungicide called Green Cure every 10 to 14 days. It is an earth friendly product that works very well. I have used it for several years now. It is available on-line at such websites as Planet Natural. One tub of the powder goes a long way. You mix it with water, dump it into the sprayer, finish filling the sprayer with water and then go apply it, being sure to wet all the foliage well.
After the applications of the Bayer products to gain control, probably in 14 to 20 days, water the rosebushes with some water that has both a good root stimulator and a product called Super Thrive mixed into the same water. This mix can be applied the next three to four times they need watering. It goes a long way towards stress and shock recovery giving new strength to the overall bushes.

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