Roses are absolutely beautiful and it makes sense that you would want to grow them in your garden. Many people love caring for roses because it can be a very rewarding experience overall.
This doesn’t mean that caring for roses won’t be complicated in certain ways, though. You definitely need to pay attention to get the best results.
You might even notice that there is a powdery substance on your roses. If you’re seeing something that looks like a white powder on the leaves, stems, and buds of your plant, then you’re likely wondering what’s up with this.
This is known as powdery mildew and it’s not something that you just want to ignore. It’s a type of fungus that is most likely to show up in humid climates.
You might be wondering what you can do to get rid of this powdery mildew. Keep reading to learn how to get rid of powdery mildew on roses.
Keep Your Eyes Open for Powdery Mildew
The first thing to know is that you should always keep your eyes open for powdery mildew. Being able to identify it is important because you’ll be able to take the steps to remove it faster.
Knowing exactly what powdery mildew looks like can help you to be sure of what you’re looking at. It really is just a very fine powder that will appear on your plants sometimes when it’s very humid.
The powder is going to be white and it’ll look like someone has just sprinkled it on your plant at various points. If left alone, the powdery mildew can spread from the leaves to the stems.
You’ll find that powdery mildew will also spread to nearby plants. This is why it’s best to recognize it early so that you can take care of the problem.
Try to go out and check on your roses every so often to see if any powdery mildew is present. You don’t want to catch things too late and wind up encountering more problems.
What Can Powdery Mildew Do to Roses?
Knowing the consequences of leaving powdery mildew alone will help you to understand why it’s important to take care of things. You see, powdery mildew is actually going to attack your roses.
Eventually, the powdery mildew will start attacking the rosebuds, and this is going to stunt their growth. The rosebuds might become disfigured as well, and often they won’t even be able to open.
If this happens, then you won’t be able to enjoy your roses as intended. It helps to drive home the point that you need to remove powdery mildew as fast as you can once you notice it.
What Causes Powdery Mildew to Form?
As mentioned earlier, powdery mildew is likely to form in areas that are particularly humid. Powdery mildew needs moisture to be able to form, and very humid environments allow the powdery mildew to thrive.
It’s possible for powdery mildew to form in places that aren’t particularly humid if excess moisture is present. However, the most common situation involves powdery mildew forming after a very warm day and a cooler humid night.
The conditions have to be right for powdery mildew to form. Depending on where you live, powdery mildew might be a very common problem that you’ll have to be vigilant about.
Spray the Roses with Water to Get Rid of Powdery Mildew
One thing that you can do to get rid of powdery mildew is to spray them off with water. If you can spray the roses off with water on a dry day, then you should be able to solve light powdery mildew issues.
This is only going to be possible if you don’t have a significant powdery mildew problem to deal with, though. If you didn’t catch things early, then this might not work so well.
You should be able to use warm water to spray off light amounts of powdery mildew. It’s best to do this on a dry day, but you shouldn’t wait to remove the powdery mildew.
Remember that it’s possible that the powdery mildew will return at some point. It’s going to be necessary to keep an eye on the roses to see what happens.
You might have to keep spraying the roses off with warm water like this. Just remember that moisture is something that the powdery mildew needs to form, and this means that you’ll need to allow the leaves to dry somehow.
Treat Your Roses with Neem Oil
Protecting your roses from powdery mildew might be the best thing that you can do. You want to keep this powdery mildew issue from plaguing you constantly, and neem oil can make a difference.
Neem oil is all-natural and it does a good job of protecting your plants. Many people use neem oil as a natural way to deter pests from getting near plants, and it can help with powdery mildew as well.
This works to stop the powdery mildew from getting on your plants. Some people like to pair neem oil with other things to make this solution more effective.
For instance, you could use neem oil alongside milk to protect your roses. This might seem strange at first, but a milk and water mixture can do a good job of protecting plants from mildew.
The compounds that are found in the milk might work to strengthen your plant. It also helps to fight powdery mildew.
Potassium bicarbonate might be the best way to treat your roses when you’re trying to keep powdery mildew from showing up. This is going to be an easy way to prevent issues like this from happening moving forward.
You’ll want to mix one tablespoon of potassium bicarbonate with a gallon of water and half of a teaspoon of dish soap. You can then spray this mixture on the affected areas of the plant.
This is great because it can work to combat current infections or it can be a treatment to prevent powdery mildew from appearing in the first place. You should consider treating your roses with potassium bicarbonate every so often to be on the safe side.
Finding potassium bicarbonate is very easy and mixing things up won’t take long. It’s a great option when you’re trying to protect your roses from harm.
Powdery Mildew Fungicide
Of course, you can also go out and buy powdery mildew fungicide to solve this issue. Fungicides that contain sulfur are going to work really well to treat powdery mildew infections.
You can use powdery mildew fungicide as both a preventative measure and a treatment. This makes it a good idea no matter what you’re trying to do.
If your roses have powdery mildew issues right now, then you can get rid of the powdery mildew by using this fungicide. It shouldn’t cost you an exorbitant sum of money or anything, and it’s going to get good results.
Generally, this is seen as the best option when your goal is to keep the powdery mildew from coming back. It should be very effective and it’s easy enough to apply the fungicide as well.
It Might Be Necessary to Trim and Prune the Roses
It might be necessary to trim and prune the roses when they have been impacted by powdery mildew. This is especially true if you didn’t catch the powdery mildew problems fast.
Buds that have been impacted by powdery mildew aren’t going to do well anyway. It’s going to be best to cut buds, stems, and leaves from the plant and then get rid of them.
You might wind up having to cut the plant back pretty severely if things have progressed too far. Don’t throw any parts of the infected plant into your compost bin either.
It’s necessary to truly dispose of the plant debris because you don’t want the powdery mildew to spread. After you’re finished pruning, it’ll be important to disinfect your tools before using them on any other plants.
Thinning Out Your Plants Might Be a Good Idea
Thinning out your plants can actually be a good idea when you’re trying to combat powdery mildew issues. You know that moisture plays a key role in allowing powdery mildew to form, but you might not have thought about how thick your plants are and whether they’re making it easier for the powdery mildew to appear.
If you take the time to thin out your plants, then you might be able to keep the powdery mildew from forming. Thinning the plants out will make it so that it’s easier for the plants to air out.
When your plants are able to stay dry, it’s not going to be as likely for the powdery mildew to form. Yes, the roses will become moist due to morning dew and humidity, but better airflow can make a significant difference.
Consider thinning the plants out at least a little bit. It might be a simple step that you can take that will protect your roses that much more.
You Can Buy Roses That Are Resistant to Powdery Mildew
Did you know that there are roses out there that are resistant to powdery mildew? Not all roses are going to have big issues with powdery mildew.
If you know that your area is very humid and that powdery mildew is a common concern, then it would behoove you to look into buying roses that are resistant to it. It can make your life a lot easier and you won’t have to worry so much about your roses.
When you’re looking for roses to purchase, it’ll be easy to keep an eye out for varieties that are resistant to powdery mildew. In fact, you could even ask an employee at a nursery if they have any roses that are resistant that you could purchase.
Keep in mind that resistance is different from immunity. Getting a resistant plant will make it far less likely that powdery mildew will become a big issue, but that doesn’t make it impossible for the powdery mildew to appear.
If the conditions are right, then powdery mildew could still form. However, the resistant roses will be much less likely to have serious complications, and it’ll be easier to remove the powdery mildew before damage is done.
There are many things that you can do to try to keep your roses safe from powdery mildew. The worst thing to do will be to ignore the problem since it’s only going to get worse if you don’t take action.
Always do your best to keep an eye on your roses. You want to be able to notice powdery mildew sooner rather than later so that you can handle things.
In some cases, you’ll be able to spray your roses with warm water to remove the powdery mildew on a dry day. You should know that the powdery mildew might come back if this is all that you do, though.
Many people will try to treat their roses to protect them from powdery mildew. It’s common for people to apply neem oil to roses, and it works even better when paired with milk.
Potassium bicarbonate will help you to treat your roses, too. You can use this to prevent powdery mildew from being able to grow on the roses moving forward.
You might want to go out and buy a specific powdery mildew fungicide to take care of the problem fast, though. It’s going to work well as a preventative measure, but it can also get rid of current powdery mildew infections.
If your plant has substantial powdery mildew issues, then you might need to aggressively prune it. It’ll be necessary to discard the plant debris to try to keep the issue from spreading to other nearby plants.
Finally, looking into resistant varieties of roses will be in your best interest. You can find roses that are resistant to powdery mildew that will be less likely to have problems.
You have the knowledge to take care of powdery mildew now. It’s just up to you to decide what the best route to take is so that you can keep enjoying your roses.
Growing up with a mom who filled her home (inside and out) with all sorts of plants, Lisa got her start in gardening at a young age. Living now on her own with a home and yard full of plants (including an indoor greenhouse), she shares all the gardening tips she’s gained over the years.