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Need help troubleshooting leaf problem with potted miniature rose

Posted by Elaine_Simon CA (My Page) on
Sun, Nov 20, 11 at 17:51


I got a potted miniature roses plant earlier this year (summer time). I am not good with plants, but after I figured out the right lighting and the right watering schedule, the roses did really well. It was growing a lot and blooming a lot. It was fantastic. The plant sits on a east facing window sill, and I was watering it every day.

Then the weather started to get cooler. I live in Los Angeles, and the temperatures have dropped about 20 or 30 degrees. I began to notice a white fungus on the plant. I did some research online and identified it as powdery mildew. Following what I read online, I cut away the affected areas. Then I bought a garden anti fungus spray. I sprayed the plant once, but the spray was pretty horrible, so I have not used it since. I also thought that maybe the fungus spray burned the leaves.

I also bought some liquid fertilizer and was using that, following the directions.

Ever since the weather turned, the plant has not been doing very well. Because of the cold temperatures, I cut back on watering (every other day now, but that may even be too much, it seems). I have noticed bad things happening with the leaves, and kept cutting away damaged areas. I have cut away a lot of the plant so now it's a lot thinner than it used to be.

I really like this plant and I want to resolve the issues, but I don't know what's wrong. It's not getting as much sunlight as it used to (because it hasn't been sunny or as warm), and I'm not really sure 1) what's wrong exactly, 2) what to do to make my plant "happy."

I would really appreciate any help. I took some pictures to show some of the leaf problems.

Image link: Need help troubleshooting leaf problem with potted miniature rose (48 k)

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Need help troubleshooting leaf problem with potted miniature

Hi, here is a link to some additional pictures.

Here is a link that might be useful: More pictures

RE: Need help troubleshooting leaf problem with potted miniature

Elaine_Simon, I suspect a fungus. On roses they are associated with water getting and staying on the leaves. Check out the diseases pictures on these two sites and see what your rose bush might have.

RE: Need help troubleshooting leaf problem with potted miniature

Thanks for the advice. I now think it may be black spot. I took out my fungus spray and sprayed the plant thoroughly and put it in a well ventilated (but unfortunately less sunny) spot. I am going to try the spray treatment daily and see if that helps. I hate continuing to cut back. I feel like I may have to cut away the entire plant.

If anyone else has any tips, I'd appreciate it. I don't like being a plant killer.

Thanks again.

RE: Need help troubleshooting leaf problem with potted miniature

Elaine_Simon, I do not believe that you will need to spray daily. Do follow the label directions; the plant is indoors! For roses grown outdoors, it is recommended to spray against black spot every time the leaves remain wet for two hours or more.

RE: Need help troubleshooting leaf problem with potted miniature

Thanks for the advice. I sprayed it thoroughly last night and put it in a more ventilated and warmer area (but less light). It seems to be better today.

The spray I have is Garden Safe Brand Fungicide 3. The instructions say 'To control disease already present, apply Garden Safe Brand Fungicide 3 on a 7-day schedule until disease pressure is eliminated. Then continue spraying on a 14-day schedule to prevent the disease from recurring. Spray to run off. Complete coverage of all plant tissue is necessary for control.'

I interpreted this as to spray daily for seven days but maybe I'm not understanding it right.

Am I doing this right? I won't spray it tonight.

Thanks again.

Here is a link that might be useful: Link to fungicide I'm using

RE: Need help troubleshooting leaf problem with potted miniature

Elaine_Simon, Is this the label?
Claried Hydrophobic Extract of Neem Oil.......0.9%
THER INGREDIENTS ............................99.1%
A 3 or 7 day schedule means to apply the product every third or seventh day. On a 7-day schedule you will be applying the product once a week.
Visit this site from which I copied a paragraph.

Oils. To eradicate powdery mildew infections, use a horticultural oil such as Saf-T-Side Spray Oil, Sunspray Ultra-Fine Spray Oil or one of the plant-based oils such as neem oil (such as Green Light Neem Concentrate) or jojoba oil (such as E-rase). Be careful, however, never to apply an oil spray within 2 weeks of a sulfur spray or plants may be injured. Some plants may be more sensitive than others, however, and the interval required between sulfur and oil sprays may be even longer; always consult the fungicide label for any special precautions. Also, oils should never be applied when temperatures are above 90�F or to drought-stressed plants. Horticultural oils and neem and jojoba oils are registered on a wide variety of crops.

RE: Need help troubleshooting leaf problem with potted miniature

Just to let you know, your images don't show any black spot of roses.

Those particular leaves show a bit of mechanical damage, old age, and small brown spots that mean little or nothing.

Whatever is there, *won't* get better if you spray. Sprays for plant disease are designed to prevent new infections, NOT to make what's already there look better.

I suggest you stop spraying before you create additional problems.

RE: Need help troubleshooting leaf problem with potted miniature


Thanks for clarifying what a 7-day schedule means. That helps a lot. The link is also very helpful.

I have cut back on watering the plant and being a lot more sensitive to that aspect of things. I think I may have been overwatering during this cool seasonal period.

Looks like I need to do more reading on how to care for my plant.

Thanks again for everyone's input.

RE: label

Oops, forgot to mention that, yes, that is the product label.

RE: Need help troubleshooting leaf problem with potted miniature

It should also be mentioned that miniature (or any kind of) roses do not take well to being grown inside, period. You would join the very, very long list of people, many of whom might be much more experienced than you, who fail with this plant once it's brought inside. It can be done, absolutely, but it takes some knowledge of just what these plants need and how to provide it, inside.

Most roses are fully deciduous plants, or want to be. They prefer a cool (or even cold), dormant period after their leaves drop. Just as any deciduous plant would do, they suffer and complain when their natural cycle is completely disrupted.

The watering of any indoor plant needs to be done 'as needed' rather than by a calendar schedule. Most people use their fingers to test the dampness of the soil under the surface. You can also use a small wooden dowel rod...if it comes out damp after being inserted, don't water. Many people learn to tell by simply lifting the container and judging the need for a good watering by the weight. That takes experience.

It's imperative that the potting medium be one that drains rapidly so that you can water thoroughly every time, no little sips.

Watering frequency depends upon: the type of plant, size of plant in relationship to the pot, type of potting medium, time of year, temperature and relative humidity of the room, duration and quality of light, and type of container, just to name some of the factors.

Not only did the temperatures change, but so did the duration and quality of light. Seasonal differences are extremely meaningful to plants. Your rose may have been able to languish on the window sill in the summer, but once fall came around, it was simply unable to even do that anymore. No amount of fungicide of any kind can 'fix' this kind of problem.

Roses like plenty of direct sunlight. You cannot provide that, even on the sunniest window sill. Luckily, there are artificial lighting kits and lamps for those of us who wish to grow those kinds of plants needing more light than can be found inside the home.

RE: Need help troubleshooting leaf problem with potted miniature

OK, that's disappointing to hear. Unfortunately, I am not able to plant it outside as I live in an apartment complex.

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