Rugosa Rose Problem

by Mary
(Ontario Canada)

We have Rugosa roses in a sunny spot.

They have been there and thriving for about 7 years.

This year the leaves are light green or yellowish and brown dry areas are creeping from the edge of the leaves inward.

We have five clumps planted in a row.
What to do?

We've had a very wet spring.

Botanical Journeys Plant Guides

This could be 1 of 3 problems. Frost damage, a nutrient deficiency or too much water.

Frost damage causes leaves to come in yellowish green and also causes browning at the edges.

Even though the roses have been through several winters unscathed, they can be damaged in a colder than normal winter or if the cold happens in just a particular way.

If the veins on the pale leaves are still green, your roses are suffering from an iron deficiency. Scatter some chelated iron around the bushes (a big handful per plant).

This is the most common mineral deficiency that roses suffer from. It is particularly a problem in roses grown on clay soils.

If the iron corrects the yellowing, use it again in the fall to prevent a recurrence.

A lack of potassium can cause rose foliage to develop dry, brown edges.

If you feed the plants 1-3 times each year with a balanced fertilizer, frost damage is the most likely suspect.

In this case, all you can do is prune out the damaged wood and wait for healthy new canes to grow.

Excess moisture in the soil can cause rose leaves to turn yellow and brown at the edges. This is unlikely to occur naturally (without supplemental water being applied) unless your soil does not drain well.

Rugosa Rose Care

Feeding Your Roses

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