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I bought a small rose bush on Mother's Day this year and planted it in my flower garden. The area probably has too much shade for a full sun plant, but I don't think that is the issue here.

Shortly after planting, its leaves began to develop black splotches and fall off. The leaves are mostly gone at this point. What happened, and is there anything I can do to help it recover?

EDIT: I noticed last night that all of the leaves had fallen off and some new ones were starting to show up. What can I do to prevent these leaves from developing the same mold? Is now the time to apply manure tea or should I wait?

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2 Answers 2

up vote 5 down vote accepted

This sounds like it could be Blackspot fungus which is brought on by overly damp or humid conditions. You may be watering too often, especially since it is already in a shady situation. Fertilizing twice a year with manure tea helps to resist fungus.

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Following on from Paul's diagnosis, I would add that a potash deficiency often predisposes roses to Blackspot, so I would give them a feed with a high potash content, and spray them with Dithane - see here - every fortnight. They need to be treated promptly, as several successive outbreaks could cause stem die-back and kill them.

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