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Preventive growing practices

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Spinosissima hybrid rose (Rosa 'Hazeldean')
Photo: Jardin botanique de Montréal (Gilles Murray)

Prevention remains the best way of combating insect pests and diseases that affect roses.

  • Choose cultivars recognized for their resistance to common fungal diseases.
  • Choose healthy, vigorous plants.
  • Place them in an appropriate site (a sunny location with rich, well-drained soil).
  • Maintain adequate spacing between plants to allow air to circulate and sunlight to penetrate.
  • Plant a mixed border (roses, other shrubs, perennials, annuals, etc.) rather than a rose garden. A diversified habitat will attract natural predators.
  • Keep your plants healthy by fertilizing them adequately and watering them during dry spells. Avoid wetting the foliage or handling plants while they are wet.
  • Prune your roses every year to allow air and light to reach the centre of the plant. This will reduce the likelihood of fungal diseases.
  • Disinfect your pruning tools regularly with rubbing alcohol.
  • Weed regularly, for weeds can act as host plants for different parasites. Mulching is a good way to limit weeds.
  • Inspect your roses regularly. By identifying symptoms caused by insect pests, a disease or poor growing conditions at the start, you can address the problem before it gets out of hand.

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