Our 68th Year serving Western Pennsylvania
In the fall months the fungal disease can still be a problem. The healthier the plant going into winter the better the winter survival chance for the bush. A mild attack of black spot or powdery mildew may be ignored but it is important to clean up the garden bed to reduce the number of fungal spores that will linger and activate in the spring. If you are growing Hybrid Teas and have fungal issues it is best to treat the problem. With bushes that do not have some natural ability to ward off fungal disease the problem will only get worse with time. There are many good fungicides available and if you need help selecting a product contact one of our Consulting Rosarians or stop at a good garden center.
Remember that the major pruning should have been done in the spring (in Western PA this is usually when or after the forsythia bloom.) However, it is never too late to prune out dead wood.
At this time of the year it is best to stop fertilization. The goal now is to gently guide the roses into their dormant state for winter. Also there is no need to dead head the spent blooms--let them mature into hips which add color to the garden in winter.
Keep your bushes well watered (about 1" per week). So far we have gotten sufficient rainfall but if we go into a protracted dry period with little rain or snow you may need to water.
To download PDF copy roses that have passed the Columbus Park of Roses "Earth-Kind" northern trials follow the link to the right