Saturday, May 3, 2014

Black Spot on Roses: How to Treat, Prevent & Get Rid of Black Spot

If you have ever grown a rose bush, then chances are that you have had to deal Black Spot at least once before finding the best way to treat it. {Unless you grow Knock-Out Roses which are highly resistant but, don’t have as many colors, varieties or big blooms like standard roses.} It’s fact of life rose gardening... We all get it eventually and, we all end up looking for ways to get rid of Black Spot before it takes over and leaves our roses looking pitiful. The good news is, there are several ways to get rid of Black Spot and you will find them here!

Nearly any rosarian will tell you that the fungus is easy to catch, easy to spread and hard to get rid of. Black Spot is easily identified by yellowing of the leaves and small, black dots on the leaves, stems and canes. Believe it or not, it’s very common especially, in warm, humid or rainy climates and can be spread with water, wind and direct contact. Here in Florida, it’s can be a nightmare in a matter of just a few rainy days.

Below you will find out how to prevent and several ways to treat and get rid of Black Spot before it takes over. If you have any questions or know of any other ways to treat and prevent Black Spot, be sure to post a comment and let me know and I will gladly add it to the list to share it with everyone else looking for ways get rid of it.{Of course, I will give you credit for the idea, too!}

black spot on leaves
Credit: Michelle Grabowski via UM Extension

How to Prevent Black Spot on Roses

The first step in treating Black Spot on roses is to prevent it. Even though your roses may already be infected, you should still make every effort to prevent further spreading of the fungus because if you don’t, it will get out of control very fast! 

  • Always water roses from the base of the plant to avoid splashing
  • Treat immediately, at the first signs of Black Spot to avoid it from spreading
  • Always clean gardening tools after each use, before moving on to the next rose
  • Always treat the soil, not just the plant
  • Keep the lower portions of the bush pruned so that the leaves are not touching the soil
  • Always bag up any debris, seal it up and toss it in the trash

Remove the Infected Foliage Before Treating 

To treat Black Spot on roses, start by removing any and all leaves, stems and canes that show even the tiniest sign of Black Spot. Even if there is only a couple of spot, go ahead and remove it or else it will continue to spread. Depending on how severe the infection is, it may mean removing several leaves and stems, making your plant smaller. Unfortunately, it has to be done. Besides, a small rose bush looks better than a big one that is sick!

Always, and I mean always, remove the infected debris from the flower bed. I always put mine in trash bag and toss it out. Leaving even a tiny leaf behind that has already been infected means it will come right back. Never put it you compost pile or out in the yard as it will continue to spread the fungus throughout your yard and garden, making it much harder to treat and prevent.

Methods For Treating Black Spot

There are several ways to get rid of Black Spot. Among the most common are ready-to-use fungicides specifically for treating Black Spot. Most of these products work very well and cost around $5-15. The ready-to-use fungicides usually require an application every 5-7 days until the Black Spot is gone, and then every 1-2 2 weeks to prevent future reoccurrence.

Here are some of the best rose fungicides used to treat Black Spot:

Organic & Homemade Black Spot Treatments

In addition to buying the Black Spot treatment solutions above, you can also try a few of these DIY homemade Black Spot treatments. They all work and cost less than the store bought, but you do have to be careful and be sure not to overuse them or else the vinegar and the baking soda can both change the pH in the soil, which will affect the rose.  I have personally used them all and have found them to be quite beneficial in getting rid of Black Spot.

Vinegar and Water Black Spot Solution

apple cider vinegar and water for black spot
One of the easiest ways to treat and get rid of Black Spot is with a simple solution made of vinegar and water. Add 3 tablespoons of Apple Cider Vinegar to a gallon of water and mix well. Pour the vinegar solution into a spray bottle and spray your roses heavily. *Again, the entire rose until it is dripping, spray the base, the soil and surrounding roses.* .

Be sure to spray the tops and bottoms of the leaves, stems and canes. Spray in the early morning once a week until the Black Spot is eliminated then spray every 2 weeks to prevent a future breakout of Black Spot. For even more protection and quicker results, you can beef it up a little by adding one tablespoon of Molasses to the solution to help the vinegar to stick to the leaves. It is not necessary but does help since it insures the solution stays on the infected foliage longer, before it finally drips or dries.

Dish Soap Solution for Black Spot

dawn antibacterial dish soap for rosesAnother homemade Black Spot treatment is dish soap. Behold, the power of the trusty ol’ dish soap! Any antibacterial dish soap will work fine. I use Ajax or Dawn antibacterial dish soap because those are the two I usually use in the kitchen and those two have always worked fine.

Simply combine ½ cup antibacterial dish soap in a 2 liter bottle, mix well and use a spray bottle to apply to the rose bush. I usually just take the sprayer off of an old Windex bottle, rinse it well, and connect it to the top of the 2 liter bottle. Label it and leave it in the green house (great way to recycle) or under the kitchen sink. Apply every 5-7 days until Black Spot is eliminated and then, once every 2 weeks to prevent future breakouts.

Baking Soda Black Spot Treatment Solution

You can also use baking soda to treat Black Spot on roses and prevent future breakouts. Simply combine, 4 tablespoons of baking soda, one tablespoon of Molasses and one gallon of water. Mix well and spray thoroughly on roses that have been infected with Black Spot. Reapply once a week until cured. Then apply every few weeks to prevent future reoccurrences.

As you can see, getting rid of Black Spot isn't too hard. It just takes the right solutions and a little patience.  Using any of the above solutions will work if applied thoroughly and as often as once a week while treating/getting rid of,  and every 2 weeks to prevent future breakouts.

Don’t forget, you should always spray the entire bush, including under the leaves, and also the base, ground and any other roses you have in your yard, even the ones that are not showing signs of Black Spot. This will help to insure that the fungus has been cured fully instead of curing one plant just to find out that another rose had it and now you are fighting the same battle all over again.

Like what you read? Pin it!      


If you have any questions, suggestions or tips about treating Black Spot, growing roses or gardening in general, please post it in a comment below and I, or one of my other readers, will be happy to help out. If you have ever used any of the solutions above, let us know what worked best for you.

FTC Disclosure: participates in the Amazon Associates Program and the Amazon products listed above do contain my affiliate links. Amazon provides this opportunity to bloggers to help us earn a small commission from products sold through our sites to help cover the expenses associated with blogging. 


  1. I love your tips! I always need help when it comes to gardening. Pinned! Thanks for being part of our party. Please come and show off on Monday at 7 pm. We would love it.
    Happy Saturday! Lou Lou Girls

  2. Awesome tips! We have 23 rose bushes currently, so black spot could get ugly quickly. We try to keep on top of it. We have used the dish soap and ready-mixed solutions before, but have never of the apple cider vinegar and baking soda it. We are going to have to try the vinegar method for sure! Thanks for sharing and co-hosting at the #HomeMattersParty -we love partying with you! 😊

  3. For the Dish Soap Solution, what do you combine the dish soap with?


I love feedback! Be sure to leave a comment and let me know what you think about this post. {All comments are moderated.}

Popular Posts