Southern Gardens: Roses

For hybrid roses (or anything in the rose family), black spot is out in force early this spring. Hybrid Tea roses (the ones you cut for long stem rose bouquets – not the “Knock-Out” roses) must be sprayed with fungicide labeled for the disease of the plant.  In Southern gardens, each bush must be sprayed every week during the growing season.

Also watch out for aphids, which typically can be found on the underside of leaves.  On roses, I don’t recommend spraying insecticides until you observe heavier infestations of aphids and other insects, in order to avoid harming beneficial insects in your Southern garden.

Chemicals In Southern Gardens

In Southern gardens, less is more – it’s not just a term for the modern school of architects!
If you are going to be your own pesticide applicator, don’t assume that if “a little’s good, then a lot is even better.”

Take this advice seriously:

  • Follow label directions
  • Use rubber gloves, safety equipment
  • PRECISELY measure amounts of concentrates
  • Don’t spray into the wind (common sense, right?)
  • Confirm the type of pest on your target plant BEFORE you apply concentrate
  • Don’t dump unused chemical into the gutter (bad for the environment)
  • Use as little pesticide as needed for the job.

Need I say this again?  Follow label directions precisely! This is not only environmentally sounds, but makes good economic sense as well. In every garden, not just Southern gardens!

Use Common Sense In Your Southern Gardens

If you use a home sprayer, put a paper tag on the sprayer to remind you of what chemical you have in the sprayer.  Don’t put unused chemical in soda bottles, or unlabeled containers in your garage.  You don’t want to be responsible for poisoning a child or pet. Clean up your mess, store chemical in a locked cabinet on a high shelf, and wash your hands with soap and water before consuming food. Sounds like common sense, but sometimes common sense is not really all that common.

Let me hear how your roses are doing, and what success tips you have to share in your Southern Gardens.