Dying rose buds

We recently purchased a house that was built over a century ago. The previous owners moved out a year before we did and left their garden unattended. There are two antique rose bushes that bloomed a bit last year, but this year the buds seem to wither and brown before they even bloom. There is a powdery coating on the leaves which I assume is a fungus. Will an application of fungicide help with the dying buds?
Submitted by afton54

Hi,

 

Thanks for writing. It sounds like the powdery coating on the leaves may be powdery mildew, a common disease. It can attack rose flowers and buds, as well as leaves, though there are other diseases (such as botrytis) that could be affecting the flowers. Without being able to examine them, I can't say for certain. But applying fungicide before you see any problem should help prevent disease from occurring.

 

---Justin, Senior Garden Editor, BHG.com


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