Are rose petals good for your health?

10 organic tips for healthy roses

Blossoms from May to autumn, a wonderful color palette, many fragrant varieties, countless uses from ground cover to meter-high sky-stormers: only roses offer garden lovers these inestimable qualities. And once you fall in love with roses, you will never get away from them. These tips will keep your roses healthy.

Tip 1: It all depends on the type of rose

Roses are not naturally susceptible to plant diseases and pests - however, in some cultivars, more attention has been paid to the appearance of the flowers or the intense scent than the robustness of the plants. But there are also particularly insensitive varieties. This can be recognized by the so-called ADR rating. In the General German Rose Novelty Test, the resistance of a variety to pests as well as winter hardiness, flowering, scent and growth habit are assessed over several years. Only roses that have passed this test are marked as ADR roses. They are considered to be less susceptible to the typical rose diseases and can do without sprays.

Tip 2: good rose pruning, strong plants

When the forsythias are in bloom, the best time to cut roses, which shouldn't be too timid. Well-sharpened scissors ensure clean interfaces that are less susceptible to pathogens than frayed cuts. Always cut roses about half a centimeter above an outward-facing bud at an angle downwards so that rainwater can run off. Cuttings that fall on the floor are potential sources of disease and should be disposed of immediately. Old shoots and leaves, on which fungal spores often overwinter, are also thoroughly removed.

Tip 3: Protect rose roots from voles

When a rose suddenly wilts or sprouts badly in spring, voles were often at work. Typical distinguishing mark: the roses can be easily pulled out of the ground and the roots are pitted. You don't have to throw the plant away yet: Cut the root remains with the rose scissors and put the plant back in another place protected by a wire basket. When it sprouts again, it usually recovers. New roses should then be planted with a wire basket right from the start.

Tip 4: Mulching roses properly helps against blackened soot

After the spring pruning, the area around the root ball should always be covered with a layer of mulch. Grass clippings (mixed with nettles and horsetail) are initially suitable for this, as the nitrogen content can then be very high. From June it is better to use cut fern leaves, marigolds and marigolds. Bark mulch is less fond of roses, it acidifies the soil and deprives it of too much nitrogen. Before mulching in spring, you should remove old, fallen leaves, on which fungus spores from the previous year often hibernate.

Tip 5: Herbal extracts as a tonic

You can prevent infestation with pests and diseases such as star soot with biological tonics made from herbs. These agents promote root formation and shoot growth. More vigorous plants are not only more resistant to disease, they can also recover faster from an infestation. Depending on availability, you can chop up thyme, chamomile, marigold, garlic, nettle, tansy and feverfew and pour boiling water over them. This plant manure is used for watering the next day. To prepare a herbal manure, add dandelion, yarrow, elderberry leaves and onion peels and let everything ferment for two weeks. You can use the liquid manure diluted with water in a ratio of 1:10 as a spray or fertilizer. In addition, distribute the sieved plant remains around the diseased roses.

Alternatively, you can also use ready-made tonics from the specialist store. Here the dried herbs are already mixed and dosed as pods - they just have to be mixed with water. Then you can either spray the preparation as an extract, tea or broth directly onto leaves and shoots or pour the rose with the liquid manure. If the effort is too great to handle the pads, the preparations can also be bought as a ready-to-use product in a spray bottle. This is then used to spray the entire plant every seven to ten days. If possible, only wet the shoots and leaves and avoid buds and flowers as much as possible.

Tip 6: Nettle manure strengthens the immune system

Nettle manure is an ideal fertilizer and strengthens the defenses of the plants. About one kilogram of nettles (ideally just the leaves) are cut up and placed in a container with ten liters of rainwater in a warm, sunny place. Rock flour reduces the unpleasant smell. When the broth has stopped foaming and is dark in color, it is ready; then sieve. As a weekly fertilizer, the liquid manure is diluted 1:10 with water (only use until flowering). For spraying, liquid manure is used before fermentation (before it foams) and, slightly diluted, is sprayed over the roses every three weeks when the sky is overcast.

Tip 7: Garlic helps against leaf fungus

When the rose pruning is complete in spring, spraying the shoots, leaves and soil with garlic stock prevents infestation by fungal diseases such as powdery mildew, blackened soot and rose rust. To do this, roughly chop about 20 cloves of garlic, bring to the boil in a liter of water and leave to stand for 15 minutes, covered. Let the brew stand for seven and 24 hours. Diluted (with water 1:10) spray three times with an interval of three days from May. Incidentally, garlic cloves stuck in the ground are said to enhance the scent of roses.

Herbalist René Wadas explains in an interview how you can combat star soot on roses
Video and editing: CreativeUnit / Fabian Heckle

Tip 8: Tonics for more vitality

In addition to a sunny, airy location, the soil is crucial for the health of roses. Natural soil additives with so-called mycorrhizal fungi and bio-stimulants improve the soil climate, allow roses to grow better and facilitate the absorption of nutrients. Tonics such as Vitanal, a biological remedy made from grain, promote soil life, root formation and shoot growth.

Tip 9: outsmart aphids

Aphids on rose buds are a common sight that mostly only pleases birds and ladybugs. These beneficial insects naturally reduce the infestation. In addition, you can spray the aphids away with a sharp jet of water. Nettle tea is also said to help against the sap suckers: cut the nettle leaves, pour boiling water over them, leave to stand overnight and strain. Pour the tea over the shoot tips of roses and other plants.

Tip 10: Tansy drives away vine weevil larvae

It is not the black weevil itself, but its larvae that afflict our roses the most. As for voles, the roots are a delicacy for them - the plants wither in a short time. The larvae that hatch from August can be controlled with tansy broth, which is poured several times around the infested roses, as well as with nematodes. The adult beetles can hardly be seen during the day, but their traces of feeding on the leaves are unmistakable: Round bulges on the leaf edges are not only found in roses, but often also in rhododendrons. The nocturnal beetle can be collected in the dark with a flashlight or shaken off in the morning hours and collected with cloths laid out.

Practical video: Combating leaf diseases on roses naturally

Did you know that some rose diseases can be prevented with a very simple home remedy? In this practical video, editor Karina Nennstiel explains what it is and how to use it correctly

Credits: MSG / CreativeUnit / Camera + Editing: Kevin Hartfiel