Alan Titchmarsh explains how to avoid ‘mildew and black spot’ on your roses

Love Your Garden: Alan Titchmarsh on growing roses in 2011

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Roses are stunning flowers that look especially beautiful in the summer months. Growing perfect roses is possible if you give them the right environment to thrive in. In a 2011 episode of Love Your Garden, Alan shared how to prevent roses from getting mildew and black spots by following a “basic guide”.

He said: “If I were to offer you a basic guide to rise growing what would I say?

“Well, I’d say start down at the very bottom with the soil.

“Roses traditionally are supposed to like clay soil.

“They can grow in sand but what they do love is moisture at the roots with plenty of muck worked in.

“You can see that the ground here looks very organic almost like fruitcake.”

Alan showed viewers the soil which looked loose and full of clumps.

He added: “They [roses] love moisture and that will help to stop them from showing signs of mildew – that white powdery stuff – and black spots.

“It’s when they are short on moisture they tend to get these diseases but they do need food.

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“Sprinkle some rose fertiliser around the soil above the roots in March and again in June.”

Black spot is a fungus that leaves unsightly black spots on the leaves and stems of roses.

Eventually, the leaves will turn yellow and drop off before the autumn months set in.

While your rose plant may look healthier in the spring months, the spores on the fallen leaves re-infect the new foliage.

If black spot continues to appear throughout the season, it could eventually weaken the plant.

One of the best ways to deter back spot is by picking up and destroying the fallen leaves to avoid reinfection.

When you’re pruning your plant, make sure to cut out any stems with black spot.

Putting mulch around the base of the plant will also stop rain splashing black spot spores onto new growth.

Another way of avoiding black spot is by growing rose varieties that are resistant to black spot.

Powdery mildew is another common disease for roses.

It is white and powdery and can disfigure the plant if it infects the plant repeatedly.

The Royal Horticultural Society said planting your rose in full sun is a good way to minimise outbreaks.

Putting climbing roses in places with good air circulation will also help.

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