Famous black spot
Surely black spot is the most famous of all rose diseases. Everyone gets some blackspot on some of their roses, no matter where they live in the world. They didn’t, apparently in the early days, when the air was laden with toxic sulphur fumes. Oh to live in England in the early 1900’s!
Blackspot in our clean, green, humid air, is, of course, endemic, and also blamed for other diseases which it isn’t at all. Blackspot seems to most favour the hybrid roses , and leaves most of the true old fashioned and rugosas largely alone. The David Austins again fall into most categories, so we find some are very prone to it and some much less so.
Living with black spot
Because of fungal diseases’ fondness for our climate, we find it better to categorize the roses on how well they combat a disease within a regular spraying program, rather than without. Interestingly, there is a difference. Some David Austins that are warned against, or have even been deleted by the man himself, due to their susceptibility to say, blackspot, actually cope better with the disease within a good spraying program than some more naturally immune do.
Don’t get too uptight about this disease, after all, as a famous rosarian once said (Jack Harkness I think) “What’s a few black spots between friends”, and so long as your bushes are strong and fed and watered well, they will soon grow new leaves and buds which you can this time make time to spray!