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Extension > Garden > Diagnose a problem > What's wrong with my plant? > Annuals and Perennials > Roses > Discolored leaves

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Roses > Leaves > Discolored leaves

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  • Image: Powdery Mildew 1
  • Image: Powdery Mildew 2
  • Image: Powdery Mildew 3

Powdery Mildew
Sphaerotheca pannosa

  • Powdery white coating on leaves, stems, flower buds and flower stalks
  • Leaf tissue may be tinted red around the infection
  • Leaves can be twisted or curved at the site of infection
  • Infection often most severe on young leaves
  • Typically occurs mid to late summer
  • More information on powdery mildew
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  • Image: Black Spot 1
  • Image: Black Spot 2
  • Image: Black Spot 3

Black Spot
Diplocarpon roseae

  • Purplish black spots with uneven or feathery edges on leaves
  • Leaves turn yellow around spots
  • Leaves fall off
  • Sometimes reddish purple or black blisters on canes
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  • Image: Roseslug 1
  • Image: Roseslug 2
  • Image: Roseslug 3


  • Occurs during May and June
  • Creates windowpane damage (i.e. feeds on one layer of leaf tissue between the veins)
  • Clear, lacey damage at first, later turns brown
  • Green, smooth caterpillar-like body, up to 1/2 inch long
  • More information on Roseslug
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  • Image: Spider Mites 1
  • Image: Spider Mites 2
  • Image: Spider Mites 3

Spider Mites

  • Occurs during summer, especially during hot, dry weather
  • Leaves are a speckled, off-green color
  • As damage becomes more severe, leaves become a bronzed color
  • Yellowish or greenish color; found on underside of leaves; very tiny (1/50th inch long) and not easily seen without magnification
  • More information on Spider Mites
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  • Image: Iron chlorosis 1
  • Image: Iron chlorosis 2
  • Image: Iron chlorosis 3

Iron chlorosis
Deficiency of iron in leaves

  • Leaves are pale green to white with darker green veins
  • Young leaves more affected than old leaves
  • In severe cases, young leaves are small and completely white
  • Common in rugosa roses
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  • Image: Rust 1
  • Image: Rust 2
  • Image: Rust 3

Phragmidium mucronatum

  • Orange raised bumps on underside of leaves
  • Twisted or bent leaves, with orange lesions
  • Powdery orange spores released from all lesions and spots
  • Severely infected leaves may wilt
  • More information on rust
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  • Image: Virus 1
  • Image: Virus 2
  • Image: Virus 3

Rose Mosaic Virus

  • Unusual yellow wavy lines, circles, spots or mottling on leaves
  • Symptoms are most obvious in cool weather in spring and fall, may become faint in the heat of summer
  • Leaves can be leathery, wrinkled or distorted
  • Plants can be stunted or grow poorly
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  • Image: Rose Streak 1
  • Image: Rose Streak 2

Rose Streak
Rose Streak Virus

  • Symptoms are most common on roses with large clusters of small flowers
  • Symptoms may vary in other cultivars
  • Leaves turn yellow and may have random dead brown spots
  • Leaves fall off in the spring or early summer
  • Very susceptible cultivars have brown to black streaks on the canes
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  • Image: Rose stem girdler 1
  • Image: Rose stem girdler 2
  • Image: Rose stem girdler 3

Rose stem girdler

  • Occurs during summer
  • Clumps of leaves wilt and turn brown
  • Also look for swelling in stem
  • Small (1/4 inch long), bullet-shaped, iridescent gold; rarely seen
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Salt burn
Excessive fertilizer or deicing salt

  • Edges of leaves are brown and dry
  • Roots are dead and brown from the tip back
  • Plants are stunted and have slow growth
  • Common in plants close to roads or sidewalks, and in heavily fertilized plants

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