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

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Roses > Stem > Dying stems

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  • Image: Canker 1
  • Image: Canker 2
  • Image: Canker 3

Several different fungi

  • Dead branch within otherwise healthy plant
  • Light colored blotches or patches, often with a reddish purple border, along dead stem
  • Some patches may have flaky, loose or cracked epidermis (surface layer)
  • Tiny black bumps may be seen on dead area of stem
  • More information on canker
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  • Image: Winter injury 1
  • Image: Winter injury 2

Winter injury

  • Occurs in spring
  • New growth emerges then wilts and dies as weather turns warm
  • Dark streaks visible in wood if bark is scraped away
  • More information on winter injury
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  • Image: Winter Kill 1
  • Image: Winter Kill 2
  • Image: Winter Kill 3

Winter Kill

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  • Image: Rodent Damage 1
  • Image: Rodent Damage 2
  • Image: Rodent Damage 3

Rodent Damage
Rabbits, mice, voles, and other rodents

  • Leaves fail to leaf out or leaf out very poorly in the spring
  • Bark is removed around the base of the cane and there are signs of chewing or gnawing
  • If chewing occurred in the roots, plant may be wobbly and loosely anchored in the ground
  • More info on controlling wildlife
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  • Image: Rose stem girdler 1
  • Image: Rose stem girdler 2
  • Image: Rose stem girdler 3

Rose stem girdler

  • A species of flatheaded borer
  • Small (1/4 inch long) larvae, bullet-shaped, iridescent gold; rarely seen
  • Occurs during summer
  • Clumps of leaves wilt and turn brown
  • Also look for swelling in stem
  • More info on rose stem girdler
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  • Image: Gray Mold 1
  • Image: Gray Mold 2
  • Image: Gray Mold 3

Gray Mold
Botrytis cinerea

  • Small red rings or flecks on white or light colored petals
  • Brown irregular spots on petals
  • Completely brown, curled over, dead flower buds
  • Brown sunken area on stem
  • Gray fuzzy spores produced in cool wet weather
  • More information on gray mold
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Verticillium Wilt
Verticillium dahliae and Verticillium ablo-atrum

  • Tips of young canes wilt
  • Leaves turn yellow, then brown and then fall off
  • Damage starts on the lowest leaves first and then moves upward
  • Canes die and turn brown from the tip down
  • Purplish black streaks occur on stems before they dieback
  • More information on verticillium wilt

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