More than 5,000 rose bushes grow at Hershey Gardens in Hershey, Pa., where the gardening staff works hard to keep them free of pests and diseases. They use a chemical spray in the main garden, but they did not want to use this spray in the dedicated Children’s Garden. Instead, they came up with the following safe rose spray recipe, which they’ve found to be very effective:
Mix one tablespoon of vinegar with one cup of water. Add one and a half tablespoons of baking soda plus one tablespoon of dish soap and one tablespoon of vegetable oil (or any other cooking oil).
Stir this mixture into one gallon of water, and spray it on your roses’ foliage. Reapply every seven to ten days, or after a rainstorm.
For more about Hershey Gardens, see the Summer 2013 issue of Gardeners On the Go.
For help in choosing roses that will stay healthy with little input from the gardener, check out these articles: