At this time of year, the roses are in full flow and are flowering their socks off. It’s a constant round of deadheading the repeat flowering varieties, watering during dry periods and feeding. I have also spent the past month or so picking off any leaves showing the first signs of black spot and spraying the plants with an anti-fungal treatment where needed. If any leaves fall onto the ground beneath the plant I pick up and dispose of those too, either into the green waste bin or onto the bonfire pile. It’s important not to leave these lying around your plants giving them the opportunity to infect otherwise healthy leaves.
If your roses are anything like mine, they grew unusually tall over the winter, maybe because of the weather conditions we’ve had. Two plants in particular in my garden shot up, one reaching about 7 feet by May. However, both were covered in black spot and looked thoroughly miserable. So two weeks ago I pruned each stem down to roughly two feet above ground level and got rid of the leaves of all but one stem per plant which had new growth showing no signs of infection. Again, I picked up every infected leaf I could find in the vicinity. Today, the plants are covered in beautiful, black spot-free new leaves and are covered in new flower buds. Sometimes, tough love is the only thing for it.