- Author: Sherida Phibbs
There is a section of this rose bush where the new spring leaves are small, yellowed and odd shaped. The shoots are stunted and narrow. Also, malformed flower buds are present.
This is a typical symptom of phytotoxicity. After further investigation, it is determined that the during the prior summer and fall seasons, glyphosate was used to eradicate bindweed 3 feet from the rose bush. Roundup, a common glyphosate was used. Roundup is one of hundreds of garden products that contain glyphosate.
Roses are extremely sensitive to glyphosate as well as various postemergence broadleaf herbicides. Drift from herbicide spray lands on the leaves and stems, creating herbicide damage. For roses, there is no quick cure. Only time, loving care and the wait and see approach is all one can do. The bushes are stressed and weakened, some will recover and there is always the chance that some may not. Rose bushes may be compromised for years and will never have the vigor they once had.
Lawn weed-and-feed products may also create herbicide toxicity in roses. Herbicides can be taken in through the stem and leaves by direct application or by drift, as well as intake through the roots. Bottom line, extreme care should be taken when using toxic products, for the safety of humans, wildlife, pets and plants. Always read the labels and follow the directions for using and discarding any pesticide.
Additional information on herbicide damage can be found here.
The UC IPM pest notes on Roses Cultural Practices and Weed Control can be found here.