This is what I’ve learned about roses this week: Double Delights don’t like to be sprayed. With anything.
A couple of my roses in the front had this tiny little bugs on them, and I was also having a minor problem with earwigs. On an impulse, while in Wal-Mart, I bought some Ortho rose and flower insecticide. That evening, I sprayed five plants. This morning, I found a large portion of the Double Delight dappled in black spots. On closer inspection, I found it wasn’t only the leaves, but the stems and buds, too. On even closer inspection, I saw it was only one side a leaf, stem or bud. On even closer inspection, I could tell any leaf that was sheltered by another wasn’t spotted, and the back of leaves, if pointed in the direction from which I sprayed, were spotted.
I called Ortho (nice of them to put an 800 number on the bottle for just such situations), and the rep said she had NEVER heard of anything like this. After talking everything over in detail, such suggested I go to a reputable nursery and see what they tell me.
So I went to White Forest and talked with Charlie. Yup, it’s chemical burn, he said. He said Double Delights are particularly sensitive plants and should never be sprayed with anything. Ever. He also recommended cutting away all the damaged canes. Drat. They are all the ones with unbloomed buds.