Black spot

Nov 23, 2019
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Hello Everyone!

I live in Australia where it is currently late spring nearing summer in a week.

We are having a heatwave at the moment, but I live in an area where there is still rainfall once to twice per week.

I have just settled a few days ago on a hobby farm that is 3000 m2 with a small cottage and the majority of the land filled with a mix of fruit trees, cottage garden and a few native species. The majority of the garden is roses and hydrangeas (50+ rose bushes of all varieties around 1.5 - 2.5m tall including many climbing and 100 hydrangeas, 50 agapanthus, lots of azaleas and camellias).

The bad news is that after we put in an offer for the property, they seemed to have let it go, and they didn’t seem to spray for fungus in winter or clear away debris in an area where it is a known problem.

When we received the property, the entire garden of roses is riddled by black spot. The majority are still blooming but some aren’t. Half of the hydrangeas also have some black spots in the stems and leaves as do the camellias.

I can’t spray as the weather has been too hot and will be hot for the next two weeks at least.

I’ve cleared the dead leaves all weekend and given the roses some food.

Other than that, what should I do? Should I prune everything completely back now or will it kill the plants to prune in this season?
And if I don’t prune will they all die by next year?
I had a gardener come to assess it and he said to just leave the leaves on as it is on there now and they’re blooming, but that goes against what I have read elsewhere...

I’m feeling worried as we definitely overpaid for the house because of the beautiful garden and we can’t afford to replace all of the plants.

Does anyone have experience with black spot?

Thank you in advance :)


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