Rose: Common canker

categories: Flowers Ornamentals Rose Rose Diseases

revision date: 2023-02-07 12:00

Darkened area on rose cane typical of canker.
Rose common canker
Photo by: R.S. Byther


Common canker is a fungal disease that infects plants through long stubs left by improper pruning or through other wound sites. Small yellow or reddish spots appear on canes and gradually enlarge. Later, the centers of the spots turn light brown and develop lengthwise slits in the bark. Common cankers have dark brown edges and often occur at the cut ends of canes. Common canker may resemble brand canker.

Management Options

Use Integrated Pest Management (IPM) for successful plant problem management.

Non-chemical Management

Select non-chemical management options as your first choice!

  • Avoid wounding plants.
  • Prune properly with sharp tools to avoid pruning wounds. Do not leave long stubs.
  • Remove all infected canes below the diseased portion.
  • Avoid overhead watering.
  • Provide proper culture to keep plants healthy and more disease-resistant.

Chemical Management

IMPORTANT: Visit Home and Garden Fact Sheets for more information on using pesticides.

  • None recommended