Rose: Downy mildew

categories: Flowers Ornamentals Rose Rose Diseases

revision date: 2024-06-05 10:13

Against a black background, downy mildew's purplish or brown spots on rose leaves.
Downy mildew on rose
Photo by: R.S. Byther


Downy mildew can affect leaves, stems, flower stems, and flower parts. The infection is usually found only on young growth. On leaves, symptoms include purplish or brown spots, usually between veins, and yellow leaves with green spots. Infected leaves may drop off the plant. Grayish fungal masses may be found on the underside of some infected leaves (unlike powdery mildew, which is white and found on both sides of leaves). Symptoms on stems and flower parts can include small or large purple to black spots. Small infected twigs can be killed.

Management Options

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

Non-chemical Management

Select non-chemical management options as your first choice!

  • Plant varieties that are less susceptible to the disease.
  • Collect and destroy all fallen leaves from beneath plants.
  • Prune and destroy all infected portions of plants.
  • Space plantings and prune to provide good air circulation.
  • Avoid overhead watering to help reduce humidity around plants.

Chemical Management

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

  • Focus on cultural control.
  • Copper fungicides may have some efficacy, but may cause discoloration of foliage or blooms.

Approved Pesticides

Listed below are examples of pesticides that are legal in Washington. Always read and follow all label directions.