(9 Reasons) Why Rose Leaves Turn Yellow

Too much fertilizer, nutrient-deficient soil, drought stress, saturated soil, insufficient light, or fungal disease can all cause rose leaves to become yellow. As they enter a dormant stage in the winter, rose leaves become yellow and fall off.

Typically, roses with yellow leaves signify environmental stress, frequently brought on by water or soil nutrients, and these issues are simple to fix.

Read on to find out what’s causing your yellow rose leaves and how to fix it.

Too Much Fertilizer Turns Rose Leaves Yellow

Too much fertilizer applied too regularly or in too high a concentration might cause rose leaves to turn yellow.

When feeding your roses, fertilizer contains salts that accumulate over time through the application of additional fertilizers.

This salt builds up in the soil around the roots and sucks moisture away from the plants, preventing any uptake of moisture and giving the leaves a burnt and yellow appearance.

Furthermore, too much fertilizer might prevent the rose from blossoming and result in drooping growth that is more prone to illness.

(Read this post to learn why and how to encourage more flowers if your roses aren’t blossoming.)

This emphasizes the value of fertilizing your roses sparingly.

However, you should also take into account whether other fertilizer sources, such as runoff from frequent lawn fertilizer applications, may be having an impact on your roses. For example, feed is frequently water soluble and can have an impact on your garden borders after heavy rain.

How to fix it

Utilizing a specially made rose fertilizer is the most effective approach to solve this issue.

Personally, I like Miracle-granulated Gro’s rose feed since it has the ideal ratio of nutrients at the proper concentration for roses, and the granules gradually release the nutrients over time to prevent leaf yellowing and other issues related to excessive fertilizer.

If you think fertilizer is the reason your roses’ leaves are going yellow, cut back on your use of it temporarily.

The rose should recover if you trim off any seriously damaged leaves and water it well during the following few weeks.

(Read my article to see why my rose is wilting.)

Nutrient Deficiency Causes Yellow Leaves

A sign of stress could be yellowing rose leaves because the soil is deficient in nutrients.

The most frequent cause of yellowing rose leaves is a deficiency of soil nitrogen. In order for the leaves of roses to be green and the plant to photosynthesise, nitrogen must be used to make chlorophyll. Roses are heavy feeders. Because there is a nitrogen deficit in the soil, yellow rose leaves are a symptom of stress.

It should be noted, nevertheless, that a deficiency of magnesium and iron in the soil might cause rose leaves to become yellow.

In contrast to the desired soil profile of roses, sandy, nutrient-poor soil is more prone to cause yellowing of the leaves.

Since sandy soils are incapable of retaining moisture or water-soluble nutrients (such as nitrogen), fertilizer treatments need be made annually.

How to Fix It

Use a well-balanced fertilizer manufactured especially for roses (there are several brands available, but I’ve had success with miracle-gro) and add a 1-inch layer of mulch to the soil surface around the base of the rose to reverse yellow leaves caused by nutrient deficiency.

Use mulch made of things like compost, leaf mold, or well-rotted manure since they are excellent at storing moisture and gradually adding nutrients to the soil.

Mulch should be used twice, once in the spring and once before winter (to help insulate the cold sensitive roots and continue to improve the soil).

The rose should recover over the following few weeks with regular mulch and fertilizer applications.

Please take note that fertilizer should only be added to the soil in the spring after the risk of frost has passed and that it should not be added again after August 15 since it encourages fragile new growth that is more susceptible to harm from frost in the coming winter.

Alkaline soils can induce an iron deficit, which can result in yellowing of rose leaves.

Soil pH- Iron deficiency Causes Yellow Rose Leaves

The veins of the leaf continue to be green while the rest of the leaf turns yellow if the soil pH is too high, which might result in an iron deficit.

Alkaline soils can influence the nutrients in the soil, such as iron and magnesium, which causes your rose bush to have stressed-out yellow leaves.

Roses can grow in a pH range of pH 6-7 without experiencing issues with nutrient availability and prefer a little acidic soil.

Your roses’ leaves becoming yellow are most likely caused by alkaline garden soil (over a pH of 7).

How to Fix It

You may find out the pH of your soil by simply asking your gardening-savvy neighbors what the pH of the soil around them is.

An alternative is to use a soil gauge, which you can purchase from garden supply stores or on Amazon.com.

The pH of your soil can be reliably determined by soil gauges, allowing you to grow your garden according to the parameters of your soil. The best part is that they are affordably priced.

How to fix it

If you test your soil and find that the pH is greater than 7, I advise moving your rose as soon as you can into a pot or raised beds because the soil in your garden is insufficient for growing roses.

Instead of trying to amend the soil with sulphur to make it more acidic, if you move the rose to a pot, you have control over the soil profile and can modify the soil with a rose potting mix so that your roses thrive.

When you move your rose to a container or raised bed, it is also protected from the acidic soil and can begin to recuperate. Eventually, the rose’s yellow leaves should become healthy green.

Drought Stress can Cause Rose Leaves to Turn Yellow

Because of drought stress, roses might develop yellow foliage.

  • Because the soil is sandy or has little organic matter, it cannot hold enough moisture.
  • The direct heat and sunlight at the base of the rose accelerate soil evaporation.
  • Seasonal weather variations are to blame for heat waves and a lack of rain.
  • When roses are grown in pots or other containers, the soil and moisture storage capacity of the pot is reduced. In the sun, pots can dry out and soon heat up, leading to drought stress and yellow leaves.

For the majority of climates and environments, giving your roses a good soak once a week is sufficient to ensure their health and prevent drought.

To avoid yellow leaves, the soil should be kept constantly moist (but not saturated), therefore the watering frequency should be adjusted to your climate and soil conditions.

How to Fix It

Using mulch around the rose’s base is one of the finest strategies to stop drought stress and rejuvenate a rose with yellow leaves.

To aid in water conservation and enhance the soil’s ability to retain moisture, add a 1 inch layer of compost to the soil’s surface around the base of the rose. Mulch also aids in soil shading and root cooling.

In hot climes, a soaker hose can be helpful for preserving soil moisture.

Over the next several weeks, your rose leaves should recover from the yellow hue with constant watering and the usage of mulch.

Over watering or Saturated Soils

The roots of rose plants may become oxygen-deprived as a result of saturated soils, causing the leaves to become yellow.

To allow for root respiration, roses need soil that is continually moist but has a light, friable, aerated structure.

The roots may not receive oxygen if the soil is wet and poorly draining, which causes the leaves to turn yellow.

There are three typical causes of the soil around your roses being saturated:

  1. excess watering
  2. Roses cultivated in places of the garden that naturally flood or in soil that drains slowly, like clay.
  3. Roses grown in pots and other containers without a base drainage system.

It’s crucial to water roses adequately for your climate and soil conditions to prevent overwatering and oxygen deprivation of the roots.

The soil should be regularly moist (but not damp) to a depth of 8–12 inches in order to provide roses with the ideal balance of soil moisture.

To do this, put the roses in a lot of organic material (such as compost or leaf mold), cover them with mulch, and water them generously once a week during the spring and summer. You can even water more frequently during heatwaves.

Reduce watering to once a week and only water during the spring and summer if you are watering your rose every day, as doing so might cause the leaves to turn yellow.

Because of its low lying location or sluggish drainage, the soil is likely to always be soggy and moist that the rose may eventually succumb to root rot in addition to its yellowing leaves.

Roses should be transplanted into better-draining soil or possibly a raised bed. Compared to correcting your soggy garden soil, it is far simpler to create a soil profile ideal for roses in raised beds.

Clay soils can be improved with a lot of organic matter, though, to give them a better structure and drainage so that they are suitable for producing roses.

Roses that are planted in pots or other containers should always have drainage holes at the bottom of the container to let excess water drain and prevent the soil from becoming soggy.

(Read my essay on selecting the ideal post for roses.)

Rose Leaves Can Turn Yellow In Winter

Since most roses lose their leaves before Winter, they enter a dormant state. The leaves may turn yellow during the shedding process before falling off.

Therefore, rest assured that your rose is not dead and is simply shedding its leaves in preparation for the chilly winter months before sprouting new ones in the spring.

Not Enough Light

Lack of direct sunlight can cause rose leaves to become yellow.

When roses are in complete darkness, they do not blossom as profusely and frequently their leaves turn yellow as a sign of stress. Roses need at least 6 hours of sun to grow and flower at their best.

If your rose is in a shaded area, I would advise moving it or trimming back anything that may be casting shadow on it, such as a tree branch that has grown greatly and may now cast shade over a formerly sunny section of your garden or any nearby shrubs and vegetation.

As an alternative, you can move the rose to a garden area that receives more sunlight.

This should not only stop the leaves from going yellow, but also encourage flowering and enhance the rose’s general health.

Sometimes the rose bush’s lower leaves start to turn yellow while the upper leaves are still a vibrant green color.

This is due to the fact that the top leaves receive the most sunlight and are exposed to it optimally, whilst the lower leaves or those on the plant’s shadowed side may become yellow due to the relative lack of sunlight.

As the rose devotes its energies to the healthy leaves that are in more sun, the leaves that are in the shade often become yellow and drop off.

In order for the plant to flower in the summer, the stressed foliage that is turning yellow can be pruned back.

Fungal disease Causing Roses Leaves to Turn Yellow

Fungal disease Causing Roses Leaves to Turn Yellow

The rose’s health and blossoming are adversely affected when the yellow and black leaves eventually fall off.

Sadly, black spot is a frequent rose disease, but it may be treated, allowing the rose to recover.

Treatment for black spots:

  • Use a clean set of pruners to remove any damaged leaves. After each cut, wipe the blades with a cloth dipped in alcohol disinfectant to prevent the possibility of spreading the fungus’ spores to otherwise healthy growth.
  • The fungus can lay latent in a compost heap and harm other plants, therefore it is better to burn the leaves or destroy them than to put them in the compost.
  • Spray your rose’s leaves with a specialized fungicide for roses (available from garden centers and amazon).

Black spot can be avoided by using appropriate rose care procedures like:

  • To reduce humidity, water should be applied at the rose’s base rather than from above.
  • To provide excellent airflow, space roses about three feet apart.
  • Apply mulch and water the rose regularly to keep the soil moist.
  • To ensure that the rose has all the nutrients it needs to stay healthy and disease-resistant, fertilize it at the start of spring.

Best methods for care are crucial for the health of your roses because a healthy rose is far more resistant to the fungi that cause rose leaves to turn yellow.

Read my essay to learn why my rose is fading.

Key Takeaways:

  • Rose leaves turn yellow because of environmental issue such as nutrient deficit soil or because of too much or too little moisture at the roots. Having too much shadow and a fungus infection can make leaves turn yellow and die.
  • Because roses are deciduous and naturally turn yellow and drop before entering a state of Winter slumber, rose leaves frequently turn yellow in the Winter.
  • Too much shade can cause rose leaves to yellow and drop off, necessitating their transplantation to a garden area with more sunlight.
  • When some nutrients, such iron and magnesium, are not available for uptake at the roots of the rose, it can result in chlorosis.
  • When fertilizer is applied too frequently or in excess concentration, salts can build up and cause your rose plants’ leaves to burn, become yellow, and lack moisture.