Why Are My Rose Petals Turning Brown?

rose petals turning brown

Rose petals turning brown is usually a sign that your gorgeous rose plant isn’t entirely happy. If a colorful rose flower loses sheen or vibrancy, there are a few potential problems. Brown spots on rose petals and leaves could indicate a fungal infection or disease. Rose petals also turn brown or wilt if they suffer extreme temperatures, have frost damage, are rained on too much, or don’t get enough light. Today we’ll help you to work out why your sensitive flower is losing its lustre, and what you can do to get your plant back to full health.


rose petals turning brown

Why Are My Rose Petals Turning Brown?

There are several possible reasons why your rose petals might be brown. These include:

  • Fungal infections
  • Insect attacks
  • Harsh weather
  • Unusual natural coloration

Botrytis Blight: Rose Petals Turning Brown Due To Fungal Infection

Brown rose petals could signify “botrytis blight,” a fungal infection caused by the botrytis cinerea fungus. Also called “gray mold,” a botrytis attack hurts plants by sabotaging their flowers, buds, leaves, etc. The fungus, however, has an affinity for the petals, buds, and other tender tissues.

The infection proliferates during prolonged wet weather conditions. A relatively dry rose is usually immune to the fungus. Aging or dying plant tissues are more susceptible to the disease. Infected petals look matte brown and tend to stick to each other. Initially, the affected petals or other tissues exhibit damp-looking brown spots. With time, as the tissue rots and ages, the brown spots look gray.

How To Help Roses with Botrytis Blight

Botrytis-infected rose petals are usually difficult to revive and restore to their original state. But fungicides (containing potassium bicarbonate) help during the disease’s early stages, stalling further damage and reinstating the flower’s original sheen.

  • Prune out the blighted parts with care. Reckless pruning can damage the plant or leave behind “wounds,” which may serve as breeding spots for the fungus.
  • After pruning, apply a chlorothalonil or mancozeb-containing fungicide to prevent any fungus remnants from infecting the remaining, relatively healthy tissues.

How To Prevent Fungal Infections In Roses

The best course of action is prevention, like with most things in life. Here are things you could do to thwart botrytis blight.

  • Stop deluging your roses. The soil should not be damp at any point. Too much air will suffocate the plant. When watering, sprinkle the water directly on the soil.
  • Ensure the plant has a proper water outlet. An inefficient or no drainage system can clog the plant. The water will remain locked, displacing the air pockets in the soil and preventing airflow to the plant’s roots.
  • If bringing a new rose plant home, ensure it has “disease resistance” or the innate ability to ward off different pests and pathogens.

Rose Petals Turning Brown Due To A Thrip Insect Attack

Thrips are slender, brownish-yellow insects that leave behind brown streaks and red spots on flower petals. Thrips usually attack roses yet to bloom. Once the foraged buds reveal themselves, signs of thrip infestation show as streaks of brown near the edges of the petals.

Minor infestations culminate with superficial damage. A deeper onslaught by a colony of thrips, however, transcends mere aesthetic harm. In several cases, it could stunt the flower’s growth and cause it to die prematurely.

You can save burgeoning rose buds from thrips with insecticidal soaps. Spray them on the infant flower on alternate days or twice weekly to keep thrips, aphids, whiteflies, mites, leafhoppers, and other insects at bay. And the soap won’t harm thrip-predating bugs and larvae, ensuring two lines of attack.

Unfavorable Conditions and Hostile Weather

Rose petals can turn brown and wilt prematurely if they aren’t given the most appropriate growing conditions. Prolonged exposure to the sun or rain or perennially keeping the flower under shade can cause their early demise—the wreckage could manifest as browning at the petals’ edges.

Extreme weather conditions, such as sweltering summers or freezing temperatures, can also cause the rose petals to assume a brownish hue. Frigid winters may stress the rose buds or flowers and brown them. A couple of hours of frost could shrivel and brown the flower.

Protecting Your Rose From Harsh Weather Conditions

To avert frost damage, water the flower before a frost prediction. The moist soil will lock in the heat while the sun is out and release the warmth to the plant after dark. Also, covering the plant with a cloth before it gets too cold outside can minimize frost damage. But take the cover off first thing in the morning so the plants don’t feel suffocated inside.

Similarly, extended sun exposure coupled with periods of drought can decrease a rose plant’s moisture content, causing the edges of the petals to turn brown. If it’s not too late, shift the rose plant to a shaded region and quench the plant’s thirst by feeding it with up to four inches of water weekly.

Brown Roses Flowers

If you see brown roses in the wild, don’t be quick to dismiss them as roses turned bad—for brown roses are a reality, albeit rare. Also called “toffee rose,” naturally brown roses first became popular in 2018. The rose is primarily grown in South America and is not easily found outside the continent, including the United States.

Brown roses are just not popular enough to justify import by the hordes or encourage native cultivation. But that could change in the future. The rose’s neutral tone is an acquired taste and makes for unique flower bouquets and floral décor. The tan color is an excellent neutral base for other hues—such as ivory, cream, and muted pink.

Mix brown roses with roses of other colors to make a colorful, unique-looking bouquet, flower vase, or fall flower arrangement. A vase with just brown roses will look classy, elegant, and oddly scrumptious if you like chocolates.
As of now, the limited supply and gradually increasing demand make brown roses a shade pricier than traditional roses.

Why Are My Rose Petals Turning Brown?

When supplied with sufficient food, sunlight (preferably morning sun), and water, a rose plant or its petals, leaves, and stem are unlikely to encounter problems. Although you can regulate water and food supply, the sun is unpredictable. Based on how cold or hot it is in your region, a rose plant can develop a range of concerns, causing the flower to look famished, turn brown, or wither altogether.

Luckily, there are things you could do to prevent the issues or salvage an already infected rose plant. But if the rose has turned brown and ruined the entire plant, toss it out and start afresh. But before discarding the brown roses, confirm those aren’t toffee roses.

Learn More About Solving Plant Problems

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