Rose Leaves Turning Yellow (8 Reasons + Solutions)

If you are an Anthophile(a person who loves flowers), we agree that the next thing we mention will hurt you. 

You see your rose leaves turning yellow. Yes, it is especially hurtful when you own a rose tree yourself. 

Why does it happen you ask? 

rose leaves turning yellow

Well, this could happen because of 8 reasons. To be more specific, this could happen due to Chlorosis, underwatering, overwatering, lack of light, over-fertilizing, pest attacks, and heat stress.

We will show you the reasons for the yellow leaves on roses and the solutions for them you need. Now, let’s get started.

The Reasons for Rose Leaves Turning Yellow

Look, there’re a lot of reasons why you see your rose bush leaves turning yellow and falling off. And we have listed up all of those here. Moreover, with the reasons, you’ll learn how to fix yellow leaves on roses.

Now, Let’s dig right into the details-

Starting with chlorosis.

Reasons #1: Chlorosis 

Don’t worry. It’s not killing your plant yet.
Chlorosis is common in most regions. Also, it’s the most common rose bush diseaseIt mostly occurs when the pH of the soil is too high, or there’s a mineral (iron, magnesium, etc) deficiency in the soil.

Moreover, lack of oxygen can cause this too. However, it can also show up if the soil doesn’t drain easily. Also, you may see the leaf veins turn yellow while the leaves are still green.


To tackle this we’ll need to go through a few steps. And once you’re done with those steps, hopefully, your rose will bloom once again. Now, let’s cut the chase and get straight to the point-

1. Check the pH of Soil:

There’s a high chance that your plants might get chlorosis if your soil’s pH level is not at a significant level. You need to check the pH level if you ever suspect Chlorosis. There are two methods you can use for testing the pH.

First, collect a  soil sample. You must take a large sample. Don’t take one when there’s a lot of organic material. Scrape off the topsoil at first.

Then, collect a small hand shovel full of soil from some places throughout the rose garden. Now, you have to mix these together and let the soil dry. 

You can purchase a home pH test kit. However, you can also use a regular pH meter. You must add lime if your soil is too acidic. If it’s too basic, add either sulphur or aluminum sulfate.

2. Check the Mineral level

You need to also check the soil for the iron, magnesium, etc minerals if you see your rose leaves turning yellow. However, you can give ⅛ Epsom salt, or magnesium sulfate when you are using fertilizer. 

3. Check the Oxygen level:

Just like you, your plants need oxygen too. They need oxygen to make their food. You can use a Soil Oxygen Meter for this purpose. It is a continuously logging instrument for the measurement of soil oxygen content.

4. Check the Drainage System:

The drainage system can be blocked at times which can create a huge mess for you. Make sure your drainage line is active all the time.

If your rose bush is good on all these spots, then you’ll need to look for other issues. 

Reasons #2: Underwatering

Do you really love your plants? I hope you do. If so, you need to water them properly and regularly. Because this could be one of the reasons for having yellow leaves on rose plants. 

Underwatering your plants is definitely harmful for them. Moreover, it causes the plant dehydration. 

To detect this issue, you’ll have to poke the soil of your plant or check the soil with a moisture meter for this. It’ll help you detect if you’re underwatering your plant or not. But make sure that you get a good meter. 

Many people ask us,

“Why are my rose leaves turning yellow in winter?” It might be the same reason. Because in winter we see a moisture drop. 

However, if underwatering is the case, then you don’t need any particular season for your leaves to turn yellow.


There’s nothing special to it. Just water your plants regularly and it’ll get better soon.

Reasons #3: Overwatering

We told you to water your plants in the previous solution. But that could lead to something bad too. That is overwatering

Not too much or not too less. You need to properly balance the amount of water.

Want to know the worst idea? It’s over watering roses. Because roses can’t take over watering at all. And they show their discomfort by turning the leaves yellow. 

Also, overwatering can cause difficulty for your plant to breathe oxygen. Moreover, it triggers chlorosis which also makes your rose leaves yellow.


Here we have two solutions available. Firstly, you can control your watering, and up next you can improve your drainage system. 

Reasons #4: Light

Your plants need proper light to stay healthy. And this might lead to yellow leaves too. 

If you have a large to medium-sized plant, the upper leaves might be shading the lower leaves. This blocks sunlight to reach the lower section of the plant.  

As a result, you’ll see a decline in your plant’s growth. Moreover, you will see the rose leaves turning yellow and dying. And this means even less sunlight and oxygen for your rose plant.  This mostly happens to plants on pots. 

So, if you see yellow leaves on roses in pots, you must solve it.


The solution is that you need to move your plants to brighter light. Give them some space to breathe too. Or if you plan on keeping it indoors, then bring in a led bulb.

Reasons #5: Over-fertilization

Fertilizers are great for plants. But as we said earlier too much of something is bad. So, extra fertilizer could lead to rose bush yellow leaves.

So, what happens when we use too much fertilizer on a rose plant? 

Before we answer that, you should know some details. For starters, every plant has a limit to take up water to the leaves. No matter how much pressure you put on, it can’t take in water after that limit. This happens because of the osmotic pressure gradient. 

Now, when you apply too much fertilizer on the soil a chain of events kicks in. At first, the concentration of dissolved solids starts rising in the soil. This keeps on rising around the roots. This results in a pressure of water inflow in the plants. 

So, the plants start taking in water to handle the pressure. But the pressure outside still rises. And at that point, plant burning starts. The water flows out through the leaves. But the leaves can’t store water to keep them cool. As a result, we get yellow leaves.


To save your plant in this situation start watering your plant instantly. A long watering session should leach out that fertilizer. After that, make a proper list of how much fertilizer you are going to apply.

Reasons #6: Pests

Spider mites. If you’re trying to look out for any pests, they should be on number one. And these can turn those leaves yellow.

They suck juices out of rose leaves. In addition, it makes the leaves turn yellow. You must check the leaves in your garden regularly. Get rid of them whenever they appear.

You’ll know they’re present when you’ll see their webs. Rose leafhoppers can also cause yellowing. However, they don’t produce webs. 


You can mix water and dishwashing soap and boom! The bugs will be gone. You just have to make it and apply that with a spray bottle. 

Also, it is best for you to treat the plants with a labeled product for pest control like neem oil. However, try to use authorized products for your problem.

Reasons #7: Diseases

Trees get diseases. And in the case of roses, you can spot the disease through leaf colors. One disease might bring red rose leaves and others can bring dark/brown leaves.

Dark spots on rose leaves is a fungal disease. It creates dark spots on leaves before turning yellow and drops.

Also, you might notice your rose leaves turning brown. Anthracnose, Downy Mildew, Rust, and some other viruses cause brown leaves on roses. However, extreme heat might be a cause too. 

You’ll notice rose leaves turning yellow and brown both sometimes. The best solution for brown leaves is to prevent it in the first place. You must knockout roses leaves turning brown and maintain a good fungicide program for your plants.


You must collect the infected leaves and discard them. Here’s the kicker, black spots can spread. So, don’t keep those infected leaves near the plant.

Also, you must replace the mulch under the plants with fresh and clean mulch. Because the disease is contagious. 

However, use a black spot removal fungicide to treat your plants. On the other hand, you can also use preventative fungicidal to prevent it in the first place.

Reasons #8: Heat Stress

Well, heat can create stress for humans and animals. It can also stress your plants. As a result, the leaves often turn yellow and fall off.

So, what exactly happens?

Radiant heat causes yellow leaves on rose bushes. The area below the rose bush retains too much heat. The heat radiates up into the lower side of the rose bush. This radiant heat is what causes heat stress. Moreover, the lower foliage turns yellow and falls off. 

Interestingly, dark-colored mulches can hold too much heat. They also reflect it on the rose bushes. 

Weedkiller might also cause the yellowing when it’s applied too close to rose bushes, it can even show up in the future.


Now, you need to use some shredded cedar mulch or some other light-colored mulch around the base of the bush. It should be used within 24 inches in diameter for younger rose bushes. 

And this is the last yellow leaves on roses treatment.

Prevent Your Yellow Leaves In Future

You asked us how to fix yellow leaves on roses? And we discussed the solutions previously. But now the question comes, is solving the issue enough?

Well, it’s not actually. 

In all ways, you should try to prevent it so that it can never come back to your plants. Prevention can be the greatest solution to be honest. 

Now, let’s find out how to prevent yellow leaves on roses.

1. Find Out The Cause

If you don’t know the problem, how’ll you solve it? You must find out first what is causing you the yellowing. Then, you can take the necessary step.

2. Balanced Watering

How do you balance the water, you ask? Simple. Keep track of your watering schedule. 

However, you don’t want to make the ground soaking with water or stay dry. Measure your soil moisture to maintain perfect watering.

Water the bushes early in the morning or evening once. Moreover, remember to wash your rose bush with clean water after a hot day.

3. Feeding Program

You need to give your rose bush some of your time if you love it.

Set up a scheduled feeding program for your beautiful rose bushes and follow it. Also, keep your fertilizer included in that program.

A good feeding program can supply your plants with proper nutrition and keep them hydrated.

4. Protect Your Bushes from Pests

You better set a fungicide program for your bushes and follow it strictly. You don’t want your beautiful flowers damaged.

5. Regular Inspection

Well, if you keep your eyes open and do the proper maintenance, you should also check all your bushes every day with time. It will help you to prevent any upcoming diseases or problems for your bushes.

Your regular care is the ultimate solution.


The thing is, it’s not easy to maintain everything for your rose bush. However, if you commit your time and care for your roses, there’ll be beautiful results.

Your flowers are fragile and beautiful. They’ll be able to show their beauty with your help only. If you’re a true anthophile, we wish you good luck. We hope we were helpful. 

Follow our advice and you won’t have to see your rose leaves turning yellow anymore.

Happy gardening!

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