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When Things Aren’t Rosy: Rose Rosette Disease

August 5, 2022

Like us, plants are susceptible to a plethora of viral infections and diseases. When caring for your own landscapes and gardens, it is wise to familiarize yourself with some plant health knowledge to ensure the best performance out of your plants.

A plant with such a vast fascination and interest like a rose does not grow without its own pathological issues. Of the health issues a gardener may encounter when growing roses, Rose Rosette Disease (RRD) is amongst the most threatening you can encounter. Currently having no cure for the disease, knowing the symptoms and early removal of an infected shrub is crucial. It is always better to lose one rose than every rose in your garden.

How Does Rose Rosette Disease Spread?

A species of wind-carried, microscopic mites are capable of introducing RRD into the vascular system of a rose plant. This causes the disease to travel through the plant tissue, which spreads by exposure, infecting other nearby roses.

What Are The Symptoms of Rose Rosette Disease?

Symptoms to note:

  • Excessive thorns
  • Misshapen flower buds
  • Thin or strapped leaves
  • Leaves turning deep red
  • Thickening stems

During the growing season, it is recommended to check for these symptoms on your rose plants regularly, every 10 to 14 days. If symptoms are suspected, act quickly to ensure the disease does not spread to other roses close by. Digging up the rose, placing all plant material including the root ball into a bag, and disposing of the shrub is the safest practice when dealing with RRD. Be cautious not to compost the infected shrub, otherwise your compost will carry the disease to healthy plants if used later.

If you suspect a rose to be infected but cannot be certain, you can contact the local extension office to confirm the presence of the disease:
Rutherford County Extension Office
315 John R. Rice Blvd
Murfreesboro, TN 37129

Can You Plant More Roses After Rose Rosette Disease?

Any plant outside of the rose family can immediately replace the infected shrub in your landscape. If you wish to plant another rose in the same area, a minimum of two months is needed to allow for any material from the infected rose to break down.

Protect Your Plants At Martin’s Home & Garden

Need help diagnosing a problem or preventing issues in the future? Our team at our Murfreesboro garden center is ready to help


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