Monday, May 24, 2010

Dreaded Rose Rosette Disease

No rose is resistant to this deadly virus disease. Symptoms of rose rosette disease (photo) vary greatly from the species or cultivar planted. Leaves may be small, distorted, and exhibit a conspicuous red pigmentation. Diseased canes may also be noticeably thicker than others around them, and/or may grow in a spiral pattern.

Multi-flora roses, a noxious shrubby weed, are most susceptible and often are first to contract the disease. Very small eriophyid mites transmit rose rosette disease by feeding off the plants which are already infected. Mites transmit the virus to healthy roses nearby. Control measures must be rapid and decisive.

Insect spraying will help. Spray roses with Sevin (carbaryl) insecticide for partial control of the eriophyid mite. Eliminate multi-floral roses within 300 feet from any rose plantings, preferably from all surrounding yards and gardens.

Prune out all diseased and suspected canes. Remove all prunings immediately from the property. If symptoms reappear on new re-growth canes, remove the bush from the property. When planting roses, space them far enough apart that foliage does not touch neighboring plants.

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