Rose Rosette Disease has been popping all over town. It is readily identifiable by its characteristics and can make your prettiest rose look like a completely different plant. Continue reading to learn more about Rose Rosette Disease, how to prevent it, and how to get rid of it if your roses have become infected.
What is Rose Rosette Disease?
Rose Rosette Disease, or better known as Witches’ Broom, is a virus that infects rose bushes. The virus, Emaravirus sp., is carried by the eriophyid mite. These mites can be blown by the wind and land upon your rose bushes.
How do I Know if my Rose Bush is Infected?
The classic characteristics of Rose Rosette Disease are readily visible when approaching an infected rose bush. Once infected by this virus, the rose bush will begin to produce long, spindly leaves that may appear red or pink. These leaves will have an unhealthy appearance when compared to a healthy rose bush.
Next, one will see hyper-thorniness, which is simply an overproduction of thorns on the stems.
Lastly, the most defining characteristic of Rose Rosette is the witches’ broom namesake for the disease. The infected rose bush will produce clusters of roses that resemble a witch’s broom.
How do I get rid of the Virus?
Unfortunately, there is no easy fix for this disease. No chemical can rid the rose of the virus. Much like the human body, once the virus is in the cells of the plant, it is there to stay. For a quick fix, you can prune off the visibly infected part of the rose; however, this is simply a quick fix, and the symptoms will likely pop up again in another part of the plant. Be sure to clean your shears with rubbing alcohol when going this route, as you can transmit the virus from plant to plant with one simple prune.
The only surefire way to completely rid the bush of the virus is to remove the entire plant from your yard or garden. Once you have removed the infected plant, you should contain the shrub in a plastic bag. If possible, the best way to dispose of the infected shrub is to burn it.
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