Rose Rosette

Asked May 21, 2013, 8:19 PM EDT

Dear Expert,

One of four knock-out rose bushes in my garden has contracted rose rosette. I plan to cut it out and endeavor to remove all the roots.

Once that's done, is it safe to plant a new rose bush in the same place? Do I need to wait or treat the site in any particular way?

Many thanks!

Nelson County Kentucky

3 Responses

This is a tough question. An honest answer is that we don't know if a rose planted into a bed where roses with rose rosette where removed will be "safe". Dr. James Armine, Univ of West VA, expert on the vector of rose rosette (an eriophyid mite) says that these mites can't survive more than 2-4 days without a host. We also know that the virus doesn't survive outside the plant. It would appear that you would have the green light to replant. However, it's always possible for the mites to migrate back in from adjacent rose plantings or nearby multiflora rose infected with rose rosette. So, can we tell you the new roses will be safe? No. We have a rose rosette research trial in TN that was started in 2012. We hope to have some definitive answers to questions like these in a few years. AW

Thank you, Alan, for your response. Sounds like it would be prudent to wait a couple years before replanting roses. It's sad enough to cut down and dig out an otherwise beautiful plant. I don't want to have to do that twice! Is there any recommended treatment to prevent rose rosette?

Many thanks,


We are looking at miticide sprays as a way to protect Knockout rose from the vector, eriophyid mites, in our research trial, but it will be some time before we have any results. It's regrettable that rose rosette is a problem on Knockout rose, as they are very durable, disease resistant plants.