Rose Rosette Virus in Colorado?

Asked July 15, 2013, 11:22 AM EDT

I recently discovered a very strange growth on a couple of my rose bushes. I had never seen anything like it before (I have grown many many roses for over 25 years) so I started Googling the symptoms. The symptoms (extremely fast "succulent" type growth with very close leaf growth and new "sprouts" coming from them; the red "witches broom" type growth; stunted, small buds etc) my rose bushes had exactly matched those of what is called Rose Rosette Disease (RRD) or Rose Rosette Virus (RRV). This disease comes from a multiflora rose that is now a noxious plant in most of the US, but seems to be confined to the east coast & Midwest states from the maps I observed. All of the roses I planted in my gardens except for three of them (17 in all), were ordered from either David Austin or Heirloom Roses, both of which grow own root roses, which is what I received, and claim to be virus free. The other three roses I purchased from Paulino's Gardens in Denver in large plastic containers. One of the roses from Paulino's had the worst symptoms, although it looked like it had spread to a couple of my own root roses, which are about a year old. They did fantastically last year and even started out very well this year, but the strange growth started to appear in late June. I immediately dug up and bagged the infected roses and have been frantically treating the others with Sevin and hydrogen peroxide, cutting back any suspicious growth I find, even though everything I've read says there is no cure. I called Paulino's and they had no idea what I was talking about. I was wondering if this disease has been reported in Colorado? Does this need to be reported to any special agency? Any insight would be greatly appreciated. I took pictures of the weird stuff and they are attached.
Thank you in advance
Dayna Metz

Broomfield County Colorado disease issues roses horticulture flowers: annuals and herbaceous perennials

2 Responses

This disease has never been confirmed in Colorado. In cases where clients thought they had the disease, it was herbicide damage and the roses grew out of it. Most rose cultivars I know, start with reddish growth. Depending on how much water the plants are getting, the growth can be extremely fast. The photos that you submitted do not look like rose rosette. However, if you want to have your roses tested to confirm rose rosette, you are welcome to contact the Oklahoma State Plant Disease Clinic. The diagnostician there is set up to do molecular testing for Rose Rosette. The cost (last I knew) was $25/sample.

Ok thank you for your response. I hope it is just herbicide damage although I removed several more of my roses because they had the succulent new growth with rubbery thorns in addition to the strange red profuse shoots. I can have them tested here at the university I believe. I contacted my county master gardener and she is looking into it for me.

Thanks again