rose rosette virus

Asked June 23, 2015, 1:59 PM EDT

is the virus contagious to humans? If so what should one do after pruning rose bushes affected?

Multnomah County Oregon

1 Response

Rose rosette virus is transmitted to roses by a mite and is used as a biocontrol for problematic wild hedges of Rosa multiflora in the Midwest. In gardens, the "Knock Out" rose cultivars are very susceptible. But no worries because the virus disease isn’t transmitted to humans.

Rose rosette, although it has been reported in Oregon, is an extremely rare disease here. The previous suspected cases I have seen were due to drift of glyphosate, the active ingredient in Roundup, Kleenup and several other herbicides (weed killers). In both instances, the weed killer was used the previous fall to help clean up the area.

To determine what has occurred to your rose, please send several images – one of the plant and its surroundings, a midway shot of an affected cane, and a close-up view of the damage.

Please also include a brief history of the rose including how long you’ve had it, and how you take care of it.

I look forward to receiving your response.