Rose rosette disease

Asked July 14, 2017, 9:20 AM EDT

I recently had to dig up and destroy one of my David Austen roses because it developed rose rosette virus. I'm terrified it will spread to my other roses. This morning I noticed a branch of red new growth with an abundance of thorns on my large New Dawn rose, which was located about 20 feet from the diseased plant. How soon should I panic?

Kenton County Kentucky

3 Responses

Don't panic yet. Let's verify the disease diagnosis. Bring a large sample of the rose plant, with both good and diseased foliage, to our office. Certain kinds of herbicide damage look a lot like Rose rosette disease. We'll have the lab examine it. This is a free test. As of last fall there had been no confirmed cases of RRD in the county. It would be sad to remove the plant if it didn't have the disease.

Keep in mind that the disease is spread by a small mite that can hitchhike on clothes and pruners as you go from plant to plant. It if is RRD, it is important to clean pruners in between plants, maintain good spacing between plants, and there are other preventative measure that can be taken as well. I would be happy to talk to you about it. You can call us at 859-356-3155.

Thanks for your expertise, Michele. I appreciate your time. I'll attach pictures of the rose I dug up. The people at David Austen thought it was rose rosette disease.

Where do I take my samples? I'm in Edgewood, Ky in Kenton County.

If it's herbicide damage, I'm wondering what I'm doing wrong. I'm using a granular rose all-in-one systemic and also spraying with Neem oil. Is that too much?


Hi Penny,

We are at 10990 Marshall Rd. at the corner of Route 16 in the southern end of the county. Depending on exactly where you are, you can take the Taylor Mill exit from the 275, head south for 10-12 minutes, and we'll be the red brick building on the left-- turn left on Marshall, and turn left into our parking lot. We're across from the YMCA pool.

Those photos certainly look like Rose Rosette. Please bring in your sample on a Monday or Tuesday morning if you can-- that's when we send in our lab samples. This is a free service for county residents.

As to the systemic, it depends on which product you're using whether or not you need to use Neem in addition to it or not (or vice versa). You can bring them in when you come, and we can take a look.