Rose Rosette

Asked July 19, 2018, 12:05 PM EDT

I tend to roses (variety unknown, possibly Knock-Out) for a commercial customer - they are subject to leaf blowers from the mowers (since re-directed!). After a recent post-bloom prune, I noticed red tips and proliferation of thorns on some canes but don't see any deformity (like pictures in some older posts) and the roses have since re-bloomed brilliantly. Are the excessive thorns the beginning and the shrubs just haven't gone full blown RRD?

Pruners sprayed with rubbing alcohol (always sprayed if I move to a completely different plant). Roses are roughly 7 years old - cut back each March - I remove canes if centers appear crowded. Watered by irrigation and not fed because they're in a bed with culinary herbs. I read through previous RRD posts to try to ascertain an answer but nothing was definitive. Many thanks for your thoughts.

Baltimore County Maryland

3 Responses

We had our plant pathologist look at your photos. This does not look like rose rosette. The red coloration of the new growth is normal. Thorniness can vary quite a lot by cultivar. We think these roses actually look quite healthy!

Rose rosette virus often causes a much more noticeable "bunchy" or "witches' broom" type of growth with small and distorted leaves. Affected plants fail to bloom. Keep monitoring the plants for any changes. For now, they look fine.


Your response gives me enormous relief - including that the roses look healthy ... THANKS EVER SO MUCH!!