Possible rose rosette disease

Asked October 27, 2019, 3:00 PM EDT

Hi, Last year I noticed what appeared to be possible rose rosette disease on one of my Zephrine Drouhin roses. It just looked like some strange red growth and I was not totally sure if it was normal or not. I pruned off the branch and the rose bloomed fine this spring and I saw no evidence of it. This fall I’m seeing similar strange red growth on one of them again and I’m pretty sure it’s the same plant. How would I go about confirming if that is what it is? I know I need to get rid of the bush if that’s the case. I have about 50 rose bushes so if it spreads it would be pretty devastating:(

Howard County Maryland

11 Responses

This does not look like rose rosette. This looks like new growth on the rose.


Thanks. I was worried because the new growth on this rose looks very different from the new growth on my other roses.. the leaves look very small and the stalks are very thick. Have you seen rose rosette in Howard County?

Hi - The new foliage on roses can vary among different species. Yes, we have seen cases of rose rosette disease in Howard County. This does not look like it.



I have one rose bush with strange growth again this spring. I’m wondering if it could be herbicide damage from the neighboring yard... but still want yo confirm it doesn’t look like rose rosette. The growth is different than the rest of the new growth on the bush (last photo).

We still don't think that this looks like rose rosette disease.
We do see some aphids, which can cause some leaf distortion.
It's impossible to rule out herbicide damage, though that can cause elongation and twisting. Young shoots are especially vulnerable to herbicide injury.
We would just keep an eye on it at this point.

Your first photo shows a missing strip of bark on the stem. We'd prune back to healthy tissue just above the next spur of growth.


Thank you!


I have some new growth on this same rose with distorted leaves and blooms. The rose did bloom earlier this spring but the abnormal growth is getting worse and I’m quite concerned. Do you still think this is not rose rosette or should I get it tested? I have a lot of roses and would be devastated if it spreads.

The foliage on this rose does not look normal. This looks diseased, possibly rose rosette. See our web page https://extension.umd.edu/hgic/topics/rose-rosette-shrub

At this point, we recommend that you dig up the rose, bag it and discard in the trash. Monitor your other roses for any symptoms.


Can I replant another rose there?

Rose rosette is not in the soil. It is spread by insects. Read the link provided above very carefully. It's very possible that other roses may get it, so be on the alert.

Also, when you dig up the infected rose, put a trash bag over the shrub to prevent the insects from falling off and spreading the disease to your other roses.

You can plant another rose, but wait 6 months or so. See if other roses are infected and be sure the beds are clean before introducing more plants.