Gail--My Repurposed Life
Gail--My Repurposed Life
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  • Louisville, KY
Asked on Sep 11, 2012

Garden question! (rose bush) (louisville ky)

Frank CDouglas HuntGail--My Repurposed Life
+21

Answered

I have a spreading rose bush, I think it is a Scarlet as I remember. It has developed some really odd looking branches. At first I thought it was a weed growing up through it, but nope, it really is attached to the bush.
I would love to know what is going on with this bush.
I would love to know what is going on with this bush.
It's been a long hot summer, with very little rain.
It's been a long hot summer, with very little rain.
This bush is about 10 years old.
This bush is about 10 years old.
23 answers
  • Douglas Hunt
    on Sep 11, 2012

    Gail, it's hard to tell from your photos, but look at the plant and see if that odd-looking branch is coming from below the graft. If so, it's from the root stock and you should cut it out.

  • Ellen H
    on Sep 11, 2012

    Look up Rose rosette disease from a .edu site and see if symptoms match yours.

  • Walter Reeves
    on Sep 11, 2012

    Ellen is right on: rose rosette. Dig out and destroy the plant immediately. Observe nearby roses for symptoms. see http://www.walterreeves.com/gardening-q-and-a/rose-rosette-disease/

  • Gail--My Repurposed Life
    on Sep 11, 2012

    ohh, Walter--it's such a sentimental favorite. Is there nothing I can do?

  • Walter Reeves
    on Sep 11, 2012

    nope - the disease is spread by mites that have likely already gone to roses nearby. There is no cure at this time...it will just get worse if you keep it.

  • Douglas Hunt
    on Sep 12, 2012

    I should have recognized that. Something everyone with roses should be on the lookout for.

  • David B
    on Sep 13, 2012

    prevention measures??

  • Sharron W
    on Sep 14, 2012

    Is it a fungus?

  • Douglas Hunt
    on Sep 14, 2012

    @Sharron: It is suspected that is is a virus. @David B: If you catch the disease very early on, and completely remove the affected cane, some experts say you might be able to save your rose. Otherwise, you have no choice but to remove the plant. (And it should be sealed in a plastic bag and sent to the landfill, not put on the compost pile.) There's good information in this article from the American Rose Society: http://www.ars.org/pdfs/rose_rosette.pdf

  • Sharron W
    on Sep 14, 2012

    As always Douglas, you and Walter are a wealth or information! Thanks!!

  • Michele Gillaspie
    on Sep 14, 2012

    What about seven dust? We used that on some here at our house and it worked.

  • Gracie D
    on Sep 14, 2012

    I think I have this on one of my New Dawn Climbing Rose. She is a monster with tons of thorns. Guess I should take her out.

    • Meredith bungard
      on Jun 10, 2014

      @Gracie D I had that on my New Dawn also, seems where ever I deadheaded these horrible shoots with a bazillion thorns came out. it went crazy do I ended up removing the whole plant. And I really loved that plant!

  • Shannon Kreider
    on Sep 14, 2012

    Remove infected bush immediately. Also, remove a good portion of the dirt at the site. Sterilize any tools used on the bush as well.

  • Juliebj
    on Sep 14, 2012

    rose rosette- its doomed. Pull it up and do not compost, throw it away.

  • Connie Hilker
    on Sep 14, 2012

    Rose Rosette Disease (RRD) is a virus transmitted by a specific type of minute mite, if the mite is carrying the disease. There is no cure, but it doesn't spread from plant to plant without the mite as the vector. Preventive measures are hit and miss at best, because any chemical must actually contact the mites to kill them ... by then, they've probably done their deed. The best info on the disease is found in the e-book at rosegeek.com. Beware, damage by herbicides (Round Up or lawn weed killer) can resemble RRD. Before sentencing your roses with weird growth to be dug up and thrown away, ask yourself if there's a chance that anyone has used herbicide in the vicinity.

  • Sharron W
    on Sep 14, 2012

    @Connie, damage from herbicides can look like those strange growths on the rose bush above? I never would have suspected...

  • Laura S
    on Sep 14, 2012

    We had this & lost 10 of my 12 roses, including my wonderful climbers I had for years. Just now beginning to replace them. Act quickly!

  • Connie Hilker
    on Sep 15, 2012

    I looked at these photos really carefully, and I am confident that it is RRD in this case. In early stages, with its abnormal leaves and awkward growth, RRD can be mistaken for herbicide damage. Its something to consider. @Shannon, there's no need to remove any soil from the site of this rose when it is dug out. RRD is not soil borne. It is carried in the diseased plant itself. To dispose of this, cut the above ground portion of the rose off and bag or burn them. Dig up as many of the roots as you can, to prevent it from sprouting back from any roots left in the soil. When I have RRD in my rose garden, I wait for a few months before replanting, to make sure that the diseased rose is truly gone and doesn't resprout. In fact, I have a spot right now where one is attempting to regrow ... I must have missed a root when I dug it out this spring.

  • Far S
    on Sep 15, 2012

    This occurs a lot in any roses bush, climber, or tea if the plant is exposed to weed killer somehow. You can cut out the affected area and stop/protect against the weed killer if you know its source.

  • Douglas Hunt
    on Sep 16, 2012

    Herbicide damage can produce some similar symptoms, Far S, and should certainly be ruled out, but it never induces a prolific production of thorns. If that is the case, there is no question that it is rose rosette disease.

  • Gail--My Repurposed Life
    on Sep 16, 2012

    Thank you all for your wonderful advice. I appreciate the discussion. I know we're all attached to our plants, so you understand how difficult this is for me to digest. I have removed and disposed of the offenders, however I am unable to physically dig it up at this time. (shoulder problems, seeing an ortho on Tuesday.) This bush is huge about 7-8 feet in diameter.

  • Douglas Hunt
    on Sep 16, 2012

    It's definitely troubling news, Gail. Good luck with your shoulder. And do be careful, as removing a bush of that size definitely will be a chore.

  • Frank C
    on Sep 16, 2012

    You may need to ask for some help to do this one, But sorry it has to go.

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