Thursday, June 10, 2010

More on Rose Rosette Disease...

Since I freaked out yesterday over Rose Rosette Disease, I felt I should say some more about it today. But before I begin, let me tell you that the most thorough place I have found for information about Rose Rosette Disease is So, if you have roses or ever want to have roses or just like roses, please go read this!

RRD first appeared in my garden last spring when Cornelia grew a HUGE vigorous, thick, leafy cane and I thought, wow, she is going to be one healthy rose! At that point, I had never heard of RRD, even though I have grown roses for years and years. And have read a lot about growing roses. So, I was clueless. I didn't suspect anything even though, on the other side of the house, Julie's Darlow's Enigma's canes were turning black and it wasn't blooming at all even though it had plenty of new growth. Then, last fall, I saw strange growth (a rosette) on my Darlow's Enigma, which was near Cornelia, and I finally realized something wasn't right. At that point, I called Google into action, and there ended my dreams of a glorious garden filled with roses. After many, many tears, I pulled out and burned all three roses. It made me so sick. Not too long after that, my beloved Madame Alfred Carriere started to form a rosette. And, again with many tears, I burned another rose. (I wish I had taken picture of RRD on Cornelia, but I didn't. I do have pictures of some of the rosettes on the other bushes, but it would take a lot of searching for me to find them to post.)

So, you can see why I am paranoid about any thing that seems to be even remotely unusual about my roses. The multiflora rose with Rose Rosette Disease in these pictures is growing about 125 yards directly upwind from my garden, so the mites that carry the disease could so very easily hitch a ride on the wind directly into my garden. Oh, I have to tell you. I forgot to check this before yesterday's post, but I checked today. The canes I was concerned about on Marie Daly and on the orange rose seem to be stiffer than the very flexible canes that can show up with RRD, so maybe I am just "seeing things" in their new growth. The canes on Ballerina, though, are flexible, but maybe they just aren't old enough to have firmed up. Anyhow, at this point, the jury is still out. I guess that even if they do have RRD, whether I take them out now or wait until I am positive, it really is not going to make that much difference since RRD is already in the neighborhood.

For those who don't know about RRD - and I am by no means an expert! - basically it is a disease deadly to roses that is spread by a microscopic mite. Apparently, the disease doesn't infect the soil, but roots left in the soil can still hold the disease. The mite travels on the wind from rose to rose and this mite is not killed by insecticides that kill other mites. One thing that makes me furious is that there are those who look at RRD as a way to control multiflora roses, since RRD will kill a rose within 2 to 5 years. Another Kudzu story in the making. I hope a way is found to combat Rose Rosette Disease and I hope it doesn't show up in your garden.

I was thinking... with such a depressing topic and all these ugly pictures I have posted, maybe you would like to have something prettier on which to end. How about this?

Have a beautiful day!


pamsenglishgarden said...

Ruth, Thanks for the link ... the ebook is full of important information. Your lovely final picture brings balance to the discussion. P. x

sweet bay said...

I am keeping my fingers crossed for you about Ballerina and the orange rose! Ann Peck says she waits until a rose has 3 symptoms of RRD before she pulls it. Is there any way you could destroy those upwind multifloras? Are they on your property?

You might want to check the pH of the pot that Marie Daly is in if you haven't already. I have heard that a pot in the sun can end up with very acidic soil -- I don't know if it's true, but I've had potted plants improve dramatically with the addition of a little lime.

Ruth said...

Hi, sweet bay, The more I look at Marie Daly, the more I think she may be o.k. for now. The red is turning a little more green and I have lots of spider mites right now which might account for "wrinkledness" of the leaves. And she probably does need a little help with a some fertilizer, since I haven't fed her yet this year, and I'll try the lime, too.

The more I look at Ballerina, the more I think she probably does have it. I do like the idea of waiting for 3 symptoms because I DON'T like the idea of destroying roses! I did post on the Antique Rose Forum and got 3 responses, which were helpful. Ann hasn't commented yet, though. I guess I am not pulling out any roses today.

I can pull out the multiflora. It is not on my property, but the neighbor doesn't want multifloras, so it is no problem. I have been afraid to go work with it because of maybe bringing home mites on my clothes and therefore RRD. Even taking pictures last evening made me nervous! But the mites are probably already around. I did buy cheap hairspray to try to trap some of the mites against the plant! :) I do need to go pull it out. I should also try to tackle the other multifloras on his property; at least cut them down and then maybe dig them in the fall when it is cooler.