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Rose Rosette Disease

Dorothy Asked

I PLANTED A NEW HYBRID TEA ROSE BUSH (DOLLY PARTON) THIS PAST SUMMER. IN LATE SUMMER IT PRODUCED SEVERAL LARGE THICK OVERSIZED BRANCHES WITH THICK COVERAGE OF THORNS AND DEFORMED LEAVES AND BUDS. THE STEMS WERE VERY RED. IT SOUNDS LIKE YOUR DESCRIPTION OF ROSE ROSETTE DISEASE. CAN THIS HAPPEN IN HYBRID TEA ROSES ? I HAVE ALREADY DESTROYED THE BUSH OUT OF FEAR FOR MY OTHER 20 BUSHES. DOES THIS SOUND LIKE ROSE ROSETTE AND IS THERE ANYTHING ELSE I CAN DO ?

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The Gardener’s Answer

Dorothy, I apologize for the delayed response. The symptoms that you have described suggest that your rose was infected by rose Rosette disease. It is a good thing that you removed it. It is possible that the ‘Dolly Parton’ rose was infected before you added it to the garden but did not show signs of the disease until later in the growing season. Hybrid Tea roses are lovely but can be finicky and are not considered disease resistant. The good news is that you noticed it quickly and removed the infected plant. Hopefully the roots were removed as well since the virus can spread this way. It is difficult to say if your other roses are in jeopardy at this point. This will depend on the type of roses you have and how closely they are planted to each other. Unfortunately, there is no reliable treatment for this virus.  You have done everything you can for now. Keep a close eye on your roses this spring for signs of infection. For more detailed information on Rose Rosette Disease in Kentucky, visit: ppfs-or-w-16.pdf (uky.edu)

Angie Oakley

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