Rose Rosette Disease - Are you familiar with this heartbreaking disease on roses?
Knock-Out Roses have become a very popular shrub within our landscape known for being extremely disease resistant. However, it seems even they have succumbed to some of the same diseases as other rose bushes.
The disease is spread by microscopic mites that are easily transferred from plant to plant. While they are wingless, they are carried by the wind. You will not be able to see the mites.
To identify, the foliage becomes distorted and frazzled looking and starts producing bunches of bright-red new shoots. The new leaf buds fail to open and look a bit like rosettes, thus the name Rose Rosette.
There is no known cure for it, thus, once a rose bush contracts the disease, remove all affected plants, roots, and soil. Carefully place them in large plastic trash bags and send them out with the trash. Do not try to shred and compost them. Pruning to remove the obviously infected areas alone will not help. Remember, the entire plant is infected if any part of it.