What to do about Rose Rosette Disease aka Witch’s Broom

Rose Rosette Disease (RRD), or witch’s broom, is a virus spread by a mite that has just made it to Birmingham, AL. Once a rose is infected with RRD, the rose and its entire root system need to be discarded immediately. The virus is systemic and there is no product to date that will cure the rose. If you try to treat it, you will simply be wasting time and money and increasing the likelihood that other roses will be infected.  The number one thing rose growers can do is be vigilant and learn how to identify the symptoms.

Symptoms of RRD:

A rose infected with RRD will show vigorous growth of its stem, resulting in twisted, gnarled foliage that give the virus the name “witch’s broom”. The new growth often will appear red with distorted or aborted blooms and an unusual number of thorns. Below are some pictures of infected rose plants.

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