Gardening Tips

Rose Rosette Disease in the Knockout Rose

Rose Rosette DiseaseRose Rosette disease in the Knockout Rose is very common viral disease here in SE Virginia now (and I know it is common in other states as well). It is a disease that affects many other roses such as the multifloral, climbing, and even hybrid roses. I have had first hand experience with this rose disease and its spread and I can tell you – THERE IS NO CURE OR SAVING THE PLANTS.

I tried. Many young roses will die within a season or two. My climbing rose started to decline rapidly and the rose buds shriveled up as the disease took over. Knockouts, however, will live for at least 3-4 years blooming and growing and displaying the beautiful burgundy new growth and witches broom (thorns).Rose Rosette Disease witches broom

I dug up and removed the diseases roses, however, I have neighbors who refuse to remove their diseases Knockouts because they still grow and bloom. I tried to explain to them that this disease affects the soil and is transmitted to other roses in the vicinity and not just in their yard. What you are going to be shocked at is that a few of these homeowners received them FREE from our Homeowners Association and the maintenance team who was digging them up because I had told them months before the roses were diseased!

Ironic, huh?

The supervisor or manager of the maintenance team has been a landscaper for years and he and I have butted heads. I simply tell him I am not a landscaper – I am a naturescaper and I work with nature. I no longer go to my Homeowners Association or to the maintenance department any more because they do not care that the deer eat the native plants to survive, that Round UP should not be sprayed in native areas, and that diseased roses and plants should not be given away!Rose Rosette Disease

Oh shoot I digressed, sorry.

In these videos, I share with you what to look for and how to spot Rose Rosette disease. Knockouts are very hardy plants and even when consumed by this disease they will bloom and grow. The new growth of deep burgundy on Knockouts is gorgeous but it is deadly to other roses and to the soil. Wherever the diseased roses grow, the soil is no longer viable for roses in the future. So you will have to find a new location for any rose bushes in the future.

If you Google Rose Rosette Disease you will find information about the very small Eriophyid Mite that spreads this viral disease. This disease can wipe out a row of roses in one season so if you see the signs early you may be able to save other roses before it spreads. The female Eriophyid mites will be hard to see and they hide near new growth shoots and in the bud at the end of the stem (or terminal bud/apex) where they lay one egg per day for a month. It is interesting to note that the male Eriophyid mites do not have wings but are carried throughout the garden by the wind, garden tools, and even your clothes.

You can use organic horticultural oils and insecticidal soaps in May- July on non affected roses to try and stop the spread. However, once a rose has the disease you must take immediate action to removed them and dispose of them properly (as seen in this video)  Knockout Rose, Rose Rosette Disease

A tip if you want to grow roses, do not plant them too close together. This can be a precaution to help you keep Rose Rosette disease from spreading in the garden.

Good luck and I hope this post help. I know it is sad when you have to dig up and destroy a plant. However, it must be done to avoid any future spread and destruction of nature’s beauty. Thanks for stopping by!

Creating. Inspiring. Gardening without the rules!

2017 copyrighted material C Renee


Gardening Q&A

What is this smelly tar like substance leaking from my Oak tree?

What is this smelly tar like substance oozing from my Oak tree? Slime fluxWhat is this smelly tar like substance leaking from my Oak tree?

It is most likely ‘slime flux’ and it is a bacterial disease which in many cases does NOT cause long term or severe damage to the tree. Slime Flux Or Wetwood disease can affect Oaks, Tulip Populars, Elms, and Maples. There is nothing to do- really- just let the tree be and let nature takes it course.

When I first encountered this last year, I panicked but read all that I could and decided that leaving the tree be was best. I was right. My Oak Tree is fine but this slime kills any plants it comes in contact. I also read that the tree is less valuable as lumber which is not really a concern I have in my suburban yard. You can google ‘Slime Flux’ and read more about the bacteria which seems to occur in my zone 7 under extreme drought conditions. This year (2016) we are in a severe summer drought and I have noticed several Oaks on my walks through the wooded areas oozing. I will be watching and updating any information to you if this has any adverse affects on the trees.

The bacteria oozes out of cracks, splits, or injuries to the tree trunk and bark. My Oak tree developed Slime Flux last year I could not believe how awful smelling this disease is and how many insects were attracted to it. The tree healed within a month to 6 weeks. No adverse affects. I have seen trees develop this on different degrees and the tree pictured here has quite a stream going with signs of distress caused from the drought we are experiencing (leaves and branches wilting and leaves browning). What is this smelly tar like substance oozing from my tree? Slime Flux or Wetwood

In my experience with Slime Flux in Oaks, the trees heal themselves with no human interference. I suggest that you do not mound mulch up against the bark of any tree or shrub and be careful not to cause serious injury to the trunk of any tree with lawn equipment or tools. I looked up in my 70 year old gardening books and found that they state it is probably best to leave the tree be.

Thanks for stopping by and if you ever have a question, just ask and I will try to answer it.

Creating. Inspiring. Gardening without the rules!

2017 copyrighted material C Renee