Rose Rosette Disease

Where did RRD come from?

It was first identified on certain species roses in the 1940s in the Rockies. It spread down to the great plains and across the Midwest in the 1960s after the introduction of multiflora rose as a hedge and soil erosion tool.

What do I do if see an RRD infected plant?

Immediately remove the plant and discard of it by containing it in a sealed plastic bag. Do not add the infected plant to your compost bin or yard waste pile, and do not burn the plant, as this could cause the mites to "balloon" upwards and travel to other plants. 

Can RRD be spread by pruning or cutting tools?

No, there is no evidence that RRD can be spread mechanically. But we recommend that all tools be cleaned and disinfested after pruning to avoid spread of other common rose diseases such as crown gall and other viruses.

Does RRD survive in the soil after I remove an infected plant?

The virus does not survive well in soil but does in plant roots that may remain in the soil. It is okay to re-plant in the same area when you have successfully removed all the infected roots.

What is the best way to eradicate multiflora rose?

We recommend you remove any Multiflora Rose that is in the area as it is a host for RRD and the virus-carrying mite. We recommend the use of frequent, repeated cutting or mowing at a rate of three to six times per growing season, for 2-4 years. Herbicides have been used effectively, but because of the long lived seed in the soil, follow-up treatments are likely necessary. Application of systemic herbicides to freshly cut stumps or to regrowth is also recommended. Or hiring a professional weed eradication service.

Will pruning help reduce incidents of RRD?

Yes, we recommend pruning dormant plants just before new growth appears to help eliminate mites and their eggs that hide in bud crevices of cane-petiole axis from infecting a rose crop. We recommend cutting plants back by 2/3 their size.

What is Rose Rosette Disease?

Rose Rosette Disease (RRD) is spread by a tiny, windblown Eriophyoid mite. RRD is a disease, which can affect all hybrid roses, not just Knock Out ' Roses. We believe it may be a virus, but further research is needed to confirm this. RRD causes a variety of symptoms ranging from red growth to excessive thorniness, elongated shoots, deformed blooms and pliable canes.

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