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Red on new stem growth of a rose is not a bad thing. It's one way the rose protects its new, young, and tender growth from becoming sunburnt. It's a rose's sunscreen, so to speak. So don't panic if you see red stems and leaves. But if the growth is abnormally small, numerous, and usually red or even black - what is known as 'witches broom' - then you need to take a good, hard look at that rose. Or ask a knowledgeable rosarian to look at it.
What causes witches broom in different plants varies. It can be fungi, bacteria, viruses, or mites. Sometimes, a witches broom can be used as a dwarf cultivar, or desired by bonsai propagators. But not in roses! In roses, it is usually a symptom of a deadly, spreading disease called Rose Rosette Disease, or RRD.
|Normal new growth|
RRD is spread by a tiny (microscopic) mite. These mites travel by gusts of wind. When they land on a rose, they burrow down into the rose and the rose will show signs of the infestation.
RRD is usually deadly to the rose. Unfortunately, while an affected rose lives, it is a host to the mites, which continue to spread to other roses by the wind. It won't just go away on its own. There is no cure. If you have a rose with RRD, you need to remove the rose.
|Normal new growth|
Now, don't panic! You don't want to get rid of roses without cause! All the pictures shown here are of new, normal, red growth on the roses in my garden. These pictures are not of RRD! (Thankfully, I didn't have any pictures of infected roses to show you!)
Also, herbicides may cause damage that mimics RRD. Overspray from Round Up is notorious for causing abnormal growth in roses. Because of this, I have learned to never, ever, use Round Up near my roses. Be aware of any herbicides sprayed around your roses.
Ann Peck, of www.rosegeek.com, has written an extensive e-book on RRD. Please click HERE to look at it. She has lots of information, including pictures, and other symptoms of RRD. I believe this is the best source of RRD information you can find anywhere. Ann, we are grateful for your work.
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My intention is certainly not to dissuade you from growing roses. I love my roses and take delight in looking at them daily. But I am also aware. And if any of them should ever show symptoms of RRD, I would take action immediately.
I hope this horror never comes to my garden. I hope this horror never comes to your garden. But I do hope you are informed.
Rose Rosette Disease makes a small appearance in my garden every year ... never in a predictable place, and it's futile to worry about it. When it comes, I cut down and remove the infected rose. Afterward, I return to doing what I love best ... enjoying the rest of the roses in my garden. (Ask Ann if she has any instances of RRD reported near you. She would know.)ReplyDelete
Thanks for the information since I am contemplating adding more Roses to the yard. I am considering things over the winter that I want to change.ReplyDelete
Cher Sunray Gardens
So far so good, but most of my roses are of the Knock Out variety because of our crazy weather and my limited time to tend to them. I love seeing the new red growth which tells me we are good to go in the spring and fall...ReplyDelete
Connie - I'm so glad you chimed in! Thankfully, I have not had to deal with this yet - I think there are some reports of it in North Texas, though, so I may have to eventually. You are so right that it shouldn't put someone off from buying roses. We can't control the wind, and roses bring such joy.ReplyDelete
Cher - I just want people to be aware and informed. If a rose does get infected, it's best to deal with it earlier rather than later! I am looking forward to finding out which roses you decide upon for your garden!
Donna - I love seeing the new red growth, too. And I'm glad your Knock Outs are doing well. They have a good reputation for a reason!ReplyDelete
Well I hope it never comes to my roses. I would hate to have to get rid of any. Great information. New growth always looks so pretty on the roses.ReplyDelete
I love roses but I always find them a bit difficult - mine usually have horrible black spot.ReplyDelete
I visited a garden earlier this year in the Grapevine/Colleyville area who had Rosette invade his rose garden. He lost about 60 roses. It was devastating to his garden. Some varieties survived the disease. The Peggy Martin Rose (a/k/a Katrina Rose) survived -- that rose has nine lives like a cat, I think.ReplyDelete
Thanks for the info Holly, I hope I'll never encounter this horor story.ReplyDelete
Holley, that is really a horror post on Halloween! I appreciate that you are bringing awareness to this ugly rose disease. So far I think it has not been found in Southern California, but it might be just a matter of time before it shows up here, too. So it is good to be informed!ReplyDelete
Happy Halloween to you!
Interesting. I used to grow a lot of English roses, and I'm happy to say I only ever saw lots of healthy red growth, not RRD. Although that said, until this post, I'd never heard of RRD. I hope to never see in person!ReplyDelete
Lona - I hope it never comes to your roses, either. Our plants are our babies!ReplyDelete
Kelli - That's because you live where it is cool and rainy - the perfect conditions for blackspot. There are some roses that are blackspot resistance, but not sure which ones are available where you are.
Toni - Oh, how horrible to lose 60 roses! I would be crying! I hope he's keeping a close eye on the others. So sad. Interesting, though about Peggy Martin. I don't have that rose, but it has just been elevated on my list!
cooking, baking and gardening - I hope you don't, either. It would be a scary thing to see, I think.
Christina - I don't think the winds have blown your way yet. But, like you say, it is best to be informed. The faster someone recognizes it and does something about it, the better.
Curbstone Valley - I hope you never see it, either. It is not an 'old' disease, like blackspot or mildew, but it is beginning to spread across the US. Even several public rose gardens have been affected. I worry the most about the roses that get it and no one realizes what's going on.
I've heard of witches broom but I thought it was something that just affected certain trees. Had no idea roses were susceptible or to the extent.ReplyDelete
Good to know...I've only added roses in the last couple of years and sparingly so my knowledge is limited. Thank you for sharing this information.ReplyDelete
Thanks for sharing! I'd never heard of this before. I have a little wee rosebush that I keep by the stairs (potted) and we inherited two large bushes in the backyard of our new house. Fighting a daily battle with aphids at the moment!ReplyDelete
Good to know--and a perfect post for Halloween! I have noticed a bit of the new red growth at times on the few Roses I have here. Thanks for the info!ReplyDelete
Marguerite - It is not a good thing in roses. Usually it indicates something wrong, like herbicide damage or RRD. I have heard of it in other plants, but never have seen it in person.ReplyDelete
Cat - I hope you never have to deal with it, and that your roses bring you lots of pleasure for many years. So glad you're adding roses to your garden!
nowandgwen - Aphids are easy - just spray with water. Or wait for the ladybugs! Of course, I guess it depends on how heavily infested they are! Good luck with them.
PlantPostings - I love that red growth. I think it really adds color and a bit of drama. It makes me feel like I'm making the rose bush happy!
I've never heard about RRD, so I'm glad I read your post. I'll keep an eye on my roses.ReplyDelete
I have seen the new growth in red, but I will need to take a second look to see if it is smaller. I hope this mite is not in my roses...ugh! Thanks for the info.ReplyDelete
Olga - Just keep an eye out. It make take some time to get to California, but it's always best to be aware.ReplyDelete
Sage Butterfly - If you ever get it in your garden, this growth will be very, very noticeable. It will not be like regular new growth. If you look at your roses at all, it will stand out. It's the people that never look at their roses - commercial plantings, neglected landscapes, or even people that notice it but don't know what it is, so do nothing, that worry me. I hope you never see it, but if you ever do, I bet you would never get it confused with regular new red growth. I don't want to panic anyone!
Actually I think I've seen what you describe as RRD. I'll keep an eye out. Thank you for this great advice.ReplyDelete
Grace - If you have, please go to the link. If it's herbicide damage, it will get better (if no more herbicides are used), but if it's RRD, it will only begin to show more and more symptoms. You can always shoot a picture and have Ann look at it.ReplyDelete
This is a perfect time of year for a horror story. I have never heard of RRD and hope it never floats into my garden on the breeze. I am glad that I read your post! Now, I would know what to watch for and nip the problem in the bud.
Jennifer - I hope you never get it, either. But I'm glad you can now watch for it.ReplyDelete
You learn something new everyday Holley, thanks for this info! I hope this never happens to your lovely roses.ReplyDelete
Mark and Gaz - I hope not, either. I would hate to lose any rose. But I do check on my roses quite often, so hopefully I could catch it early.ReplyDelete
BTW I am disappointed with Great North. It is sold as a pillar rose, self supporting, can have 100 blooms. Tick one, self supporting. But it has never had more than a few flowers. I was expecting The North Pole in that corner of my rose garden. GRRRumble.ReplyDelete
Diana - So sorry to hear you're disappointed with that rose. Its bloom looked spectacular. I hope as it matures it will start performing up to your expectations. That would be a fabulous sight!ReplyDelete
I'm glad I saw this post...I freaked out when I saw something that looked exactly like this.ReplyDelete