Rose Rosette Virus Update
Important Note: Current observations of the Rose Rosette Virus outbreaks have shown them to be almost exclusively in the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex. It certainly shows up elsewhere, as you’ll read, but not with the great frequency with which it does in North Central Texas.
I came across this commercial landscape in Rockwall just this past week. These are Knockout roses, and this is what a rampant outbreak of the fatal Rose Rosette Virus looks like in fall. These plants should all be dug and removed immediately. They are harboring the microscopic mites that spread the disease, and these plants will not get any better. In spite of what you may hear, there is no chemical remedy for this problem, and pruning will not help at all.
There is so much conjecture and confusion about RRV that Dr. Kevin Ong of the Texas Plant Disease Diagnostic Laboratory at Texas A&M assembled the most important publications available. Our link to that compilation wasn’t working last issue, so here it is again: http://www.agrilifebookstore.org/product-p/eplp-010.htm. This will put you into the Texas A&M “bookstore,” but the information is free.