For some of my longer time readers, you may remember this photo from last year.
This is this year. And sadly at least one or two more of those roses is going to have to go. What’s happened? A nasty virus called rose rosette.
There aren’t really any good photos of what this virus does to roses. It is spread by a microscopic mite–so no chance to see the damage until after it occurs.
Last year the roses looked beautiful. They came out of dormancy this winter looking stunted, with witches’ brooms and oddly twisted foliage and I started ripping them out.
After I filled a whole dumpster with them, I realized that I hadn’t gotten them all, which is how I was able to get a few photos. So I have to go back and take out at least 2 more.
Obviously we will not be replanting roses here, which is kind of a shame because they were happy. Oh well. At least the roses got the virus and not us!
That is nasty one! I remember that some of the viruses that bother roses merely compromise their vigor, but do so without other more obvious symptoms associated with disease. Consequently, infected and sickly roses often remain in their gardens for a long time.
Yes, a lot of times plant diseases that are horrific in other places are sort of benign here because of our climate. This really took me by surprise, particularly the speed of it–I can’t recall anything wiping out whole plants in a single season like this has.
Certainly other diseases might show up and you’ll choose to remove the plant to stop its spread–but this one has infested the whole plant. Ugh. Oh well.