Rose Rosette Disease FAQ

How do I tell if my rose has RRD?  RRD can show symptoms of a mass growth, mottled coloring, or excessive prickles.  The most common form is called “witches broom” and is a mutated growth, usually on the outer part of the rose shrub, and is different in texture, form, and color from the rest of the plant.  Visit this Oklahoma State Fact Sheet for excellent photos detailing the different symptoms.

How does RRD spread?  RRD is spread by the eriophyid mite, a vector of Rose Rosette Disease (RRD). This microscopic mite lives and feeds solely on roses.  The mite can exist on uninfected roses.   And it can exist on infected roses.  When the mite feeds on an infected rose and then travels to a healthy rose, it can transfer the RRD virus. 

Is there a cure? There are no experiments or scientific data that show there is a RRD cure.  Some gardeners have very limited success if they catch RRD early and cut the infected cane to the ground.  But the success is very limited

What do I do if my rose is infected with RRD?  Cover the rose with a trash bag and cut it to the ground.  Dig up the roots and throw the entire rose away.  If you cannot remove the rose with a covered bag, trim and toss it in a trash bag and then throw it away.  Do not use a blower to remove debris from the area.  Dig up all the roots and throw them away.  Avoid dragging the infected shrub through your garden until it is bagged.

What do I do after I remove the rose shrub?  It is recommended that you bag and throw away infected roses, including the roots.

Can I bring a suspected disease-infested rose to the Help Desk? Yes.  Cut a sample, seal it in a plastic bag, and bring it to the Extension Office. 401 W. Hickory St., Denton, TX.  Or contact your closest County Extension Office and ask if they can identify it for you.

Are there any roses that are resistant to RRD?  Several universities have ongoing studies to find a RRD-resistant rose.  Currently there are no known roses that are resistant to RRD.  Follow, or Combating Rose Rosette, Texas A&M University Rose Breeding and DCMGA on Facebook for updates as RRD studies continue. 

Is there ongoing research about RRD? Yes.  Research is ongoing in Texas, Tennessee, Maryland, Florida, Oklahoma, Delaware, California, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and the Netherlands

Can I still plant roses? You can still plant roses.  Avoid overplanting and do not plant in an area where roses are not monitored.  Many gardeners still find that their roses are important to them and they want to have in their gardens.  Please check your roses daily for signs of RRD.

Why do I see infected roses around my city? What can I do?   Contact your city Parks and Services.  

My neighbor has infected roses, what should I do?  Talk to them and share information about RRD.  If it’s in a neighborhood where you may not know the neighbor, Denton County Master Gardeners has door-hangers you can use to share RRD information.

If I decide to wait to plant roses, what can I plant instead?  Here are a few replacement suggestions if you have lost roses to rose rosette and are looking for alternative plants.

Education is key in stopping the spread of Rose Rosette Disease. Read articles from university studies.  Attend talks hosted by Master Gardeners and gardening groups.  If someone tells you they have a cure, and they benefit from the sale of that cure, do not believe the hype.

More information:


Comments are closed.