Q: I was dismayed to discover this morning that three of my rose buses have Rose Rosette disease. The symptoms couldn’t be any clearer – the rose bushes have the telltale excessive thorns, the witch’s broom leaves, & the buds that never bloom, but die in place. Will this disease spread to other plants?
A: Rose rosette is devastating to roses of all kinds. The only cure is to remove the entire plant. The incurable virus can even persist in root fragments left behind when you dig out a rose. If you’re careful about getting every one of the root pieces, you could leave the planting spot bare until October, scouting weekly for errant sprouts to appear. If none arise you can plant more roses in the same spot.