You are currently viewing Breeders Fight Against Rose Rosette Disease

Breeders Fight Against Rose Rosette Disease

If you’re a Southern California florist, supermarket, or event planner, you probably want to know everything that could be affecting the roses you choose to showcase. As providers of Los Angeles wholesale roses, Flowerlink wants to make sure that the varieties you choose are the most beautiful and healthiest they can be. There are factors out there, however, that are threatening some of the most popular rose breeds, and one of the most destructive is rose rosette disease.

Breeders Fight Against Rose Rosette Disease

This disease, which affects roses from the Eastern shores through the Midwest, is something that breeders have been battling for a long time. Their biggest strike against this black spot disease has been varieties bred with resistant properties such as the Knock Out which provide a colorful, low maintenance solution.

Since 1941, the disease has been within the US. Traced to multiflora roses that were brought from Japan, these roses had specific functional purposes instead of merely being attractive. They were used for erosion control, living fences, and crash barriers. These plants have since been deemed intrusive weeds, but they’ve flourished in a way that has made them difficult to manage. Worse, the disease they carry has since infected more desirable cultivated varieties.

So what should growers and buyers be looking for to identify rose rosette disease?

  • Stunted, withered leaves
  • Excessive thorns
  • Short shoots at the top of canes
  • Deformed, mottled flowers

Breeders Fight Against Rose Rosette Disease

Tiny mites spread the disease by easily hoping from plant to plant with the aid of wind, animals, or other insects, and they are incredibly difficult to control. Once infected roses are completely removed, the disease does not linger in the soil, but thorough removal is important as roots can remain infected.

Roses with Asian ancestry are especially susceptible to the disease, but breeders have been putting more and more research into the disease, its effects, and how to curb them.  With the success of roses like the Knock Out, hybrids may be the key to creating disease-resistant varieties. It’s a major concern as roses account for 2/3rds of the cut flower industry, which is now worth over $40 billion each year.

So what are growers doing?

  • Planting cultivated roses upwind from multiflora infestations to keep mites from traveling between plants.
  • Monitoring roses for the disease and destroying affected plants.
  • Leaving space between plants to keep the disease from jumping between roses.
  • Some are using insectidal soap and oil, but this hasn’t proven to be cost effective.

Healthy Los Angeles Wholesale Roses From Flowerlink

At Flowerlink, we have carefully chosen fair trade Ecuador rose growers that provide only the highest quality roses.  We know the dangers that roses face, and we know how to get them to our clients while they are at their peak beauty and health.

To see for yourself, contact Flowerlink for more information and fresh cut samples.

Source., ‘,’ Sandy Feather, May 09, 2014.
Photo credit: James W. Amrine Jr., WVU,
Photo credit: John Hartman, Univ. of Kentucky,