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RRD and a local nursery

10 years ago

I was visiting a local independent nursery today to look for a certain plant.

As I was leaving, I stopped to look at their roses. Their rose section is slightly off the beaten path.

As I approached the Drift roses section, I saw the dreaded RRD.

My stomach sank as I had bought an Icy Drift there last summer and once planted, the new growth after a month had RRD. I cut it back hoping to save it. This past weekend, I pulled it out and destroyed it.

The roses I saw today were old stock.

I really believe I bought the rose with the virus. I planted the icy drift in my new parterre garden with all my new OGR roses. I am sick wondering if I will lose this whole new garden to RRD. My Ebb Tide showed a RRD branch in the fall and I cut the branch to the ground hoping to catch it in time.

I spoke with the owner about the roses and I did mention maybe it was round up damage. It really looks like RRD.

He listened and said something about taking a look at it.

He did not seem too concerned.

He mentioned that last summer he removed two tea roses due to RRD but had not noticed anything wrong with the Drift Roses.

I do not know how he could have missed it. The growth on some roses was already over 6 inches long and had all the symptoms. Some of the witches broom sections were dead on the plants and had apparently been there for awhile.

If I lose all my new OGR roses, I will wait a few years and try again. I have already lost about 70% of my roses to RRD.

Maybe in a few years, something will be developed to control the virus.

Comments (12)

  • floridarosez9 Morgan
    10 years ago

    I'm not sure I could start over after a 70 percent loss. My heart goes out to you. So far we don't have it here.

  • lsst
    Original Author
    10 years ago

    Thanks floridarosez,

    Believe it or not, In the past year I planted all my new roses in 1/4 to 1/2 inch hardware cages in the ground for vole protection.
    I have 18" tall chicken wire fences around each rose to control the cottontail rabbits.
    I am using repellents to keep the deer away.
    Now with RRD, I am at my wits end.

    I have a beautiful parterre garden with all this unsightly wire! LOL

    We are on some acreage but due to subdivisions being built around us all our snakes, hawks, owls, foxes etc. are moving away.

    Farms around me have Multiflora roses growing everywhere and the owners do not care to eradicate them.

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  • lavender_lass
    10 years ago

    I don't think nurseries with RRD should be able to sell roses, without a disclaimer...and they definitely should NOT be allowed to ship roses, out of their area.

  • ogrose_tx
    10 years ago

    Boy 1sst, I sure sympathize with you, what a disappointment! A few years ago I planted a Don Juan that I had purchased from one of the few still locally owned nurseries in our area. Then I noticed it was grafted, but kept it and planted - it had a few gorgeous roses, but never grew much. This Fall I noticed what I think was RRD; it gave me an excuse to sp it and purchase another from Antique Rose Emporium. I NEVER have had ANY type of problem with ARS.

    It's amazing how something like that will totally turn a person off a nursery. I know if they didn't carry plants I can't find anywhere else I would no longer be a customer.

  • strawchicago z5
    10 years ago

    I'm so sorry to hear about your losing your roses, lsst. Thank you for letting us know about the widespread damage of RRD. I checked on RRD's method of spreading and found this info:

    "The disease is known to be transmitted by the eriophyid mite Phyllocoptes fructiphylus or by grafting. The wild multiflora rose (Rosa multiflora) is very susceptible to the disease and is a common source of inoculum. Cultivated roses planted downwind of infected multiflora rose are especially at risk because the mite vector travels on wind currents from infected to healthy plants. Some growers have observed symptoms on previously healthy plants within four weeks of being planted downwind from diseased multiflora rose.

    The causal agent of rose rosette disease is not soil-borne, so it is possible to successfully plant healthy roses in beds where diseased plants have been removed; however, the pathogen may persist in old root pieces that remain in the soil from previous diseased roses. If plants regrow from these old root pieces, as multiflora rose is apt to do, they can serve as an inoculum source for healthy plants. Therefore, it is important to remove old plants thoroughly and ensure that infected plants are not allowed to regrow from old, infected root pieces."

    It's amazing how invasive species like Multiflora can grow back again from a tiny root piece! Lsst, I notice that you live in South Carolina - but I would recommend Burlington Nursery in CA since their shipping cost is so low with band-size. Burlington is own-root, band-size and has many OGRs' at $10.95 each, and mini-roses for $7.50. She has many thornless roses, and Kim Rupert's creations.

    I ordered 12 roses from Burlington to my Chicagoland and the price came out $133 (includes $25 shipping charge). I ordered from both Chamblee in Texas and Roses Unlimited and the shipping cost is around $20 for 3 roses. Roses Unlimited charges $1 more each rose for my zone vs. your zone. You'll be surprised how low shipping cost is for band-size.

    Burlington has all positive reviews with the Garden Watchdog. You can request for her 2 files of 160 mini-roses, and over 380 big roses by emailing her at

  • anntn6b
    10 years ago

    When you see diseased plants in a local nursery, you can contact the plant inspector for that county and tell him or her in as much detail as you can : what you saw and why it's probably a sick plant, where and when you saw it.

    This doesn't just apply to the O.P. but to anyone in the USA.

    In the Blue pages of your phone directory, go to the National Govt pages, to the Department of Agriculture section. If you're in a major city, the USDA regional Headquarters may be there; elsewise call a USDA number and ask who is the plant inspector who covers your county.

    Although Strawberry Hill is doing a nice thing to recommend Burlington, those of us near Roses Unlimited in Laurens SC have the ability to drive there and pick up roses without paying shipping fees. RU has a great collection of roses that do grow well in our part of the country and their plant list is great. RU grows their plants in poly houses, in case you are wondering.

  • seil zone 6b MI
    10 years ago

    I think it's important to report that nursery to the Dept. of Ag. particularly because they didn't seem at all concerned about the problem. They may be supplying other area nurseries with infected plants as well. I know that several nurseries here supply to smaller garden centers that don't have big greenhouse space to start up roses so they buy them from the big places and resell them. That nursery could be spreading RRD far afield and not know or care.

    There are a lot of really good, reputable nurseries on line, RU and Burlington included but that number is sadly dwindling. We need to spread the wealth and keep all of these nurseries going for our future and the future of the entire industry. So let's all go buy more roses, lol!

  • lsst
    Original Author
    10 years ago

    Thank you everyone! I love RU. It is about 1 hour from me!

    I had bought all the new OGR roses ( except for the Icy Drift) from RU. I went to their open house and bought them.
    RU is wonderful! Their plants were very healthy and I saw no signs of RRD in their gardens. My RU roses were thriving and had doubled and a few had tripled in size within 4 months.

    I will report the local nursery as I am convinced my Icy drift had RRD when I purchased it. The owner admitted having RRD
    this past summer on some Tea roses.

    This nursery is a very popular nursery so I can see the infected roses being sold to people all over the county thus possibly spreading RRD. They do not sell over the internet.

    I was looking at my roses today and with the warm weather, they are leafing out.

    Does each leaf bud send out only one shoot?

    I noticed most had one shoot but a few canes a some buds close to the top where one bud had sprouted into three right at the cane. Does this seem normal?

    I went ahead and cut those canes off just in case.I will try to post a photo of the new growth.

    Th hotel that has the RRD Knockouts have had the landscapers prune one bush severely and one bush has been removed. The others have been lightly pruned so I feel encouraged that some one has noticed the RRD and has taken action.

  • anntn6b
    10 years ago

    What you will see with severely pruned Knockouts with RRD is that the RRD canes will leaf out faster and even uglier.

    There's a row of RRD infected Knockouts in Knoxville that (over 4 years) has had the RRD spread from one to the entire row. Yesterday we saw them and DH commented that now the business is going to be happy because all their roses will look alike again. I pointed out, cynically, that they could rejoice that there wouldn't be a need to pay their landscapers to deadhead the Knockouts anymore.

    Seriously, though, the chances that they pruned off all the infected canes and the roots into which RRD has spread is really, really slight. RRD is a disease with aberrant, unexpected and excessive growth.

    I don't know how long in my zone a rose can live with RRD. The rose Nearly Wild (even when not grown particularly well with fertilizer water and sensible pruning)) will live five years.

  • lsst
    Original Author
    10 years ago

    Here are the photos of my rose leafing out. Do these look normal to you guys?
    The one on the top right has numerous buds emerging while below each leaf bud is single.
    Below is the same one at a different angle.All the new growth is from one leaf bud. I hope it is not the beginning of RRD.

  • strawchicago z5
    10 years ago

    It doesn't look like my singular new growth. It looks all bunched up, like the RRD pictures. My Austin new growth are often without thorns. I'm so sorry, lsst.

    I don't mind RMV, but I do mind RRD since it's contagious. Thank you for bringing the awareness of RRD to light, so we all can watch out.

  • strawchicago z5
    10 years ago

    I checked on old threads of RRD in the Roses Forum. It's quite depressive, except for this one:

    Posted by jont1 Midwest 5b/6a (My Page) on Wed, Sep 29, 10 at 1:13

    I live 50 miles north of Kansas City in St. Joseph, MO.
    In the last 6 years I have lost two wonderful Hot Cocoa floribunda bushes on completely far ends of my rose beds and a Sunsprite floribunda bush that grew next to one of the Hot Cocoa bushes. I have 350+ roses and stay vigilant for any signs of RRD on other bushes. I have seen some wierd stuff from time to time but cut it off very early and so far have been very lucky that it didn't turn out to be a terminal problem. If it was RRD I caught it early enough that it didn't affect the root system and thus the entire plant. So, only losing three bushes is not to bad I think.
    I hated to lose those gorgeous Hot Cocoa bushes,but it was better to be rid of just one or two than a whole bed full of roses.