Rose Rosette

Encyclopedia Article

Overview of rose rosette

Rose rosette is a fairly common disease of roses that can cause significant damage. Although more commonly known on weedy multiflora roses, we have received several samples of cultivated roses showing symptoms typical of this disease.

Image of rose rosette
Rose rosette

Signs and symptoms of rose rosette  

Symptoms of rose rosette can vary greatly but typically include rapid growth of shoots, "witches' brooms" (tufts of branches growing close together), development of tufts of small, deformed, reddish leaves, and excessive thorniness. Affected plants typically decline over time and eventually die within one or two years. The deformation of leaves caused by rose rosette can be similar to the results of herbicide injury.

Type of Sample Needed for Diagnosis and Confirmation

The Iowa State University Plant & Insect Diagnostic Clinic can help you to investigate rose diseases. Curently in the clinic, we do not test for Rose rosette, but we can redirect you to a clinic that does perform the test. Contact us, Plant & Insect Diagnostic Clinic at our contact page.

Management of rose rosette

Unfortunately, a rose plant with rose rosette cannot be cured. Infected plants should be removed to prevent a spread of the disease in the landscape.

For more information visit Rose Rosette Disease fact sheet