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Rose Mosaic

Some rose diseases and pests are just annoying. Aphids for example, or blackspot. They can be controlled, and while they might cause some distress to the plants, they aren't going to kill it. Mosaic on the other hand is a totally different kettle of fish.

Rose Mosaic is a virus, and it is incurable. The thing about this that I really hate, is the possibility that it can pass from plant to plant via pollen. As a hobbyist that enjoys rose breeding, you can imagine the havoc an infected plant could cause.

This is all about getting certified "virus free" roses. Mosaic almost always affects grafted roses, so as someone that prefers to grow older style species or own rooted antiques, I have been lucky with avoiding this (so far, fingers crossed!).

If you get any of your new roses from cuttings (as I do) then there is always a slight risk you have taken them from an infected plant that wasn't showing any symptoms at the time.

My advice with this... once you are sure you have a case of Rose Mosaic, don't bother with pruning away the affected portions of the plant. You are only masking the disease, and it will grow back. Instead, be totally ruthless... dig out and either burn or bin the plant. Never ever take cuttings from an infected plant.

It seems that not all rose nurseries take enough care to use uninfected stock. In the US, if a rose was grafted onto Dr Huey, then there is a good chance it carries the Mosaic virus, even if it appears symptom free. There is an interesting thread in this gardenwebs forum that discusses the issue of David Austin roses bening badly infected. As the thread is from mid 2016, it shows that Mosaic is still alive and kicking in the US.

Pages Related to Caring For Roses

Browse our pages on rose care. From basic planting techniques to advanced budding and propogating, we've got something for everyone.

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Start at the beginning, and get an overview of what's involved with growing roses.
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Doing a poor job with your plant can leave it with weak roots. Make sure to get it done right.
Pruning Roses
Sometimes your blooms need a trim so they can have room to sprout and re-grow.
If you want continuous blooms through summer, then you need to deadhead your roses.
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Make sure that your roses can survive the winter and come back even stronger in the spring.
Rose Diseases
Some of the common rose diseases like blackspot, and how to get them under control.
Rose Pests
Common bugs and insects to look out for on your roses, and what to do about them.
Rose Leaves
How to use the state of the leaves to check plant health on a rose bush.
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