I don’t grow a lot of roses, just a few favorites, but birds plant the occasional multiflora rose seed here and there around the garden. One of the resulting seedlings looked really strange when I noticed while weeding in an out-of-the-way spot the other day. It was all disfigured, and red, and—uh-oh—rose rosette disease comes to my corner of Nowheresville.
I hear from a lot of you who have encountered rose rosette disease not on some weed as I did, but on your prized rose bushes. I invited research scientist Christina King of Star Roses and Plants—known for more than a century for many favorite garden plants, including the most popular roses today, the Knockout series—to explain what this disease is all about, and what promise lies ahead for fighting it.