If your roses look like this, we have some bad news for you.
This is a telltale sign that your roses are infected with a virus for which there is no cure: rosette disease.
There is nothing more heartbreaking than investing hours of time and hundreds of dollars into designing the perfect garden, only to see this happen to your precious flowers.
The virus is transmitted by a mite that moves from plant to plant when the wind blows. Once your plants are infected, they will live for 2-5 more years.
Again, there is no cure for rosette disease. Ideally, you will want to remove all infected plants to get rid of the mites and prevent them from spreading to the rest of your garden. However, if you have a shrub in your yard that you simply cannot part with, there are a few treatment methods you can follow to help prolong the inevitable.
Try pruning well below the infected area to remove the branch and (hopefully) the mites. Remember, you are dealing with a virus, so it is important to disinfect your pruners after each cut to avoid spreading the virus to other plants.
Shrub roses such as knockouts and double knockouts have grown in popularity over the last 10-15 years. Plants covered with flowers that have the potential to re-bloom multiple times a season seemed like a no brainer for designers and gardeners looking to add color to their summer garden.
Unfortunately, with the uptick in rosette disease infections, we may be forced to look for new plants to perform the task for now. Garrett Churchill recommends smaller butterfly bushes and crape myrtles, as well as re-blooming perennials to add those lovely pops of color to your garden.