Rose Killer

Rose Killer

It must be the roses. A flower called the "Knockout Rose" is being blamed for spreading a rose killing disease across most of the Dallas/Fort Worth region. The good news is that the disease will is essentially harmless to humans. 

Rose Rosette is the name for the virus killing thousands of rose plants in the Metroplex. There have been no confirmed cases in Wichita Falls.
However, the Wichita County Extension Office is testing at least one rose bush for the disease. 

"There is really no need to panic at this time, but it is just something that you should be aware of when you are working around and look for the symptoms," said Steve Smith of Smith's Gardentown in Wichita Falls. 

Smith explained that there are subtle signs and symptoms that infected roses will show. Smith explained how the virus works and spreads.

"It is a virus, but it is spread by a microscopic mite. That mite is what transfers it from one plant to the other. In other words, if it is very distorted, very gnarly looking, if the new growth is a wine red color and you start to see thousands and thousands of thorns up and down the stems," said Smith. 

Smith said there is no need to worry yet, but does encourage other gardeners to check any and all breeds of roses. 

Jack Carney, Newschannel 6