From your expert advice on knock-out roses, we have concluded that all 7 of our red bushes have the 'wooly mite' virus; however, we have 2 yellow bushes that don't appear to have the virus at all! the red ones are close to one another while the yellows are not. Could this be the reason they (yellow) are not at this time infected? I started to notice the change in bloom formation and the spiraling which to me looks like 'a venus flytrap' this was last fall when I pruned them all back hoping that whatever was causing such a mutant appearance would somehow go away this Spring - unfortunately, no such thing happened. I also have an azalea and camellia as bookends for my knock-outs, is there any chance of either of these contracting this horrible virus? In addition, I have planted 6 knockouts in a totally different area of my property with no physical connection to the aforementioned and they too have this 'wooly mite' virus going on - not as bad but just as ugly! Again, these ones are bookended with yellow knock-outs which don't appear to be infected! I am ready to pull up the first batch but I just today (before reading your article) fed them with Jobe's organic knock-out fertilizer; should I wait for a noticeable change or proceed with destruction? Help, please help! Thank you for your expert advice, Mrs. Turner
Certified GKH Gardening Expert
Hello Mrs. Turner. The Rose Rosette virus has no known cure. So destruction of the infected rosebushes needs to take place. I would highly recommend spraying all of the remaining roses with a rotation of miticides such as Avid and Floramite. Spray them in a 25 to 30 day rotation switching the product used for three sprayings. Then keep an eye out for any beginning signs of mites. Only a miticide will get after them. Insecticides only kill their natural enemies and can make their infestation worse. Your other plants nearby should not have any problems with the virus.