Friday, July 5, 2013

Goodnight, Crepuscule

'Crepuscule' is a Tea Noisette climbing-style rose that grows on the east fence of my Rose Field.  It is almost carefree, very disease resistant, has flowers in a beautiful shade of gold/apricot, and it is a favorite of many a warm-weather rose gardener.  It didn't start out as one of my favorites, but it has grown on me over the years ... this rose asks so little and gives so much.


In May, I found abnormal new growth on one of the canes ... Rose Rosette Disease.  Since the diseased shoots were on the far end of a large, mature cane, and there was no sign of disease anywhere else, I may have caught it early before it spread throughout other parts of the plant.  There was a chance that I could save the rose by cutting that cane off at the base ... which I promptly did, and I disposed of it in the trash.  (and I disinfected my pruners with 91% alcohol in a little sprayer that I keep with me at all times, for just such an occasion.)

I laid the cane on the front of our white golf cart to get the best contrast between the normal and abnormal shoots.
There's no mistaking this for anything other than Rose Rosette Disease.
The other evening as I was walking through the garden, I saw a new shoot on a different part of Crepuscule that showed RRD symptoms.  I don't play around when it comes to RRD ... the rule I use when dealing with this disease is simple:  If RRD symptoms are on one cane and localized, I can try to save the rose by removing that cane.  If the disease returns, the rose must be removed.  If the disease is in more than one location on the rose when I first find it, I don't attempt to save it ... I remove the whole rose as soon as I can.  It's a brutal way to be, but it has to be done. 
RRD is a fatal rose disease, but it can take years to kill an individual rose.  In the meantime, the infected rose is a potent source of virus the can spread to other roses in the garden. 
The red shoot you see here is normal, healthy new growth on a different cane.
In the case of this rose, I am fortunate that it is not one of my rare ones.  It still hurts to lose it, as this is the third rose with RRD so far this year that I am removing.
R.I.P. 'Crepuscule' ... and 'Buff Beauty' ... and 'Climbing Radiance'.
... sigh ...


  1. Yeah, I feel your loss. I've got one that's on the "second strike you're out" list as well. I've never seen Rose Rosette here,and the canes on my rose were not as mishapen or obvious, but I'm has one chance to come back.

  2. That's too bad... she was a beauty.

  3. Oh how sad.... but saving all of your other roses is a must!

  4. That is a beautiful rose, I just love the color. What a shame. RIP pretty rose.

  5. Sorry about the loss. I found the pictures of the diseased canes very interesting.

  6. Oh- That is so sad...especially I know that you would save them at any cost if you could- xo Diana

  7. Oh, how sad. I had no idea such a disease existed, I'm afraid I would not have known what to do. Thanks for sharing this information.

  8. Whew....horrible.....I'm so proud of you for taking the no nonense tact. Countless times I'm sure folks don't have that same attitude. Be strong and we will say silent prayers NO MORE♥

    Love ya,

  9. Ugh.. there's so much to know! I over fertilized my roses last year and BURNT them... sheesh.

  10. Until now I had not heard of this rose disease. It is a shame to lose roses in this way but understand you must remove them.

  11. Oh Connie, I'm so sorry you're finding RRD! What a horrible disease. I've haven't had it on any of my roses but I know I'd be heartbroken if I did. Hope this is the last of it.


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