Rose Rosette disease is a virus transmitted by a mite, phyllocoptes fructiphilus. It has been around for 70-80 years but has moved to the forefront due to over-planting of the Knockout Rose. Many people, including nurserymen, believe this virus only affects the Knockout Rose which is untrue. We are a sustainable grower at Abby Farms so we can’t use any chemicals to control this disease if we get it.
The universities are saying miticides are worthless anyway and we agree with them. We know a miticides change the sap PH of the plant and disrupts the protein/carbohydrate balance and actually makes the plant more susceptible.
Abby Farms uses a two-pronged approach:
- Balance your cations in the soil.
- Balance your nitrogen—equal parts nitrate to ammoniacal nitrogen. Go with lower rates. You do not want excessive growth!
- Work your minor nutrients. Zinc is a big factor but, remember, it retards copper. Keep a 2-1 ratio ZN to CU .
- Sulfur needs to be in adequate levels.
- Use humates/humic acids to build your carbon.
- Boron needs to be in the middle/high based on your cation exchange capacity. Do not overdo it. Get a soil test done.
- Foliar Sprays
- Light foliar applications of fish fertilizer mixed with kelp—rotate with calcium, a little boron and carbon, spray to run off.
- Get your brix level to 14%-19%.
- Sanitize your pruners after every plant you trim.
These adjustments should keep you clean in the nursery. The biggest failures in the landscape start with low calcium and boron levels in the soil along with no organic matter!