I have a confession to make. We knew we had a sick rose, but we ignored it. We put our other roses at risk. For what? Just because we were determined to not sacrifice any blooms until the rose bush fully expired on its own. We ignored the warnings. We tolerated the Rose Rosette Disease in one rose. We were convinced it would decide to move on without infected all of our other roses.
We wanted to hold onto the memory of the healthy part of our rose. We chose to deny the wild, mutated canes that took possession of a section of our rose. It was possibly easier to ignore because the disease began on the edge and not in the middle of our rose patch. Maybe we didn’t think the mites would be active. We thought our roses were special and somehow protected.
When our lawn care person told me without hesitation, “You need to get those out of there. There is no cure. If you aren’t cautious, you are going to lose them all.” Before the chemicals were dried on the yard, I had both roses dug up. One in the front yard and one in the back would never again bloom in our yard. I may have bought us another couple years of roses, but it seems quite likely each of the roses will be claimed in time.
I am interviewing other replacement plants now. The roses did well in the heat. Many candidates will be disqualified immediately. If only the mites were receptive to an exorcism or some other reason to skip our roses and move to the roses next door. That neighbor is moving in the spring. They don’t care about the roses. The neighbor doesn’t love his roses like we do. We will continue being vigilant. Maybe our roses will defeat the foe. They mite!