Deadly Disease Is Threatening Louisiana’s Roses
Roses are big business. The undisputed king of blooms, and our national flower, brings in about $250 million each year in the United States - but that might be about to change for the worse. A particularly vicious plant disease known as "rose rosette" has been spreading rapidly across the U.S. by way of a mite that travels on the wind and decimating rose populations. So far the disease has been found in rose gardens, nurseries, and plantings in 30 states - including right here in Louisiana.
The mites and the illness they bring have been found in residential and commercial plantings in Shreveport and Bossier City, and that puts the plant professionals at the American Rose Society on high alert. According to FOX 25 - the garden's 40 acres is rose rosette free, but the danger for the largest U.S. park devoted to the rose has not passed.
Since the disease does not show symptoms right away, growers must take drastic action to protect their plants. Officials at the Fort Worth Botanical Gardens recently had to destroy it's entire rose collection because of the disease. Unfortunately, if you suspect that one rose is infected - you have to suspect that all of them are.
Right now, botanists around the country are searching for a solution. So far, researchers at Tennessee-Knoxville, the University of Delaware and Oklahoma State have identified and are currently testing rosette-resistant roses. The results shoud be know in about a year.