My First SP, RMV, Naming Names

harmonypMay 4, 2012

I pulled out my first rose ever today. I have planted a lot of body bags, from various places with lots of different bag vendors, and this year for the first time I've had two bareroots, both from the same company, be riddled with RMV. I know they don't have to be pulled out - but the one really bad I just grabbed out with my hand (HP'd) and the other is mild, but I'm watching it and thinking about removing it.

I happened to bury the bags next to the bareroots as the cane's aren't tagged, and I didn't want to forget which was which. So I just conveniently dug up the bags. Vendor name on the bags is Golden West.

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seil zone 6b MI

Thanks for the heads up, Harmony. I'm not familiar with that one. I'll keep a loot out for it.

    Bookmark   May 4, 2012 at 3:23PM
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In northern California you may not want to risk rose virus spread in your garden as definitive research on PNRSV, a temperature sensitive virus which is one of the viruses that is collectively known as RMV, has not yet been done in cool climates and one of the other viruses, rose spring dwarf, that sometimes gives RMV similar yellow vine banding systoms (and is known to be present in California) is known to be spread by aphids.

Also virus spread by underground root grafts is possible.

    Bookmark   May 4, 2012 at 3:55PM
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    Bookmark   May 4, 2012 at 8:52PM
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hoovb zone 9 sunset 23

LOL, jax!

    Bookmark   May 5, 2012 at 5:04PM
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Updating this prior post as the bareroots are just starting to come in, at least in California.

I LOVE Bareroot season (sorry you guys in snow). I've never purchased/planted them in the middle of winter before, hopefully I won't be sorry for that.

But, I had a flashback yesterday. I picked up a few bareroots from Lowes, and I've never had any problems with their bareroots. But from this post (I'm so glad I documented the name here), I picked up a few Golden West bagged bareroots from Home Depot in April that clearly had very visible RMV. As I peeked at the selection at HD yesterday, all they had was the Golden West brand. I don't know if my experience was a fluke or not, but I will not buy this brand again, so I'm sticking with Lowes for my lower priced bareroots.

    Bookmark   December 21, 2012 at 10:30AM
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And yet there are still those who get all upset and defensive when we recommend avoiding these notorious body-baggers for precisely this reason!

HWGA, indeed. To a hammer, apparently everything looks like a nail ;-)

    Bookmark   December 21, 2012 at 11:26AM
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Tessiess, SoCal Inland, 9b, 1272' elev

Good for you harmony--removing diseased roses.

It's really way beyond time that those selling diseased/defective roses got in trouble for it. If they had long ago, perhaps we'd have very little RMV now in commerce.

In California, and probably other states as well, it is quite likely illegal to be knowingly selling diseased roses. Why? Because California is a state with implied warranty of merchantability statutes on the books. Products are supposed to be reasonably fit/function as intended. Roses are assumed to be garden plants, to live and grow as expected. Diseased roses, certainly those with RMV, often do not--they aren't as vigorous, bloom less, and may even die, in ordinary garden conditions that sellers could expect buyers to have. Those sellers know, or should know, that their plants are diseased and thus defective. And they are not disclosing that information. Under the law they should be.

Have you seen ads for products sold "as is"? Well that is the implied warranty of merchantabilty in effect, obligating the seller to disclose that a product has defects.

In the rose world, growers/nurseries have long practiced selling defective products without warning the consumer of that fact. Few even mention RMV on their websites or catalogs. But it strains credulity to the limits that a larger number of them are unaware of the problem of RMV, and in their own roses too. They've made a conscious decision to stay silent. Some will object and say but the rose industry is in such bad shape, sellers can't afford to disclose RMV status. Well, they didn't do so even when times were booming for roses and the state of the industry doesn't exempt them under the law. Perhaps this non-disclosure contributed to the decline in rose sales as diseased roses are harder to grow, require more care, and thus are also more expensive to keep (alive) than would be expected. Tricking consumers repeatedly by the thousands over time likely didn't help the reputation of roses. Consumers may have just given up and decided roses were simply too hard to grow, when it was really *diseased roses* that were too hard to grow, but the poor consumer didn't know they'd been sold something that was unhealthy from the start. In addition, too many that knew better looked the other way for too long. And now growers/chains/nurseries feel entitled to sell their defective plants to unwitting consumers with absolutely no consequences.

Some rose lovers like you harmony may be aware of RMV, but how many people have no idea of the existence of RMV nor what symptoms to look for? The shoddy business practices that allow companies to market unhealthy roses without warning the consumer needs to stop. At the very least harmony, you should get your money refunded for the RMV-infected plants.


    Bookmark   December 21, 2012 at 3:04PM
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minflick(9b/7, Boulder Creek, CA)

Also, given our huge ag industry, and the propensity of viruses to hit more than one species of plant - who's to say that RMV won't affect something that is a cash crop out here? An awful lot of things affect multiple plants, and assuming that RMV is only going to affect roses seems short sighted to me. Even if roses themselves aren't a huge cash crop here in California, the chances of them affecting something else that IS would not seem impossible to me.

    Bookmark   December 21, 2012 at 3:27PM
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Karolina11(6b Central PA)

Good for you harmony.

As for bareroots, here is the problem with just abandoning body bags at Home Depot or whichever retailer. If enough sales decline then they will just think the product category isn't popular and stop ordering as much product in and thus we have less choices. We need to be vocal about WHY a product is being abandoned so that they understand it is the wholesaler they do business with and not less demand for product. I used to work for a large retailer (completely different product category) but unless we got complaints about a product, if a certain category had declining sales, we just ordered less. This year I went and returned every rose I bought at a nursery or HD that showed signs of RMV, spoke to a manager, and called their complaint department (if they had one) to make sure they knew.

Thank you for letting us know about the brand to be suspicious of though! Keeping the bags is brilliant!

    Bookmark   December 21, 2012 at 3:45PM
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RMV (rose mosaic virus) is not an actual virus. It is a group name for viruses that give mosaic symptoms on roses. I mentioned earlier in this thread Rose Spring Dwarf. Rose Spring Dwarf (aphid spread) has been show to have the ability to infect barley and oats. It would appear that we also should be concerned about spreading rose spring dwarf infected roses to areas that are "clean" of (at least) that particular virus. How do we know which virus our infected rose has? Most of the time we (individuals) don't as the visible symptoms often overlap from virus to virus, and may be strain, variety and temperature dependent (and also depend on how many other viruses the plant has).

Other rose viruses may infect other food crops. One example is Blackberry chlorotic ringspot virus (BCRV) which is known to infect roses, blackberries, and raspberrys. chlorotic ringspot virus (BCRV).htm

Even the "classic" rose viruses (see the Help-Me-Find summary):

can infect food plants.

A recent Ph.D. thesis involved rose viruses. It is discussed in the following thread:,48891

Here is a link that might be useful: my rose spring dwarf information

    Bookmark   December 21, 2012 at 4:26PM
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I wish Home D would carry a decent line of own root virus free roses. What is the point of bins full of half dead sick bareroots? They are all the same kinds they have every year and most are mislabeled anyway. I have talked (nicely) to several store managers and written letters to the corporate offices. I think they just don't care. The money they make on the ones they sell must offset the many that get put in the trash. I hate to see them there by the boxful in the sun. It's like looking at bags of dead spring bulbs in the dollar stores. Every year the quality is worse if that's even possible. Karl was the king of speaking about this as I recall.

    Bookmark   December 21, 2012 at 8:17PM
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No high-5's for me. I have some rose bushes that I know are diseased that I leave in. Because their symptoms are minor, and they do just fine. I'm not on a RMV bandwagon.

But these roses I got from this company were horrible, and I didn't want anyone else getting the same unpleasant surprise that I got.

    Bookmark   December 22, 2012 at 11:24AM
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nanadollZ7 SWIdaho(Zone 7 Boise SW Idaho)

I'm not on the RMV bandwagon either, harmonyp. I've never purchased a body bag rose, but the two roses I have that show signs of RMV were expensive roses from David Austin. Both are vigorous and bloom normally. One is going into its ninth year with no problems. Many of those years this rose has displayed no characteristic markings of RMV. Once in a while a few marked leaves will appear. The second rose is much newer, but so far is growing fast, and shows no symptoms other than the marked leaves--which I don't like, but ignore. There a lot worse gardening problems I have to worry about than RMV, though I wish high quality (supposedly) sellers would work on this problem. Diane

    Bookmark   December 22, 2012 at 2:30PM
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