The Q&A Archives: Oddly Thorny Rose Bush

Question: There are an overabundance of thorns on my yellow rose bush. It looks very strange. What would make a rose bush suddenly start to produce hundreds of extra thorns? The blooms are normal, and other than the thorn problem, the bush looks healthy.

Answer: The first possible cause of suddenly excessive thorn production that comes to mind is rose rosette disease, which is caused by a virus. Unfortunately, there is no cure and the plants will die within a year or two. Infected plants should be destroyed, so you might wish to verify the diagnosis with your County Extension. They might also be interested in tracking the appearance of the disease in your area, if that is what it is.

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