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Crown gall wisdom sought

Hello Rose Friends - This week I found a crown gall on my Rouge Royale rose (grafted). I dug it up and found more galls on the root near the stem. Next to this rose I had started a rooted cutting from this rose. I dug it up and the roots looked fine but I discarded both plants and dug out the soil. So now I have a big hole. Other roses are within 3 feet of this area. I looked up past Gardenweb discussions to figure out what to do next. Some say no more roses for 3 years, some say drench the hole with a bleach solution, add new soil and plant another rose. Could I call on your experience and guidance to point me in the right direction?

Comments (7)

  • Katherine OK zone 7b
    last month

    When I found gall on a rooted band I had ordered and put in the ground (I had no idea what gall was at the time) I turned to this forum for advice. At that point, the band had been in the ground for several months. What I ended up doing was digging it out, making sure I got every last speck of root, digging up all of the soil around it and below it for another foot just to make sure, bagging the soil and the plant, doused that completely with bleach and disposed of it. Then I dumped bleach in the hole, and left the hole open and fallow for the winter. The next spring, I filled the hole with soil and compost and planted a perennial in its spot. A new rose went in a foot or so from the giant hole. I haven’t had any issues since. To my knowledge we don’t have gall in this area, so that problem definitely came with the band through the mail. I was determined not to add another plague to worry about to the garden, and so maybe went a little overboard. But (knock on wood) it seems to have worked out okay.

    Mrs Teakettle z9 thanked Katherine OK zone 7b
  • Katherine OK zone 7b
    last month

    By the way, the band and the soil was disposed of at the dump, not in the compost or anything like that. I doused it all with bleach and triple bagged all of it to make sure I wasn’t making gall someone else’s problem.

  • Mrs Teakettle z9
    Original Author
    last month

    Thank you for responding Katherine. It’s a worry! Did you dilute the bleach before you put it in the soil? I am pretty sure this is a problem in our area. A neighbor removed galls at the soil line of his tree. I just bought some annuals to plant there for this season. I am not a patient person so 3 years feels like eternity to me.

  • Katherine OK zone 7b
    last month

    @Mrs Teakettle z9 Sorry I’m just now seeing this! I didn’t dilute it, but I didn’t have anything super close nearby and I knew I was going to leave the hole open over the winter.


    Also, I’m by no means an expert on this, it was just my cobbled together solution based on advice I got here and from the nursery the rose was purchased from. It does seem to have worked, as I haven’t seen it spread to any other plants. I’ve read online that others don’t feel gall is quite as serious, but it’s not something I wanted introduced here as I eventually want to try my hand at budding and maybe even breeding roses someday.

  • Katherine OK zone 7b
    last month
    last modified: last month

    I have read that if the bacterium that causes gall is present in your soil, you need to be extremely careful not to wound the roots when pruning, weeding, or companion planting around your roses because it can enter through any injury, above or below ground (above ground if the bacterium is on your pruners when you deadhead or prune the rose.) And since the bacterium is pretty ubiquitous across the US, it’s good practice to follow those guidelines no matter what.

    Mrs Teakettle z9 thanked Katherine OK zone 7b
  • MiGreenThumb (Z5b S.Michigan/Sunset 41) Elevation: 1,029 feet
    19 days ago

    This is a very pertinent topic for me too; I have noticed crown gall on a couple of my roses (which I removed, and in retrospect I'm wondering if I ought not have).

    Part of me is quite convinced it's something IN my local soil. I've had roses from Weeks show crown gall (one was potted from a local garden center), crown gall is definitely coming in on some of my roses ordered from a certain supplier in Oregon, another was a bare root from Reagan's, and my gooseberry bush (Ribes) that I dug up from my grandmother's house 6 miles away had several galls on it when I dug it.


    I think for myself moving forward, I'm going to try to not stress about it and only cut off visibly effected parts or if the plants do poorly.


    Is crown gall something that is technically in EVERY soil, or is it regional plus spreading via infected soil being moved and infected plants???


    Steven