The Ralstonia solanacearum species complex (RSSC) can cause bacterial wilt in a wide variety of plant species, including a number of ornamental glasshouse crops. Recently in Europe, ornamental rose plants for the production of cut flowers and propagation materials have been strongly affected by Ralstonia pseudosolanacearum , phylotype I, biovar 3. To test for the presence of the pathogen in the glasshouse, sampling of water from a drainage gutter or well may be an efficient strategy since it is known that RSSC can be released from infected root systems in the water. A protocol was developed to detect low densities of R. pseudosolanacearum in drain water collected from rose growers. Drain water was filtered through a bacterial filter, the filtrate was collected and target bacteria enriched for 48 h in Semi‐selective Medium South Africa (SMSA) broth supplemented with sterilized tomato plant extracts. DNA extracted from the enrichment broth was analysed using a TaqMan test in a duplex format, based on specific egl sequences of RSSC and the use of an extraction and amplification control. The optimized protocol had a detection level of ≤1–10 colony forming units of R. pseudosolanacearum in drain water.