You’ve heard of aphids and probably even seen one of these garden pests at some point. But did you know they also attack roses?
The term aphid can relate to a wide range of related species. These vary slightly but tend to have similar characteristics.
- Soft bodies
- Rapid reproduction
- Pear-shaped body
The good news is that most aphid species tend to be picky eaters. They prefer a single plant genus, which may or may not change each season.
The bad news is – aphids can decimate roses over time, possibly moving on to other nearby plants.
What Damage Do Aphids Cause On Roses?
When aphids feed on rose bushes, they leave behind tiny lesions that can swell into galls.
By drinking the sap, they also deprive the plant of vital nutrients, leading to yellow leaves and defoliation.
Their feces, a sticky, sugary substance known as honeydew, can lead to sooty mold or draw other insects’ attention, such as ants.
Failing to eliminate an aphid infestation quickly may result in your prized bushes dying out or hybrids needing extreme pruning far enough to undo the grafting process.
How To Control Aphids on Roses With A Home Remedy?
Aphids are not a superbug and can, with a bit of time and dedication, be eliminated using various home remedies.
Rose plants attract many beneficial creatures to your garden, so avoid using insecticides as much as possible.
Indoors, pets and family members may contact the plants, so using any poison is a bad idea.
The following remedies are all safe and effective. You might have the ingredients already.
Natural oils such as neem oil or eucalyptus oil are a great pest killer that can also shine up your plant.
These oils may be applied directly or in a diluted mix with water and a few drops of dish soap in a spray bottle.
Be sure to spray the undersides of leaves and any nooks or crannies as well.
The only real downside to this treatment is that it can also repel or kill beneficial insects.
Details: Using Neem Oil For Roses
Speaking of Sprays
There are other fun things you can fill your spray bottle with to kill the aphids.
Spray plain old water from a garden hose to knock the aphids off of your plant, at which point you can squish them.
Unfortunately, you can also knock them into nearby plants. Be sure to isolate your rose first if it is movable.
You can also add a few drops of dish soap to leave behind a protective coating that will last a few days and suffocates any aphids that come in contact with it.
Use this method for a minor infestation. There is a limit to the amount of bug squishing one person can take.
Another option is to mix:
- One quart of water
- One tablespoon of dish soap
- Dash of cayenne pepper
Cayenne can be deadly to a lot more than your taste buds and help deter larger animals such as deer.
Whether you mix 35% percent hydrogen peroxide in a gallon of water or wipe the plant down in 1% percent, H²O² will kill aphids, stop root rot, and has several health benefits for your roses.
One of the best natural remedies you can choose is complementary gardening.
In the case of aphids, planting garlic or marigolds by your rose bushes will repel aphids and numerous other pests while attracting beneficial ones such as butterflies.
Catnip will also repel aphids and make your feline family members quite happy.
Conversely, you can plant mustard or nasturtium nearby, as these are major draws for aphids and can serve as sacrificial traps.
Some insect species, such as ants, will protect aphids. But there are plenty of beneficial insects and even birds that see aphids as a tasty snack.
Ladybugs, lacewings, and parasitic wasps are the three most popular aphid killers out there.