Roses are not only attractive to humans but also pests and diseases. Many homeowners like going the natural route using products like neem oil.
But can you use Neem oil insecticides for rose pests and disease? Let’s explored the topic.
Members of the Rosa genus are some of the most beautiful and highly cultivated garden staples and some of the most demanding.
From naturals like Queen Elizabeth to hybrid tea roses, there are so many options. Grafted hybrids like Nearly Black and Blue Girl to the revolutionary Knock Out Rose family.
These plants are not only beautiful, but the rose hips and petals are edible and beneficial.
But one thing they all have in common besides being attractive to humans is their equal attraction to a wide range of plant pests and diseases.
The traditional remedy for rose infestations has been the use of pesticides or insecticides.
Unfortunately, such remedies also harm beneficial insects, such as pollinators and ladybugs.
It can also render the rose varieties themselves toxic to humans.
Neem oil is becoming one of the leading natural treatment methods. Other natural solutions include hydrogen peroxide and diatomaceous earth. But is Neem safe or effective enough for use on roses?
Using Neem Oil For Rose Pests?
Neem oil is not only an effective pest treatment for your roses. It also is used against sooty mold.
It leaves no residue, so it’s perfectly safe to use the roses in recipes after treatment.
What Pests Will Neem Oil Kill?
There are many common and uncommon plant pests that neem oil can control. The estimate is somewhere between 200 and 600 confirmed species. This includes some fungal and bacterial infections.
Some of the most common pests include:
- Beetles (including Japanese Beetles)
- Boring insects
- Caterpillars – Read Does Neem Kill Caterpillars?
- Grasshoppers and locusts
- Parasitic worms
- Plant Scale
- Spider Mites
- Stink Bugs
There are also unconfirmed reports of success when fighting slugs and snails.
Warning: Neem oil can also affect bees and other pollinators if they come in direct contact with a new treatment. Use care when treating your roses.
Related: Is Neem Oil Safe for Bees?
When Should I Use Neem Oil Concentrate
Always apply neem oil around dusk or dawn, as this is when pollinators are least likely to be active.
A rose treated in the early morning will be safe for bee visitation when the local hive begins its rounds.
Neem oil degrades quickly once applied. It lasts only about an hour on foliage, although neem drenches will remain potent for up to three weeks.
You need to reapply a neem spray every 2 days for 10 to 14 days to ensure an infestation is eliminated. A drench will only need reapplication once or twice per month.
Choosing the Right Neem Product
Buy Neem oil on its own or as part of a commercial blend.
Commercial blends often contain additional chemicals. Make sure to check the label directions before purchase.
Meanwhile, pure neem oil is widely available and used on its own or as part of a homemade mix.
Avoid using a homemade mix containing pesticides or insecticides:
- If you plan on consuming the flowers
- Have a large beneficial insect population
These mixes leave behind a toxic residue.
You only need a .5 to 2% percent dilution of neem oil to treat roses. Add a touch of Dawn dish detergent to make the neem oil even more effective.
Foliar Spray vs. Soil Drench
The foliar spray is generally made using two tablespoons per gallon of water. Spray thoroughly the entire plant, including joints and leaves’ undersides.
Neem oil dissipates fast, leaves no residue behind but effectively kills any pests it comes in direct contact with.
A soil drench uses four teaspoons of neem oil per gallon and poured around the plant’s base.
Soil drench treatment lasts longer. Some of the neem oil is absorbed by the plant where it poisons insects attempting to feed on its leaves or pierce its surfaces without harming pollinators and beneficial insects.
Unfortunately, this also means your roses may not be suitable for human consumption.