Removing Aphids on Roses – 5 tips and tricks
No gardener wants to see their beautiful roses threatened by an infestation of aphids. Left untreated, they can distort growth and weaken the plants over time. They could also be attracting ants that like to feed off the honeydew the aphids produce. While aphids on rose bushes and other plants are incredibly common, it’s best to tackle the issue as soon as you notice it. You can follow these five tips to get rid of aphids quickly for lasting results.
What are aphids?
Aphids are small insects no bigger than 6mm. They may be white, green, or black. The little critters settle on leaves and stems of rose bushes to feed off the sap. They usually form colonies quickly, so where you notice a few, there’ll soon be hundreds. Because they feed by piercing the leaves and sucking out the sap, they can transfer diseases to a plant that may spread through an entire rose garden. Damage from aphids is easy to spot: you’ll notice leaves that are misshapen or that begin to curl. Sometimes they may hide underneath the leaves, so check both sides if you suspect an aphid infestation in your roses.
Unfortunately, cutting your roses won’t cure your aphid infestation. Here’s how to get rid of aphids on roses
Wash and wipe them off (if detected early)
If you’ve spotted just a few aphids, wipe the leaves and stems of the plant with a wet cloth. Doing this can stop an infestation before it has begun spreading to other parts of the plant. However, this will only be feasible during the very early stages of an infestation.
Use a hose to wash them off
You can quickly blast the aphids off your roses with a simple stream of water. Just turn on your garden hose and aim at the infestation. It’s best to do this every day until you no longer see any aphids and are sure they won’t return.
Add good insects
Insects like ladybugs love to munch on aphids. You can get ladybugs online to release into your garden. They’ll be helping you to get rid of the aphids naturally. Once they’ve eaten the aphids, the ladybugs will move on to other gardens.
Use an insecticide
Insecticides aren’t the best option, as synthetic sprays and oil will also kill beneficial insects like ladybugs. But if the infestation is very stubborn, insecticides can successfully get rid of aphids on roses. There are two different main types to treat aphids.
Insecticide soaps made with potassium salts can kill the aphids on contact. These sprays are usually applied once a week and more often when it rains. Simply follow the instructions on the packaging.
Another type is an oil-based spray that lists mineral oils as the main ingredient. They work by smothering the aphids and should be applied more frequently when it rains.
Instead of buying insecticides, you could make your solution using tomato leaves. You’ll need:
- Tomato leaves
- 2 cups of water
- Spray bottle
Simply chop up the leaves and soak them in 2 cups of water overnight. Then strain the leaves and add the mixture to the spray bottle. Apply to your rose bushes and repeat spraying every 2 to 3 days. With all that, you should have defeated the aphids on your rose bushes forever!