Many gardeners enjoy planting roses not only for their fragrance but delicate looks as well. However, while roses are somewhat easy to grow, you need to watch out for one problem – aphids. Aphids are common pests in the garden that will devour anything they desire, especially roses. If you plan to plant roses or are looking for a way to help protect yours from these insects like aphids, read on. Here you will learn how to get rid of aphids on roses.
What are Aphids?
Aphids are small often green insects that roam up and down plants trying to suck the sap out of them. This can cause the plants to lose nutrients and water which results in them dying. Aphids, unfortunately, multiply rapidly, and if not controlled immediately, can completely overrun a garden.
Why are Aphids Attracted to Roses?
These insects are attracted to roses for a few reasons. One is the sweet sap that rose plants produce. Aphids will work to cover the buds and leaves of the plant so they can get some of this sweet sap to satisfy their appetite. As aphids devour this rose sap, their bodies will excrete a sticky substance called honeydew.
This in return will encourage other insects to cover your roses so they can eat this sap, like ants.
How Aphids Can Destroy Roses
While they might be small, aphids can completely destroy a rose bush within a day. Because they drink the beneficial sap out of the plant, this can harm the growth of your roses.
This is due to this sap needing to be around to help leaves and buds form. Any sap left behind by the aphids will eventually turn into black mold which can be very harmful to the plant. Not only will the loss of sap prevent new roses from blooming, but it can cause stress to the plant and eventually cause it to wither and die.
How to Get Rid of Aphids on Roses
Thankfully, there are a few ways you can work to get rid of these pesky insects before they wreak havoc on your roses. Below are a few methods you can use to help completely remove them.
Invite Natural Predators
One of the best ways you can get rid of aphids on your roses is by inviting natural predators to your garden.
But what eats aphids?
One connoisseur of aphids in particular, is ladybugs. These insects love aphids and can eat thousands of them a day. Ladybugs also tend to lay their eggs in aphid colonies so the larvae can feed on them. Ladybugs are the ultimate solution to how to get rid of aphids on roses.
You can work to encourage ladybugs to come to your yard by planting flowers they enjoy, like yarrow, fennel, and cilantro.
Where to Buy Ladybugs
If you find that ladybugs still aren’t coming into your yard, and you’re wondering where to buy ladybugs, you can buy these helpful insects online or perhaps in your local garden center. Bug Sales is a great option on Amazon. They guarantee their Ladybugs to be delivered alive.
Other Natural Aphid Predators
Besides ladybugs, green lacewings are also predators of aphids. Just as with ladybugs, lacewing larvae will feed on aphids to help prevent their population from spreading. Some plants to encourage lacewings to come to your yard are Queen Anne’s lace, dill, and thyme.
In addition to insects, birds are natural predators of aphids, especially chickadees and wrens.
Pick Them Off By Hand
If you find that there are only a few aphids on your roses, you can just pick them off with your fingers. You can then put them in a bucket of soapy water to prevent them from escaping. If you prefer to not use your bare hands to do this, you can use garden gloves as well, although it might be a little difficult to grasp onto these insects with them.
Chemical Options for Aphid Control
There are a few options for rose insecticide you can spray on your roses to control aphids. These are all pretty natural remedies, and are not at all harsh.
Make a Dish Detergent Spray
Another way you can remove aphids from your roses is by making a dish detergent spray. You can mix about 5 tablespoons of soap in one gallon of water and then pour this mixture into a spray bottle. After doing so, you can gently spray some of this mixture on your roses. The soap will work to dissolve the waxy outer layer on an aphid’s body that keeps moisture inside them.
While this is a quick and easy method to use, keep in mind to not overdo the spray. Too much soap on your plants can be harmful to them as it can absorb the water your roses need to grow. Because of this, it’s important to only use this method occasionally so your roses don’t become dehydrated.
Try Neem Oil
Neem oil, such as Organic Bliss Neem Oil is often used by gardeners to help prevent pests from spreading. This all-natural pesticide has a very strong garlic-like smell, something which some insects detest. You can buy some neem oil and spray it over your roses to help prevent aphids from living on them. Neem oil is a pretty good choice for a natural rose insecticide.
In addition to aphids, neem oil will also help to prevent other common rose pests, like ants, caterpillars, and mealy bugs.
However, while neem oil is an organic and natural option, it’s important to be careful when using it as inhaling too much of it could cause coughing or skin sensitivity.
Garden Options for Aphid Control
You can also try to control aphids by choosing a few plant species aphids aren’t particularly fond of, or other gardening methods.
Plant Garlic and Chives Near Your Roses
Another natural way to deter aphids from your roses is to plant some garlic and chives near them. This is because aphids dislike the smell of these plants.
Use Heavy Watering
If you have a well-developed rose bush, you can use your garden hose to spray heavy amounts of water on the leaves. This will knock any aphids off of it without you having to do much.
However, keep in mind that this method is ideal only for large and mature plants as small and young rose plants could break under the water pressure.
Conclusion: Killing Aphids on Roses
Aphids can be a pesky problem for gardeners, but they can be defeated. By keeping the aphids on roses home remedies mentioned above in mind, you can work to prevent aphids from destroying your roses so your garden can stay healthy and flourish.
Ladybugs are our favorite solution, because, well, they’re ladybugs, and everyone loves them!
Start there, and if they can’t handle your aphid problem, move onto the other solutions.