Roses are one of the most appreciable flowers. What you might not know is that aphids are known to eat and feed on roses, therefore these tiny insects can damage your rose plants. Aphids are tiny bugs that are attracted to certain plants. They come out in late spring and early summer.
The best time to deal with them is when they’re still small. Aphids that are smaller can be killed more easily than adults. You can even just squish them between your fingers, but if you want to prevent these little critters from getting on your roses, you can use various solutions that can not only get rid of the aphids but also help your roses grow stronger and healthier.
Aphids Life Cycle
Aphids reproduce rapidly by laying eggs and live for about five weeks at a time during which they will mate several times and lay up to 50 eggs! After mating the females will lay their eggs on the underside of leaves where they can hatch in just a few days. The nymphs that hatch from these eggs are all female and go through several molting stages before they mature into adults. During their short lifespan aphids will produce three generations of offspring.
How to Get Rid of Aphids on Roses
Treat aphid infestations promptly before they have a chance to spread and multiply.
Organic ways of eliminating aphids
You can spray insecticidal soap to kill aphids on roses. Insecticidal soap is an organic insecticide made from fatty acids.
- Remove all infected foliage, stems, buds, and roots.
- Use your hand to wipe off as many aphids as possible. The more you remove manually, the less there will be to deal with later in the season.
- Spray plants with water to remove aphids that are present. This will help you identify any other infected areas.
- Spray plants with an insecticidal soap that is safe for roses and other edible plants when they are in flower or fruit, this will remove egg masses.
- Remove eggs on stems and buds by holding stem between thumb and index finger and gently scrap off eggs with a sharp knife or razor blade.
- Spray plants thoroughly with an oil spray or dormant oil spray to suffocate any remaining eggs during winter months when insects are less active but eggs are still present on stems from the previous summer.
- Spray the soap on your plants thoroughly and repeat every 7-10 days until aphid populations are under control.
Inorganic ways of eliminating aphids
Insecticidal soaps are not always effective in eliminating aphids on roses, so you may need to turn to more “traditional” inorganic chemical controls such as malathion. Apply malathion according to label directions by spraying it directly on the plant’s foliage. Be sure to cover all parts of the plant including petioles, stems, leaves, and flowers.
Here are some suggestions on how to get rid of aphids on roses:
- Water your rose garden frequently in order to keep the soil moist but not wet; water-saturated soil is unattractive to aphids. Watering in the morning rather than at night will decrease the likelihood that aphids will be present on your plants when you water them.
- Remove any debris from your garden and dispose of it properly; do not leave dead plant matter lying around as this can be a food source for aphids and attract them to your garden.
- Place sticky traps around the base of your roses to catch adult ladybugs, lacewings, and other good insects that enjoy eating aphids. Ladybugs are particularly helpful because they eat lots of aphids and their larvae are poisonous to most common garden pests.