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Getting rid of aphids on roses

Published: 14th July, 2014

Getting rid of AphidsOf all the pests and diseases that affect roses, aphids seem to be the most common. They will be found underneath leaves but also clustered around buds and flowers. Aphids can damage buds so that they fail to develop and they suck the sap out of young shoots to the degree that the foliage becomes wilted and unhealthy looking. They leave behind a sticky, sugary substance called honeydew that may turn black and ugly if infected with sooty mould.

Aphids are usually green but can also be black, orange, or shades of brown. The green aphids typically found on roses are usually called greenfly.

It is best to wipe out aphids when you first notice them, as they have incredible reproductive capabilities. A plant can literally be covered with thousands of aphids in a very short time if not dealt with quickly.

The easiest way to handle these pests on roses is to be diligent from the beginning of the rose’s growing cycle and check your roses regularly. If you see any of the offending bugs you can just squash them with your fingers.

You can knock them off a plant with a strong jet of water from your garden hose, or you can spray them with soapy water. If you do use soap however, apply it on a cooler day and wash it off after about 15 minutes or it may damage the plant. The soap helps wash off sooty mould, too.

Ladybirds and their larvae, as well as lacewing larvae and hover-fly larvae, love feeding on aphids so encourage these into the garden. Try planting some dwarf lavender under the rose trees as they tend to attract their natural predators, such as ladybirds. Small birds, especially blue tits, also eat large numbers.

For chemical control there are a large number of insecticides available here at Henry Street Garden Centre. We recommend using Roseclear Ultra which will control fungal diseases such as blackspot and mildew as well. Alternatively try Westland Resolva Bug Killer or a good organic option is Bayer Organic Bug Free. All these insecticides will only kill selected insects and will not harm beneficial bees and ladybirds.

If you need help with pest control and in finding the best product then our garden experts will be more than happy to help you in our store.

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