Aphids are sap-eating insects that love plants, including roses.
While most plants can survive a few aphids without suffering permanent damage, an infestation of aphids on roses causes severe damage, you’ll need to take immediate action.
Aphids are the most common pest that causes damage to rose bushes. They are mostly found under the rose’s leaves but can infest the buds and blooms.
If rose aphids infest the buds and blooms, your roses will not grow.
Aphids damage the plant by sucking the sap from new shoots, which causes the foliage to yellow and wilt.
Evidence that indicates that you have an infestation includes sticky honeydew droppings that aphids leave behind.
Table of Contents
- 1 What Are Aphids?
- 2 Methods of Getting Rid of Aphids
- 3 FAQ
- 4 Conclusion
What Are Aphids?
Aphids are tiny insects that resemble spiders. Aphids that attack roses are typically green; however, they can also be orange, black, or brown in color.
Green Aphids are frequently referred to as Greenflies.
Aphids have remarkable reproductive potential. Therefore, if you suspect that you have Aphids, you must try to get rid of them as soon as possible.
The consequence of not taking immediate action will be serious, as your roses will be coated in thousands of aphids in a very short period of time.
Methods of Getting Rid of Aphids
As discussed earlier, the best approach to dealing with these aphids on roses is to be vigilant from the very beginning – especially at the start of your rose bush’s growth cycle.
Regularly inspect your roses. If you just see a few of them, you can squish the pests with your fingertips.
However, as we mentioned before, aphids multiply at an incredible rate. Here are some methods that will rid your plants of aphids.
Hosing Down Your Roses
Spray the aphids off the rose plants with a strong stream of water from your garden hose.
This simple strategy works well early in the season (before you are overrun with aphids).
Note, spraying a strong stream of water is not ideal for younger or more sensitive plants.
DIY Homemade Soap Spray
A simple DIY homemade soap spray is an easy solution. First, mix a couple of tablespoons of liquid dish soap with about a quart of regular water.
Then, using a spray bottle, spray directly on the aphids and other parts of the infected plants.
Be sure to spray underneath the rose leaves as this is where the aphids like to lay their eggs and where the aphids larvae like to hide.
Pro tip: Spray on a cooler day as the soap water mix will evaporate less quickly than on a hot day.
Why Soap and Water Mix Kill Aphids
Aphids (and other soft-bodied insects) die as the soap dissolves the aphid’s protective outer body.
However, since the mixture is just water and dish soap, it should not affect other animals or beneficial insects such as green lacewings, Japanese beetles, or ladybugs.
If you don’t want to make your own soap and water mix, you can try this soap insecticide.
This ready-to-use insecticidal soap is great at killing the actual insect and any eggs and larvae that are infecting the plant.
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Using Neem Oil to Kill Aphids
Neem oil is an all-purpose insecticide because it contains a chemical compound called Azadirachtin.
Azadirachtin affects insect’s hormonal systems that directly disrupt the insects’ reproduction cycle. Neem oil has been known to interfere with insects’ ability to eat.
After diluting the neem oil with water, spray the Neem oil mixture on the affected areas of the rose bush.
For certain insects, neem oil will kill them almost instantly as it clogs their breathing holes. But for the most part, you can expect results in a matter of days.
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Using Essential Oils to Kill Aphids
A natural alternative is to use a blend of essential oils to make an insecticide spray mixture. The effects of the essential oils have a similar, albeit not as effective, effect as neem oil.
In a standard-sized spray bottle, combine 4 to 5 drops of each essential oil; add rosemary, thyme, peppermint, and clove oils to about a quart of water.
Then, like the other methods, spray wherever you see the aphids. Don’t forget the spray the bottom of the leaves as well.
Introducing Natural Predators of Aphids to Your Plants
Adult ladybugs (otherwise known as lady beetles) are effective predators of aphids.
Ladybugs control an infestation by eating aphids and their larvae. Ladybugs are known as beneficial insects to any garden.
However, some gardeners don’t like to use ladybugs because they usually go after the larvae first leaving the aphids to keep reproducing.
If you make a decision on using ladybugs as a pest deterrent, you can buy live ladybugs online or at your local garden center.
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Removing Aphids By Hand
As a last resort, you can put on your gardening gloves and start picking them off your roses. Start with the stems, leaves, and then flower buds.
A good way to discard them is in a bucket of soapy water.
Further, you can cut or prune the affected portions.
You should cut off any browning or wilting leaves, stems, or petals as aphids lay their eggs in discolored areas of an entire plant.
Obviously, you should also prune any leaves, stems, or petals that aphids have severely damaged.
Also, trim petals or leaves that have a lot of small holes that insects have damaged.
How Can I Control Aphids On Roses?
To control aphids, you can spray either a soap and water solution, Neem oil insecticide, or an essential oils blended mix.
In addition, you should prune and cut off any aphids-infested leaves, stems, or petals.
How Do I Make A Non-Toxic Aphids Repellent?
To make a safe and non-toxic aphids repellent, you can make a soap and water mixture or essential oil blended mix.
These natural mixtures should repel aphids (and other insects).
Aphids are unwanted pests that affect many plants, including roses. They can be removed and repelled using several methods – the simplest being a soap and water mixture.
Other methods include Neem oil insecticide, an essential oils blend, and pruning and cutting away infected areas of the rose bush.
Aphids also have natural predators (that are beneficial insects to your garden), such as ladybugs, that can be used to repel aphids in the future.
Lindsey Hyland grew up in Arizona where she studied at the University of Arizona’s Controlled Environment Agriculture Center. She continued her gardening education by working on organic farms in both rural and urban settings. She started UrbanOrganicYield.com to share gardening tips and tactics. She’s happy to talk about succulents and houseplants or vegetables and herbs – or just about anything in a backyard garden or hydroponics garden.