IDENTIFYING COMMON ROSE PROBLEMS
Be sure to follow all label instructions and local state regulation regarding insecticides. Rosebush problems solved no matter where you live.
Aphids are insects and they love new growth on roses. Aphids are very small bugs about 1/8 inch long. They are green, red, black or brown in color. They usually attack new growth in masses. (See photo at left)
They start appearing in early spring and if not cared for they will make your roses look bad and very little if any rose blooms.
Rose Bush Problems
What should you do? Use a rose insecticide spray! Spray upwind and make sure you thoroughly cover the plant. I personally like to use a rose food systemic type of insecticide.
A good rose food/systemic insecticide means you mix your solution with water and apply this solution to the base of your plant, the root system will take it in. The plant will absorb this insecticide and will feed your roses at the same time. Once the aphid eats the foliage or stems it will die.
What are thrips?
Thrips are another type of insects that make your roses look bad. Very small light brown in color smaller than the aphids. They prevent your blooms from opening up and rosebuds become discolored.
What can you do? Spraying will usually not work as they are well hidden inside bloom pod. Try using a systemic insecticide as mentioned with aphids.
What are Grubs?
Grubs are ugly white worms with a brown tipped head. About the size of a thumb. They eat the root system of many plants including roses. These worms are embedded in the soil so spraying will not do the trick. They love lawns and rose roots.
Grubs are the larvae of Japanese beetles. Use a good grub control product and apply it to the base of the plant. We recommend Bayer Advanced Grub Control ™ – ask for it at your local nursery.
Powdery Mildew is a fungal disease and attacks roses that have been overwatered, planted under too much shade or both! Cool nights and warm days will also add to the problem. Appearance is a white powdery film on leaves.
What can you do? Spray with neem oil or sulfur on foliage…be sure to spray upwind and saturate plant completely. It will normally take about 3 or 4 applications before the systems disappear.
Water your plants in the early morning hours so the surface will dry out by late afternoon. Trim off the worst part of the infected plant, be sure to store branches and debris in a plastic bag then dispose of properly. Powdery mildew is a very contagious fungus be sure to thoroughly wash hands and tools with soapy water before handling another plant.
What are Scale insects?
There are numerous scale insects the most common is the white scale (see image below). They suck at the juice on rose and other plant stems. Use a good systemic insecticide to remove.
White scale and mealy insects on rose foliage.
The organic way to treat roses
- Keep your roses healthy by feeding them regularly. Plants are like people a good healthy plant will be less susceptible to diseases and bug infestations.
- Try Neem Oil spray. The main ingredient contains neem oil seed pressed from the fruits and seeds of the neem tree (Azadirachta indica). Read more about Neem Oil here. Make sure to saturate foliage and stems.
- Spray organic Dormant oil in the early spring season. The dormant oil will suffocate insects eggs thus preventing them from hatching.
- Purchase ladybugs and or praying mantis from your local nursery. Ladybugs love aphids psyllids, and other nuisance insects.
Guzman’s Garden Centers Located in Las Cruces, NM will always have hundreds of roses to choose from. Drop by our stores if you are in the neighborhood.
Paul Guzman – General Manager of Guzman’s Greenhouse. Gardener, Husband, Father and Grandfather. Webmaster of Guzmansgreenhouse.com