Aphids!

Aphids on roses

Aphids

Q
My Hello Dolly just bloomed and I am so happy. But I now have the beginnings of a pest problem. There are these little brown bugs gathering at the base of new baby leaves and new rose buds.

Do you have any suggestions as to how I can control these bugs? Please help, thank you!

A
Aphids love tender new growth. You’ll see a little colony of green, red or brown soft bugs clustered on new growth. Luckily, aphids are easy to deal with.

If there are just a few you can just scrape them off with your fingers.

If you have more, spray them off with a blast of water from a garden hose. If your rose isn’t sturdy enough for this, you can hold the new growth in one hand and gently wash the aphids off to the ground.

Do this 2 or 3 times a week until you don’t see aphids anymore. It’s best to do it early in the morning, so you don’t have wet rose bushes in the evening and night, which may invite powdery mildew.

In our climate it’s best to not spray water with soap added on our roses. The soap leaves residue on the leaves and because of our strong sun, this can be hard on the bush.

It’s best to keep up with the aphids, as they can lay more eggs in the ground and next year will bring a bigger aphid problem.

Lady bugs can help, but they tend to leave. Praying mantis are territorial and will stay. You can get praying mantis eggs at many nurseries. That might be something to try.