The Q&A Archives: Pests on Rose Bushes

Question: I have three rose bushes that have what look like aphids (or a similar small green bug) on all of the new growth. They all seem to cluster together on the stems. Will they harm the roses and how can I rid the rose bushes of them?

Answer: It's the right time of year for aphids to begin attacking tender new leaves. Aphids are fascinating insects, except when they're terrorizing the plants in your garden! Aphids bear live young, which are able to bear live young in a matter of days. Hence, you can have three or more generations of aphids - grandma, mom, and daughter - all chomping away on the same plant. This is what makes getting rid of aphids so difficult. You can regularly hose them off of your plants, or use an insecticidal soap. Insecticidal soaps are manufactured from certain fatty-acids that are non-toxicto plant parts. If you mix up your own soap solution, you run the risk of damaging the leaves on your plants. (Most household soaps contain degreasers and solvents, making them unsuitable for use on plants.) You'll have to keep after those pesky little aphids in order to control the populations. You might also plant some disk or ray-type flowers in your garden to attract lady bugs; a number-one predator of aphids.

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