The Q&A Archives: Brown,dry roses

Question: Here in Georgia, we seem to have a tremendous problem with aphids. I spray every three days or so with an insecticidal soap apray (Safer), but they always return. Recently the weather has warmed up, and I have noticed that one by one my roses are shriveling up and turning brown. I feel this may be caused by something that the aphids have transmitted to them, but none of my gardening books are specific about what it may be. How can I save them?

Answer: Early spring, and the aphids are already on the warpath! Yikes! I think the problem is related to aphid cure rather than the aphids themselves - if you're spraying Safer's Soap often on young, tender leaves, it can become phytotoxic in warm, sunny weather. I suggest that you rinse the leaves/stems with a vigourous spray from your garden hose, which will clean up the soap residue, blow away the aphids, and provide the young roses with needed moisture. Then use an organic, neem-based repellent suchas Japanese Beetle Repellent offered by Burpee. It repells/controls aphids as well. Hope this helps!

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