The Q&A Archives: Red Leaves On Roses

Question: I recently planted a rose bush. It has some new growth on it, and the newest leaves are red instead of green. I saw some small green insects about the size of a small ant around the areas that were red. I searched your database of questions and assume these green insects are aphids, but I didn't see anything about them causing rose leaves to change color. Is this normal? My hose can't reach the rose bush (I use a watering can), so I can't get rid of the insects that way. Is there a specific product you can recommend to get rid of the aphids?

Answer: On many varieties of roses the new leaves are normally red, so I suspect this is normal for your rose as long as the new leaves look healthy otherwise.

Aphids are very common on roses and they tend to prefer the soft new growth. Since you can't give it a good hard spray with water to knock the aphids off, you might try insecticidal soap according to the label instructions. Another option for later, once the rose is well established, would be to wait for the lady bugs to discover the aphids and eat them up for you.

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