The Q&A Archives: Rose Problems

Question: This past summer my roses had what appeared to be foam on many of the leaves and stalks. A lot of the leaves got brown spots. Could you tell me what it was and how to prevent it in the future? My roses have always been bushy and full of buds, but this year they were spindly and sickly looking.

Answer: I'd venture to guess your roses fell victim to Spittle Bugs. These are really tiny little fellas that feed by sucking the juices out of stems and leaves. They protect themselves from predators by manufacturing a bubbly foam that disguises them, and makes them appear larger than they really are. Spittle Bugs can be hosed off plants with a strong stream of water. Your roses should recover from the attack. Be sure to rake up and destroy fallen leaves at the end of the season (just in case the Spittle Bugs have laid eggs on them). Better luck next year!

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