Common Garden Pests

Common garden pests can infest even the best cared for roses

Many insects, bugs and other animals will probably love your roses as much as you do. That firstly does not mean that every beastie that visits your plant is harmful and secondly you will never see more than few of them at one time.

I know it is annoying when you want to enjoy your flowers after a long winter and finally discover greenfly or spider mites have sucked out the life of your flowers.

First thought might be to kill them instantly with some pesticides, but foremost it is better to identify what kind of garden pest infested your rose. Then learn how to stop them to eat your flowers or even better prevent them to infest the plant wit a proper rose pest control.

How To Avoid Common Garden Pests

Unfortunately, you cannot buy varieties that are insect resistant, but the well-watered and well-fed plants will not be weakened that much by insects than plants treated carelessly.

Here are few more practices that can help.

  • Encourage beneficial insects like the larvae of ladybirds or lacewings to your garden. Plant some Beneficial Bug Wildflowers.
  •  Companion plants like garlic, thyme, rosemary, coriander, fennel, mint or petunias and geranium near your roses will keep away several insects.
  • Build a barrier, a windbreak or plant the roses along a wall or fence. Some garden pests don’t like barriers and will stay away from the plants
  • Catch a problem in the early stage, inspect plants regularly and remove unwanted insects by hand or water
  • Remove larger insects like caterpillars by hand
  • Remove smaller insects like aphids with a sharp jet of water (don’t forget the underside of the leaves)

Insect Pests And Where They Colonize

The most common insect pests, what part of the plant they infest and how they look like.

Pests on the Stem

Aphids (greenfly): Those sap-sucking tiny insects are the commonest rose pests and come in many colors like green, black and red.

They damage young shoots and flower buds. Aphids are easy to control. Learn more about aphid pests.

Cane Borers: When cane growth begins to slow, than wilt and die, it is almost certain that a cane borer is at work.

Read how to deal with cane borers.

Gall Wasp: Mossy green or brown rose galls are created on roses when this insect stings a stem.

There are several different types of galls but most of them are harmless and do no damage.

Rose Stem Girdler: The beetle larvae bore into rose stems of mostly Rosa hugonis and some other species.

They cause the stem to swell and sometimes break. Usually, they do not infest modern roses.

Scale: Scales form a grey or light brown crust preferable on old stems. Those are the skeletons of the scale. Simply cut of the stem where that ugly crust sits.

If scale is a persistent problem, spray it with lime sulfur or Malathion.

Pests on the Leaf

Caterpillars: Irregular-shaped holes in leaves are the trademarks of the larvae of moths or butterflies.

Although some butterflies may be charming, their larvae on roses are annoying. Read how to deal with caterpillars.

Leaf Cutter Bees: Unmistakable signs are regular-shaped holes at the sides of leaves. The bee uses the material for its nest.

Because they never ingest the leaves, it does not make sense to spray.

Leafhoppers: Pale mottled patches occur on the upper side of leaves and small, very fast-moving yellowish insects (or their white skin) can be found on the underside.

They may be repelled by alliums and eaten by assassin bugs. After a severe attack, leaves may fall, and you have to spray the foliage with Sprayday

Rose Slugworm: These slug-like worms scrape off the outer tissue of the leaves, leaving skeletonised areas behind. The veins are not eaten; the leaves turn brown and may fall off.

Pick the slugworms off and dispose of them. If you have a bad attack, spray the leaves with insecticides.

Spider Mites: Very tiny arachnids that barely can be seen. They are on the undersides of the leaves and suck the plants fluids. The leaves turn yellowish and may show silvery small spots.

A daily sharp jet of water in the morning will help to keep the infestation down.

If the pests are a problem, use a dormant oil spray before roses go to hibernation. This will kill the eggs of the spider mites.

Flower Pests

Japanese Beetles: These beetles, Chafer beetles, June beetles and Cucumber beetles can be a serious problem in some areas. They eat the flowers as well as the leaves often skeletonize them.

Picking them off can help if they are not too numerous, but if you have serious problems with that bugs, you have to do something. Learn about how to deal with Japanese Beetles.

Thrips: This nearly invisible pest will deform the buds and leave them unopened. Read how to handle thrips infestation.

› Garden Pests

New! Comments

Have your say about what you just read! Leave me a comment in the box below.