Rose Pest Control – Good Insects - Bad Insects 

A balance between pests and beneficial insects is the best basis for a successful rose pest control

Assuming that garden pests will never infest your roses is wishful thinking. Roses provide a natural habitat and food source for many insects. Most of them are harmless and cause little damage, others may destroy canes, blossoms or even the whole plant.

rose pest control

A balance between pests and beneficial insects would be a desirable situation for a garden. Aphids, for example, will be eaten by ladybugs, green lacewings and their larvae or even by chickadees.

 Some pests are so well protected that they cannot sufficiently be hit by predators or pesticides. Among these are cane borers and thrips.

To achieve a natural balance in your garden you have to check your roses frequently, and you have to know what is going on in your garden.

Rose Pest Control – Or Leave It To The Nature

A rose pest control program starts with planting a rose at the proper site. Location means everything to the health of a rose and if a rose is not healthy, she is prone to every sort of garden pests.

Choosing the right site, proper feeding and rose care maintenance are fundamental requirements for the health of the plants.

Prevention and the Organic Approach

A balance between good and bad insects in the garden is the best approach to deal with insect pests.

Some rosarians enjoy it to dress up like warriors to blast their roses with the latest insecticide the market has to offer, with the result that beneficial insects which love to feed on aphids and companions, will nothing find to eat and finally avoid to enter your garden. You wouldn’t go to a restaurant with no food, wouldn’t you?

Once you have started spraying with insecticides, you will have to spray regularly, or the "bad" insects will enjoy a predator free food station.

The best way to avoid pest infestation is to leave it to nature and never start spraying. Just wait until the predators find their way back to your garden.

Bringing back a natural balance takes time. It will maybe take several seasons, and I know it is not easy for rosarians to watch their flowers being destroyed by aphids and their colleagues.  

But in the long run, a balanced nature without spraying will save you money. The environment and all creatures in your garden will thank you for that.

I am honest, I couldn't stand the pests devastating my roses, and I had to do something.

My approach to prevention is the use of:

  1. Neem oil (not neem extract): It is also useful against common rose diseases such as powdery mildew, black spot and rust. I use neem oil at least once a month starting before the growing season. Best time to apply neem oil is in the morning or the evening. 
  2. Horticultural oils can be used in two ways: When your roses are already infested, use them to smother pest insects and their eggs during the growing season. The second way is to use dormant oils, which are applied before roses go to sleep in late fall. Dormant oils kill overwintering pests as well as disease spores. Water the plants well before using horticultural oils and don’t use them during temperatures higher than 85°F.

Neem oil and dormant oils are permanently present in my garden pharmacy, as they are not chemical but botanical insecticides. They are short-lived agents and must be used more frequently to get adequate results.

Anyway, I still have the opinion the best way to control pests on your roses is a natural way.

Spraying Insecticidal Soaps

Insecticidal soaps kill soft-bodied pests such as whiteflies, aphids and spider mites. These oils are of organic origin and are nontoxic to humans. I use insecticidal soaps on infested plants as well as for prevention. Apply the oil in the evening and not in the sun. Otherwise, the leaves could burn.

For the organic approach of rose pest control spraying with insecticidal soaps should not happen more than once, twice a year, and only if the flowers have to survive a massive infestation.

My preferred product: Rose Pharm Organic Insecticidal Soap

Spraying Pesticide Following A Routine Program

For those rose gardeners who don’t have steady nerves, time and muse to control their plants daily, a chemical pesticide may be the best choice. I recommend spraying roses following a regular program each year. (A single spray in mid-May, mid-June and early September)

Recommended Product: Bayer Garden Multirose Concentrate 2. It is a combined insecticide and systemic fungicide.

Spraying – Some Tips 

Spraying pesticides may not be everybody’s preferred pest and disease control method. If you use chemical pesticides use them carefully.

Read the label first: Follow the instructions and protect your skin. Use a dust mask while spraying

Sprayer: Never use the spraying equipment with other fluids

Weather: Do not spray when it is hot, sunny or windy. Best time to spray is the evening when bees stopped working.

Spraying: Apply the pesticides on top and the underside of the leaves until the liquid starts to run off the leaves

After Spraying: Carefully wash the equipment, hands, face and every part of your skin that got in touch with pesticide.

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