How to Get Rid of Aphids on Roses for Healthier, Longer-Lasting Plants

<p><a href="">Igor Klyakhin</a> / Getty Images</p>

Igor Klyakhin / Getty Images

Roses are an excellent addition to any garden, as there are many varieties and colors available. Unfortunately, gardeners are the only ones attracted to this stunning flower. Aphids are among the most prevalent garden pests, wreaking havoc on everything from potatoes to peppers and even roses.

If you notice aphids on your rose buds, it's important to get rid of them quickly to protect the health and longevity of your plants. Fortunately, there are many tried-and-true methods for getting rid of aphids. Here are some of the most effective ways to get rid of aphids and protect your roses.

<p>Christophe Lehenaff / Getty Images</p>

Christophe Lehenaff / Getty Images

What Are Aphids?

Aphids are a common garden pest, since they're attracted to a wide range of flowers and vegetables. Aphids are generally the size of a flax seed and are typically green and black. While you usually find them in clusters on a plant's stem or leaves (or both), these tiny little pests aren't always easy to spot. If you can't locate these insects, look for the following signs of an aphid infestation:

  • A saliva-like substance that is secreted by aphids, called "honeydew."

  • An unsightly, sooty mold, encouraged by the presence of honeydew.

  • An army of ants on your rose buds, as they like to feast on honeydew.

  • Your rose bud leaves may begin to wilt or curl.

Why Are Aphids Harmful for Roses?

Aphids are harmful to roses, and a wide range of other popular garden plants, for many reasons. First, aphids snack on the sap in plant stems and leaves, which weakens the plant and can stunt its growth. As they chomp down on your precious roses, aphids also inject saliva into the leaves, which can spread diseases. As if these actions weren't harmful enough for your rose buds, the sooty mold aphids produce via the honeydew secretion can inhibit a plant's ability to absorb light rays and photosynthesize.

<p>Os Tartarouchos / Getty Images</p>

Os Tartarouchos / Getty Images

Methods for Getting Rid of Aphids on Roses

It's important to get rid of aphids on your roses to help your plants stay healthy and continue growing. Here are some of the most popular methods for getting rid of aphids on roses and preventing future aphid infestations:

  • Start with water: Since aphids are relatively small, you can knock them off the rose buds with a strong stream of water. This is a good option for those with smaller gardens and fewer rose bushes, but keep in mind this method can only help for a brief period of time. To keep aphids off your rose bushes for the long term, consider one of the following options.

  • Make your own soap spray: Soap is a very common and effective solution you can use to deter aphids. Create a DIY soap spray by mixing a teaspoon of dish soap in a spray bottle filled with water. Be sure to use a mild liquid soap and apply the solution once a week.

  • Attract beneficial insects: Companion planting is a gardening technique that involves growing different plants together that provide benefits to each other. Companion planting can help prevent diseases, improve nutrient supply, and even operate as natural insect repellants. You can attract aphid predators like ladybugs, lacewings, and hoverflies to your garden by planting their favorite plants, including dill, mint, and yarrow.

<p>Helin Loik-Tomson / Getty Images</p>

Helin Loik-Tomson / Getty Images

How to Prevent Aphids on Roses

Once you've tackled your aphid infestation, there are many different tips and tricks you can use to keep aphids from returning to your rose buds. Here are a few of the most effective methods:

  • Check on your rose buds often: Make sure you're inspecting your rose bushes for aphids, honeydew, and ants on a regular basis to make sure you're able to spot and address an aphid infestation before it gets out of hand.

  • Plant alliums to deter aphids: Aphids dislike plants like garlic, chives, and even marigolds, so plant these near your rose bushes for an extra aphid-repeller.

  • Incorporate bird feeders: Songbirds are another natural enemy of aphids, since they enjoy snacking on this tiny pest. Draw sparrows, finches, and more to your garden with a bird feeder (or a few) placed near your rose bushes. You might also consider a birdhouse and bird bath.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the best homemade bug spray for roses?

The best homemade bug spray to get rid of aphids on roses is a simple soapy water solution, which will knock off and deter aphids from snacking on your ornamental beauties.

Is dish soap good for killing aphids?

Dish soap will harm and deter aphids, but it won't necessarily kill them. Pair your dish soap spray with one or two of the other methods mentioned above for a more effective approach to getting rid of aphids on your rose buds.

Will vinegar get rid of aphids?

Vinegar does kill aphids, because it is an acidic substance. However, vinegar can also burn the foliage on your rose bushes, so it isn't necessarily the best natural pesticide.

Read Next: How to Grow and Care for Rose Bushes

Read the original article on The Spruce.