Rose gardens can be a place of beauty, relaxation, and inspiration. There are not many things that can disrupt a garden’s beauty faster than aphids. Aphids are small, pear shaped insects that feed on the sap of growing plants. Individual aphids are not particularly dangerous to plants, but they reproduce at an alarming rate and can take over a garden in no time. Aphids also produce a sticky residue called “honeydew” that creates the perfect environment for black mold to develop.
Aphids are especially a problem for rose lovers. Because aphids like to feed on the sap of a plant during early growth, rose aphids will attach themselves to emerging rose buds. They will then feed on the buds as it they are developing, which can lead to stunted growth, or deformities in the rose buds. Since the insects are feeding on the plant while it is still growing, the effects of the attack during this important time can last far beyond the initial aphid infestation. Rose aphid infestations can also cause leaves and petals to prematurely fall from full bloom roses.
Finding aphids before they start to spread is key for rose aphid control. Look for aphids on flower buds, shoot tips, and young foliage. Normally, aphids can be found on the underside of leaves. If aphids are found, spraying the rose bush with water can knock the aphids off, but just spraying aphids is not a permanent fix. However, you would have to repeat this tedious effort often, so a more effective solution is to hire a professional who can treat and control the rose aphid problem to alleviate any current and future issues.