Home Remedies for Growing Roses

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From hybrid tea varieties to brilliant grandifloras, roses make a beautiful addition to yards and gardens. Spanning the classic shades of red, yellow and pink, these species of flowers are one of the most popular choices for landscaping. However, just like any living thing outside, these attractive specimens come with their own collection of outdoor threats. Home remedies for growing roses can help you cultivate winning flowers.

growing roses

Main Threats to Roses

When growing roses, you’ll face insect pests and plant diseases that attack the stem, leaves and flowers. A couple of main threats to roses include:

• Japanese Beetles: Japanese beetles are easy to pinpoint. They have metallic green and copper brown bodies and like to feast upon trees, shrubs and roses, as they are attracted to the tender cane growth and leaves. Sometimes, your best course of action is to physically remove beetles and make it harder for the insects to reach plants. Watch for Japanese beetles from late June to early October.

• Aphids: Forming colonies that suck the vital juices from roses, aphids are green or brown insects known to wreak havoc on your plants.

• Black Spot: Causing dark spots to appear on your foliage, black spot is a fungal disease that best responds to aggressive pruning. Toss away clippings and make sure to avoid watering from overhead.

• Canker: In spring, prune all signs of canker, which causes black or brown discoloration on rose canes that eventually leads to dead roses.

Rose Growing Home Remedies

If you’re looking to grow the best roses in the neighborhood, you must keep your plants free of insects and fungal invasions. It’s OK to forego chemical solutions and consider the following home remedies for roses:

a) Vegetable Oil:

A mixture of one cup of vegetable oil and one tablespoon of dishwashing liquid can create a home remedy to get rid of aphids on roses. Take one tablespoon of this solution and add to one cup of water to make a formula for treating roses suffering an aphid attack.

b) Bucket and Soapy Water:

Sometimes, it’s necessary to control a Japanese beetle problem by manually removing the insects from your rose plants. In the morning, the beetles are slow to respond or move – this is the best time to remove the pests from your plants. Use a stick or ruler to knock the insects into a bucket or jar filled with soapy water. Quick removal of the beetles will lessen the numbers that usually come when they are attracted to congregating pests.

c) Cheese Cloth:

Create a net covering for your roses as protection against Japanese beetles. Cheese cloth offers a decent solution for smaller rose bushes. Tie a stretch of cheese cloth around the lower truck of your bush to physically prevent beetles from reaching your roses. Remove the net cover from your bushes in late summer or fall – when beetle populations are no longer a threat.

d) Water Hose:

Use your garden hose to dislodge and temporarily disrupt a swarm of Japanese beetles from your plants. These kinds of bugs do not like to get wet. You can also interrupt the life cycle of a spider mite by spraying the underside of leaves every two to three days with your water hose. [1].

e) Soapy Water:

Combat an aphid infestation by spraying the garden pests with soapy water.

f) Aggressive Pruning:

It’s important to prune rose plants after the first signs of disease. Prune out and destroy damaged parts of rose plants affected by the midge – a small maggot that bores into roses and causes buds to turn black. Clip away leaves with black spots. Prune any rose canes that show black or brown discoloration – a sign of the fungal disease called canker. Remove the canes below infected foliage as well.

g) Baking Soda:

Save money on rose garden maintenance by controlling powdery mildew on plants with baking soda. Not only does this home remedy act as a natural fungicide, but it also works to prevent further destruction. Create a treatment by mixing one tablespoon of baking soda, ½ teaspoon of liquid soap, and one gallon of water.

h) Attract Ladybugs:

Roses benefit from the presence of ladybugs, which eat aphids. If you position certain kinds of plants close to your roses, you can attract these natural garden protectors. Herbs, such as cilantro, dill or fennel, are suggested. Geraniums, coreopsis, tansy, wild carrot, and white cosmos also attract ladybugs to a garden.

i) Listerine [2]:

Combine one cup of the infamous mouthwash, Listerine, and one cup of water to create a spray mixture that makes rose plants undesirable to aphids.

j) Rubbing Alcohol:

Treat affected leaves plagued by spider mites with applying rubbing alcohol.

k) Aspirin [3]:

According to the Pacific Southwest District of the American Rose Society, the salicylic acid found in aspirin works as a defense against insects and diseases. Dissolve three aspirin tablets in a bucket containing four gallons of water. Spray the tops and bottoms of rose foliage with the mixture, which actually activates salicylic acid already found in the plant.

l) Garlic:

Try controlling an aphid infestation by spraying your rose leaves with a solution comprised of crushed garlic cloves and water.

m) Plant Marigolds:

Planting marigolds close to your roses will help protect against nematodes – tiny, eel-like roundworms.

n) White Glue:

If your roses have suffered a couple of knicks after pruning, use white glue (like Elmer’s glue) as a quick repair. Large cuts left ignored can lead to attacks from harmful insects or provide a gateway for disease.

o) Tape:

Need a quick and easy way to remove pests from your rose leaves? Wrap adhesive tape (with the sticky side out) around your hand.


[1] http://www.urbanext.uiuc.edu/roses/disease-insect.html
[2] http://www.rosemagazine.com/pages/pests.asp
[3] http://www.pswdistrict.org/text/articles/abcremedies.html