If your rose bushes have clusters of little pink or green bugs on them, there’s a good chance you’ve got an infestation of rose aphids.
But don’t fret—there are several natural remedies to get them out of your garden and get your rose bushes back to their beautiful best.
In this article, you’ll learn how to control rose aphids the all-natural way, using methods that are safe, organic, and environmentally friendly.
Look for small (2 to 3.5 mm long) , oval-shaped, soft-bodied insects that are usually green but can also be pink, brown, red, black, or even white. They tend to cluster on new shoots and the undersides of leaves.
How to Get Rid of Rose Aphids Naturally
Once identified, utilize these natural and organic methods to control or eliminate rose bush aphids.
1. Orange Oil
Orange oil contains d-limonene, a chemical that can kill certain insects, like aphids, within minutes.
Therefore, mix a tablespoon of orange essential oil with a gallon of water in a spray bottle. Next, lightly spray it on the affected plant parts.
Orange oil is non-toxic to humans and leaves no harmful residue, making it a very effective natural pesticide for your roses.
2. Diatomaceous Earth
Dust the leaves with diatomaceous earth. When it comes into contact with the aphids, it sticks to their exoskeleton and absorbs their oils and fats.
This causes them to dehydrate and later die.
3. Nettle Spray
Nettle spray makes an excellent rose aphid repellent.
Collect about 2 cups of stinging nettle leaves. Next, chop them up and add them to a gallon of water.
Now let it sit for about 12 hours. The longer it sits, the more potent it becomes.
Strain out the leaves. Finally, spray the nettle tea directly onto your plants. It will repel those little green insects on your roses.
4. Avoid Over-Fertilizing
Excess fertilizer can lead to lush, green growth that is more susceptible to rose aphids and other insect problems.
Therefore, follow the directions on the product packaging, and never use more fertilizer than the recommended amount.
5. Hose Them
One of the cheapest organic ways to get rid of rose aphids on plants is to blast them off with a strong jet of water. Grab your garden hose and spray the little suckers off your rose bushes.
The force of the water will knock them from the plant. However, you may need to repeat this a few times to wash away all the aphids.
6. Garlic Spray
Make an organic garlic spray to deter aphids. Crush about 12 cloves of garlic and soak them in water for at least 24 hours.
Next, strain and dilute the garlic water with more water at a 1:10 ratio. You can also add a few drops of dish soap, which helps the spray stick to the plant.
Spray the solution directly onto aphid infestations. The strong garlic scent will repel the aphids.
Moreover, you can turn this home remedy into a rose aphid killer spray by adding one gram of chili pepper. This solution will kill the critters on contact.
7. Soapy Water
One of the most effective natural remedies for rose aphids is a simple soapy water solution. Mix a tablespoon of liquid dish soap or castile soap in a spray bottle filled with a quart of water.
Spray the soapy water directly on the aphids and leaves. The soap will suffocate them without harming your rose bushes.
The acid in vinegar is very effective at killing the tiny aphids. Therefore, you can make a homemade spray for aphids on roses by mixing one part white vinegar and three parts water.
Spray it directly onto the aphids. The solution kills them on contact.
However, be very careful to avoid spraying the vinegar solution on sensitive plants, as it may damage them. Test a small area first to see if it causes a leaf burn.
Vinegar makes a great natural pesticide for roses and other plants when used properly.
9. Neem Oil
This natural oil contains compounds that repel and disrupt the feeding of aphids.
To use neem oil on your rose bushes, mix a few drops of pure neem oil with water in a spray bottle. Start with 1 teaspoon of the oil per quart of water.
You can also add a teaspoon of liquid soap. Shake well to emulsify the oil and water. The soap helps the neem oil stick to the plant better.
Spray this DIY rose bush aphid spray on the tips of new leaf shoots and the undersides of leaves, where these aphids tend to gather.
10. Natural Predators
To control aphid populations organically, introduce some of their natural predators to your garden. Ladybugs, green lacewings, and hoverflies all feed on aphids.
You can also buy some of these beneficial insects online or at a garden center and release them near the infested roses.
The larvae of lacewings and hoverflies are especially voracious aphid eaters. A single lacewing larva can consume up to 200 aphids per week !
Encourage these good bugs to stick around by avoiding broad-spectrum pesticides that kill them along with the aphids.
You can also make your garden more habitable for natural predators. Do this by planting small flowers like dill, fennel, and dandelions, which provide food and shelter for them.
A diverse garden with native plants is most likely to attract and sustain a healthy community of natural pest controllers.
11. Repellent Plants
Planting repellent plants around your rosebushes is an easy, natural way to deter aphids. The strong scent of plants like catnip, lavender, basil, thyme, or rosemary will confuse and repel aphids on rose bushes.
You can also try interplanting nasturtiums, petunias, or marigolds with your roses. Their bright colors will attract beneficial insects like lacewings and ladybugs that prey on aphids.
12. Trap Plants
Place plants like lupine, astrantia, calendula, and nasturtiums near your roses. These trap plants are appealing to aphids. The critters may bother your roses less if these plants are planted nearby.
13. Horticultural Oil
You can spray horticultural oil on plants to smother these pests and their eggs. It is a natural method to kill rose aphid infestations.
The oil clogs the breathing holes and suffocates the aphids, while also preventing eggs from hatching. For the best results, treat the whole rose bush.
Now you know there are plenty of natural remedies to keep rose aphids under control. The key is to be vigilant and not let an infestation get out of control. Try a combination of methods for the best results, and reapply as needed.