spider mites....

ilovemyroses(8 Dallas TX)March 30, 2012

(hope i am not posting in the wrong place on this, searched and didn't find much, so i'm asking!!)

a few roses have been looking stressed (scepter d'isle, sdlm, mme. berkeley, et al). had thought it was 'my imagination' or perhaps a bit of burn from fertilizer.

BUT, dang it! i've got spider mites. i have never had them on roses. have been searching this and other sites, talked to the rose people at the nursery, and bought some spray. my first spray. green light 'rose defense'.

cut off the infested looking growth, it seemed to originate in some lamb's ear below the roses. took all the cuttings away. sprayed heavily with 'the spray' and am investigating other options to protect the surrounding areas.

i am so sad, and concerned. i don't think it will 'total' the roses affected, yet it is so hard cutting off spring blooms before they open for their spring show...(i know you know)...learning about old fashioned buttermilk/wheat flour / water combination spray.

also introducing beneficial nematodes (although i know the sprayed area will be untouchable for awhile).

just thought i'd see what y'all know!!

just got back from tyler with 50 or so MORE roses!! and just trying to figure all this out!! (chamblee's had MANY $2 and $5 roses in the sale area...felicia, lady hillingdon, QE, MAC, and many many more great roses in fine shape...discontinued....NOT dying, just discontinued).

anyway...THOUGHTS AND ADVICE ON SPIDER MITES???? PLEASE!!!! thanks, jill

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Yikes, it sure seems early to me for spider mites on your roses, but am not familiar with the roses you've mentioned, so can't really give you any advice, sorry!

    Bookmark   March 30, 2012 at 10:47PM
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jerijen(Zone 10)

WAIT! First -- with what did you spray? You know that an insecticide will only make this worse, right?

To be honest with you, back some years ago, when we sprayed regularly with insecticides, we DID have spider mite problems. So, then, we had to spray with a miticide.

THAT stopped the day the d*mned miticide MELTED the surface of a plastic measuring spoon. GAAAAHHHH . . .

Shortly thereafter, insecticide spraying stopped, in deference to the dog who seizured when we did so. 'Nuff said, on that.

In the mix, as the garden came into balance, spider mites went by the board.

When we do, periodically, find an outbreak, we spray the daylights out of the affected plant, from UNDERNEATH, with WATER. And that is the end of it.

I once thought spider mites were terrifying, and have learned differently.


    Bookmark   March 30, 2012 at 11:17PM
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I stopped using any chemicals about 20 years ago, have really noticed a difference, too! We used to raise and breed German Shepherds and border collies; I'm surprised I didn't kill everyone using dips, chemicals, etc. on our lawn and animals, but we made it through, luckily...

Haven't seen Spider Mites on my roses, but have a Brugmansia that every summer seems covered with it, Ugh!

    Bookmark   March 31, 2012 at 12:02AM
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roseblush1(8a/Sunset 7)

I get spider mite infections every year in this garden and that's because it is hot and arid, but they are easily controlled.

I have one rose I call my "canary in the mine" because it is the first rose to get spider mites. There have been a couple of times when that rose has completely defoliated and looked quite dead simply because I wasn't looking for spider mites early enough in the season.

I didn't do anything except wash the leaves, top and bottom, and the rose refoliated quite quickly and really never missed more than half a step for the rest of the season. The rose is doing well, but I'm watchin' it now.

My technique is to simply to break the breeding cycle of mites by washing the roses daily for a minimum of three days, then once a week for the rest of the season. With over 100 roses, I don't have a mite problem as long as I consistently wash the plants with water.

Jeri, I am so very sorry you had problems using chemicals to control the problem. That must have been quite discouraging.

I couldn't afford them, so I did what I thought was the next-best-thing and it works very well.


PS... my favorite control is to "break the breeding cycle".

    Bookmark   March 31, 2012 at 3:56AM
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ilovemyroses(8 Dallas TX)

Good info. I have never even bought a spray. But panic set in yesterday, seeing those nasty webs.

I'm going to wash it all down today. And prune as severely as the damage goes.

And wash everything else.

I have SO many roses, I just panicked that they might all get it.

There is an old time recipe that I've read about. Small part buttermilk, small part wheat flour. And water. Also, a garlic diluted water to spray.

I do want and need a non spray garden. And it has worked for ten years, so I don't want to mess that up. And I have heard once you spray, it never ends. Anyone know how long it takes that stuff to dissipate?

    Bookmark   March 31, 2012 at 9:19AM
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seil zone 6b MI

A good, thorough, HARD spray, top and bottom with just plain water every day for a full week and then at least once a week there after should take care of them. I hose down my roses on a regular basis and have rarely seen mites here. I've also found I have less problems with a lot of other things too like black spot and powdery mildew. I think keeping the foliage clean is very important for healthy roses.

    Bookmark   March 31, 2012 at 9:56AM
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michaelg(7a NC Mts)

Wait, there is no need for heavy pruning! It sounds like you misunderstand the situation.

Probably every garden in the USA has spider mites in it. They are everywhere. It's not something you suddenly "catch" and then your garden is in jeopardy. Spider mite problems may emerge periodically when things get out balance, usually following the use of certain insecticides, or during a long spell of warm dry weather, or in places where the foliage is never rained on, under glass or a wide eave.

Green Light Rose Defense is neem oil with the active insecticidal fraction removed. It's about like using canola oil. It won't hurt anything unless you spray it in very hot weather, when it will burn the foliage.

The best treatment for mites is a repeated hard spray of water as seil and roseblush recommend.

I think you should post sharp closeup pictures so people can confirm the diagnosis. I'm dubious that you would have a serious mite problem this time of year.

    Bookmark   March 31, 2012 at 11:35AM
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strawchicago(zone 5a)

Hi ILMR-Texas: My Austin Eglantyne rose came in the mail with blackspot and spider mites last summer. Blackspot went away easily, but spider mites persisted. We had a wettest year, 49" of rain, I blasted that thing with a hose. Spider mites persisted, I kept cutting off infected branches and leaves. It continued. Finally I got paper towels, soaked in 90% alcohol and wipe off the remaining bare branches. Finally it sprouted brand new clean leaves.

I lost Eglantyne this winter. I dug it up late September to fix the soil to make it more acidic. It didn't grow enough root to make it through zone 5a winter. It was a good lesson on how to get rid of black spot and spider mites (this one is tough!)

    Bookmark   March 31, 2012 at 12:55PM
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You got 50 roses, WOW! Your garden will be gorgeous in a couple of years!

    Bookmark   March 31, 2012 at 2:30PM
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ilovemyroses(8 Dallas TX)

Well, I've been working all day on this.. Culprit could be lambs ear. Those get really nasty underneath with the soggy dead leaves. Anyway.

Yes I did a pretty severe haircut in this area, michaelg. (and thx for the low down on that spray...so it wasn't so deadly!!) Probably 12-15 roses. And actually, it needed cleaning. Dug out the lambs ear. And I think it'll be ok. Hosed them down really well as u all mentioned. Seil, I think that will be my plan too! Funny, I just put in drip irrigation to not get the leaves wet, now, I'm hosing them down!

Swberryhill, I remember doing that to an orchid for some nasty scale infection! And it worked! Nothing iis too much to save a rose!

Oh, but I refuse to think that roses are fussy!

And will repeat rinsing as u said.

But lesson learned. !!!!INVESTIGATE iffy roses!!!. Now I remember, I kept thinking their dusty look was due to all the pollen settling from trees budding out. All the cars are yellow green with pollen!

    Bookmark   March 31, 2012 at 10:00PM
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I had lamb's ears a number of years ago, and it did the same as yours, got mushy, so took them all out. I'm glad I did that, don't miss them a bit!

    Bookmark   March 31, 2012 at 11:10PM
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ilovemyroses(8 Dallas TX)

ogrose, yes, it is pretty, but requires maintenance.

i really only grow roses. grass, a few trees. my son (13) told me i need to get rid of 'all that other stuff' (perienials mainly) and just grow what i love. roses.

he thought it looked junky. and he was right, so, i took out alot of salvia, butterfly weed, rosemary...all that stuff that takes up PRIME ROSE ROOM!!

BUT, i must say. sometimes there are bare spots that a rose can't fill.

i have put in walkers low catnip (a nice blue that blooms pretty much all year) and kept some favorite irises. germander stays 'put' and is green and sprawly all year. and thyme stays put pretty well. other than that....roses.

thanks all for the advice. i'll keep you posted on my buttermilk concoction, if i do that, too. but for now. i am washing my roses, and if need me...hand dabbing the leaves in the infected area with rubbing alcohol!

    Bookmark   April 1, 2012 at 8:56AM
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jerijen(Zone 10)

ogrose -- I don't think we've ever seen spider mites on our brugmansias ...

BUT every so often this whole area is invaded by a plague of whitefly. When that happens, the little devils gravitate to the citrus leaves, the few begonias, and to the the brugmansias. I've learned to look there first, for their eggs. (You'd THINK they'd be poisoned and die -- but no.)

We haven't had an infestation like that for some years -- probably because the farmers on the Oxnard Plain have reduced their pesticide use, and planted "insectaries" around the fields. At the worst of the last Giant Whitefly invasion, they darned near killed the hedges of hibiscus at the local movie house. ICK ICK ICK.

Coastal Ventura Co., SoCal

    Bookmark   April 1, 2012 at 12:34PM
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jerijen, I say they're spider mites, that's what they appear to me, but being as I don't study the diseases/infestations that much, could very well be wrong. I have my brug potted, it will go into the ground this week to either make ir or not! Also, I was given a different kind this week, so am hoping for better results...

    Bookmark   April 2, 2012 at 12:03AM
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strawchicago(zone 5a)

Kim Rupert wrote about marigold is a spider-mite magnet and as if these flowers spontanenously generate spider mites! My Eglantyne was right next to a marigold! I could not get rid of spider mite until I moved the rose to a different location and alcohol its infected part.

According to Field Roebuck, garlic chives deter both spider-mites and aphids. Garlic chives is very invasive and time-consuming to kill. Cutting the flowers off is a must, before they seed everywhwere! If not, you'll spend eternity digging zillions of tiny bulbs.

Hi JeriJen: it's amazing that miticide can melt a plastic spoon. I was spraying a hornet nest, and the chemical got on my t-shirt, went through the fabric and burnt my skin. The hornet and wasp spray is cheap, like $2, but extremely poisonous. One guy didn't wash his hands after spraying, ate a sandwich, had a seizure and went into a coma. He had a near-death-experience, and was hospitalized for 6 months. He had to learn how to walk all over again.

They should ban insecticides altogether. I told my hubby how the wasp spray burnt my skin, he went out there and dismantled the nest with a stick. It did the job, no need for spray.

    Bookmark   April 2, 2012 at 9:53AM
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WATER!!! I give my roses a bath at least once a week. Wash the under side of the foliage then the top. Spider mites HATE water. The roses LOVE a good bath. I love getting out in the garden with my hose in hand. I also get a good look at each bush this way.

    Bookmark   April 2, 2012 at 11:08AM
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roseblush1(8a/Sunset 7)


I almost wrote the same thing last night because as far as I know, spider mites like hot dry and arid to flourish. Wet mush leaves of lamb's ear did not fit that description. Then I got to thinking, it's a bug of some kind...maybe a mite that I've never me. If moving the lamb's ear solved the problem, then doing what works is the best thing to do.

During the heat of my summers, my roses get washed down daily. It helps them to be a bit more heat tolerant, but some years I do need my canary-in-the-mine to start that routine.


    Bookmark   April 2, 2012 at 11:27AM
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jerijen(Zone 10)

OGROSE -- I wasn't doubting you! I'm just GLAD I don't have that problem. :-)


    Bookmark   April 2, 2012 at 12:36PM
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Oh, I know that, jerijen! It's just that I'm not positive that's what attacks mine every summer. I'm hoping when I get it into the ground it will just miraculously improve, LOL!

    Bookmark   April 2, 2012 at 2:41PM
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