There are so many on 'Heritage' that they've turned her leaves shiny with their secretions.
It never ends
Certainly - every Spring. That is completely normal. Just run your fingers up the rose stem and squish them off, or blast them with a hose. Sometimes I tap the stem to knock them off - you have to be careful not to hit it too hard.
I know it looks terrible, but compared to other problems roses can get, aphids are like the common cold - annoying, but not a real problem.
My mutabilis by the driveway looks the same in spring.
I know it's bad, but i just snip the tips off into a bucket and give them to my canaries. Aphids are like crack to them!
This post was edited by adamharbeck on Thu, Apr 10, 14 at 23:51
Every spring, but it didn't last. The hummingbirds would perch and eat aphids like corn on the cob, lacewings laid eggs and in a few weeks there were only a few aphids and well-fed predators.
I sure enjoyed watching the little tiny yellow finches cleaning up my roses for me
Birds and ladybugs are supposed to take care of them, but they don't for me. I do have lots of birds and beneficial insects in my garden, so I don't know why. I use the finger squishing method Jackie described. A few plants (not roses) are seriously plagued, hellebores, chives, and nasturtiums being the ones that come to mind. Sometimes I bring out the heavy weaponry, which in my garden means insecticidal soap. I have actually had aphids kill chives and nasturtiums, though they never seriously harm anything else.
Josh, I think you should not worry about them. Once I stopped using insecticides, I never made an exception. I think you should get ladybug larva. If the aphids bother you, and the "dew" can become repulsive, just cut off the buds. I am north of you, and we have our ladybugs already, and lace wing bugs (not quite accurate word). We also have the larvae out. I really do not even have buds yet, just leaves.
Something has happened in your yard to discourage the good guys. You need to be sure that gardeners are not automatically pouring insecticides in the grass.
We have had white flying aphids. But that is not what your problem is.
Also those who seem to be experts say that once you knock off the aphids, they will not climb again. They will not die immediately, but they will not hurt your rose anymore if you get them off.
I do agree that they are repulsive. If you do go to a nursery to get ladybugs, why don't you get some inside and outside ant bates also? They are part of the aphid army.
I just wipe them off with my fingers then take the hose and spray the plants to get any I might have missed. It's easy and doesn't take long. It's amazing how fast they can show up though. One day you don't see anything and the next they're covered!
Lately I've been watching record numbers of soldier beetles patrolling my garden, I had just a few in the past years but they're really taking off this year. I've heard that having a designated spot for weeds to be allowed to grow without interference can increase the number of good guys in your garden. I have a 'meadow' instead of lawn, it's just weeds and wild grasses and the bugs and birds love it.
Like Sammy, I stopped using any sort of insecticide in the garden a few years ago, no exceptions here, too. The good guys that were mentioned by everyone else will eventually take care of the problem. Remember, aphids are prey. Prey animals breed much faster than the predators. Be patient, deal with them manually if they bother you too much, and let nature balance itself. You will be amazed at how quickly predator insects and birds can take care of this when given a chance.
Josh, so you have a visual of my sympathy, I've attached photos of aphids on my gallicas last year. Ick! With great understanding and sticky fingers--Carol
Thanks everyone for the advice and posts!
I think a large part of the problem is that there are no weeds for the predators to hide in or lay eggs in. There's also a lack of water for them to drink, and so they aren't obliged to stay for long. I tried to fight to keep the weeds in the bed, but my dad demanded they be pulled out.
I also have not sprayed insecticide or fungicide in my garden. Not even organic versions of them. When everything gets to blooming in that bed, it's a haven for bees, wasps, and butterflies. I'm not willing to compromise that ecosystem for a few blooms. Like Seil mentioned, the bees are having a hard enough time as it is.
Hopefully the aphid situation will sort itself out. I've been given the opportunity to plant a garden at a friend's, and I've already put a weeds area into the plans so that the local fauna population will have a chance to flourish.
Josh, there are some very pretty and fairly tame weeds/wildflowers in TX. Evening primroses, bluebonnets, blue-eyed grass, paintbrushes, tradescantia, etc. You know all this, of course. I applaud your environmental awareness. I almost broke down once or twice and sprayed something mild, but so far, not. Looking forward to your next posting on the forum. Caliche, clay, weird growth, freezes, floods, droughts, aphids--gardening in N TX is an eternal adventure. Carol
I keep noticing some beautiful weeds around the area. I have a couple of Bluebonnets I will be putting in to help! I found out the hard way though that they are colony plants. Single Bluebonnets become sad and unhappy!
I'm trying to figure out what this weed is though! It's quite tall, but has filled this lot with a sea of yellow!
How is your garden doing this year?
If the yellow weed was here. I would say mustard
Josh, ah yes. The sad and lonely bluebonnet. I've never grown them from seed, but I know the TX highway department has done so. Texas A & M developed a strain of maroon "bluebonnets" (lupines) which are quite pretty, too. I think Kippy is spot on with the mustard ID. I grow clover, oxalis, wild geranium, mallow, Queen Anne's lace, fireweed, scarlet pimpernel and many other "weeds" that have traveled into my garden on the wind and rain. Re your other post: be sure to post pics of your friend's garden when all is done...and good luck with the Bermuda(?) grass. Eventually I'll post pics of my garden. I'm rearranging a chunk of it bit by bit, a couple hours here and there. I just hacked out two gallicas, the mother ships, and moved them. I'm in the process of digging out all the stoloniferous offspring that sprouted from the mother ships and putting them by the curb as freebies. A painful reminder to always stay on top of own-root OGRs that spread. May the predator bugs continue in force (the gardener's version of "may the force be with you")--Carol