'Somethings' eating my Rose buds (Help)

ashliApril 24, 2008

There are so many buds on my Knockouts, Fourth Of July, etcs., and most all of them have round holes in them, Something dug deep and feasted on the buds...not giving any of them a chance to bloom. I've seen tiny orange bugs (Lady Bugs?) and fuzzy worms eating the leaves...

Any ideas what the culprit is?...and what can I do about it?

I haven't sprayed for anything...Didn't have to last year.


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girlgroupgirl(8 ATL)

You need to get yourself either a systemic like Bayer or beneficial nematodes if you like organics. The nematodes work really well.


    Bookmark   April 24, 2008 at 3:03PM
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buford(7 NE GA)

Are the buds just not opening or are there actual holes eaten in the buds?

Thrips are tiny worm like insects that enter the unopened rose buds and suck the juice out of them and damage the petals, but they don't leave holes.

The only way to get rid of them is to spray an insecticide into the buds. They do tend to go away as it gets warmer. And they affect ligher colored roses more than darker colored ones.

    Bookmark   April 24, 2008 at 9:01PM
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Actual round shape holes in the buds...if this happened last year, it was such a small amount I didn't notice...What is odd is, I never see any insects on the buds...could it be happening at night?...There are ant hills scattered about, but I don't believe ants did it...the holes are all the same size. I will buy insect killer tomorrow. Thanks.

    Bookmark   April 24, 2008 at 10:14PM
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girlgroupgirl(8 ATL)

Nematodes and systemics will basically kill the insect without having to bathe the flowers in the insecticide. Systemics take the insecticide up into the plant via the roots. Nematodes are predatory "bugs" which will prey on the thrips.
I had thrips two years ago. Spraying in and on the roses did nothing. Using nematodes worked great, and I've never had them since.

    Bookmark   April 24, 2008 at 11:16PM
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buford(7 NE GA)

This isn't thrips. It's some kind of caterpillar or beetle. Probably a caterpillar.

GGG, where do you get nematodes?

    Bookmark   April 25, 2008 at 9:40PM
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girlgroupgirl(8 ATL)

I got the nematodes online from a place recommended several years ago on the rose forum. I've heard that Hastings often has them though.
I think they may also be in the stuff with the link below. I've been interested in trying this. Maybe next year? My problem is that I have so many roses (and plan on adding more) that I'd need to buy a lot of this product!


Here is a link that might be useful: Natural Rose care

    Bookmark   April 25, 2008 at 10:12PM
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buford(7 NE GA)

GGG, thanks. I was actually at the Charlotte Garden Show with some of the rose forum members. We saw the Natural Rose Care line. I did buy one bag and am going to see how it does. On my other roses I used rose tone. Last year I used alfalfa pellets/tea exclusively and I see a vast improvement not only in my roses but the soil and root balls of my roses. It's a lot less expensive than commercial ferts as well.

I don't really worry about bug - except for thrips. I've had them bad the past two years and don't want them again. But I really don't want to spray. So I'll look into the nematodes.

    Bookmark   April 29, 2008 at 7:18AM
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I have found three aprox. 1.5 inch long fat beautiful smooth soft bluegreen caterpillars on my roses, not moving, hanging quietly eating out the interior of the rose buds. I have not found any bites in the leaves, only the buds.I will look again tomorrow, too dark now, and see if I can get a photograph.

    Bookmark   May 2, 2008 at 8:45PM
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buford(7 NE GA)

Could be rose slugs. Usually you can just pick them off.

    Bookmark   May 2, 2008 at 9:49PM
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I too am having something eating holes in lots of my buds. I have never heard of rose slugs. Is it the same as the slugs that snack on my hosta and my dahlias?? Those critters can do some damage if left untreated. So what is a nematode?? Sorry but I am a newbie to roses other than knockouts. If I get some nematodes then I guess I will have to quit spraying or applying bayer?? I have been trying the bayer all in one to see how it does because I have tons of green aphids this year. Have never had such a problem with them before this bad. Sorry for so many questions. Theres always seems to be something out there trying to eat up all my plants and it drives me crazy. Judy

    Bookmark   May 4, 2008 at 10:42PM
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girlgroupgirl(8 ATL)

that's a good link about nematodes

Each type attacks a specific host

    Bookmark   May 4, 2008 at 11:18PM
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buford(7 NE GA)

petals, the aphids will go away when it gets warmer and the roses mature. They love new growth. You can just spray them off with water or squish them off with your hands.

Thrips are much worse. I haven't seen any yet (knock on wood!).

I'm not sure about the Bayer/nematodes. The Bayer is systematic and will kill chewing and sucking insects. I suppose if the nematodes eat those insects, they'd die too. But I'm not sure.

    Bookmark   May 5, 2008 at 7:01AM
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buford(7 NE GA)

ok, from GGGs link:

Be careful about using chemical pesticides and nematodes at the same time, or one shortly after the other. Some pesticides will kill nematodes, if you need to use them, either don't apply nematodes or check to see if it's safe

    Bookmark   May 5, 2008 at 7:05AM
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milieu_serene(8b/SE GA)

I realize this thread is 2 years old. We have something ONLY the buds on our knockouts. We have seen a few fuzzy, tan colored worms but no bugs.

Did anyone ever figure out what was eating the holes in the buds or exactly what to do to solve the issue?

It did not appear that tirps were the problem.

Thanks in advance,


    Bookmark   June 9, 2010 at 7:59PM
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buford(7 NE GA)

Thrips do not make holes in buds. Thrips are extremely tiny worm like creatures that crawl into the bud and suck the juice out of it and ruin the way it looks.

The holes are probably rose slugs. If you check the underside of the leaves of your rose you may see them. They can be easily controlled by the pick off method.

    Bookmark   June 9, 2010 at 8:32PM
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I have just planted new rose bushes and from the first newly formed bud something started boring through them...now the first dark red rose has opened and almost every petal has big holes in them...a couple though had what looked like the exact color of the rose in little balls which I first thought were eggs but could be the droppings of whatever was eating the petals. The pink roses are getting damaged too. What is it and what do I do about it?

    Bookmark   May 28, 2011 at 2:27PM
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buford(7 NE GA)

I get that from time to time. I think it may be earwigs, yuck. You can try to pick them off if you see them. I don't know if spraying will do anything if they aren't actually there when you spray.

    Bookmark   May 29, 2011 at 8:40AM
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