Roses deformed and shrunken-Chilli Thrips?!

amberroses(10a)October 13, 2008

So for about 2 months now all of my roses have shrunken deformed leaves, especially on the new growth. Also the buds have brown blotches on them. I have done some research and determined that chilli thrips are the likely cause of the damage. I have a greenlight product on the way to help kill the thrips.

I went to Lowes the other day and noticed the same symptoms on their roses. I also just got back from Epcot and yikes they seem to have them there too!

Is this a new rose epidemic in central Florida? Anyone else experienced this?

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It is likely you have chili thrips...they are everywhere! A product called Conserve is earth/human friendly but costly.

    Bookmark   October 13, 2008 at 12:38PM
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annafl(z9b/10a Sarasota)

I only have knockouts and they are infested. They start looking bad late May or early June and stay ugly till now. They are improving now. This has happened two years in a row. I keep cutting off the deformed growths and buds, flowers. This is a lot of work and has made growing these not worthwhile. I don't treat with anything. They will look better for the cooler months and the new growths will be almost normal. I have pulled out all but 10 of my roses, and eventually I will probably pull them all out. I don't have the time to babysit plants that don't do well or get pests. Next late spring, when they start looking bad again....they are goners!


    Bookmark   October 14, 2008 at 4:34PM
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Well this is a new bug to me. Sri Lanka Weevil has been my manjor rose/ornamental buster, so I whacked most roses down by 2/3 last month. They responded with the coolest total red foliage and now an amazing number of new buds. I don't know if it's too late to cut back now or if you should wait until Spring, but it is Spring in Australia now, so ... it might be worth a whack as an experiment on a plant or two.

Good luck!

    Bookmark   October 14, 2008 at 9:20PM
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The active ingredient in Conserve is spinosad. It works and almost nothing else does well in my experience. There is a Greenlight product that has spinosad in it. I used it last year and it helped. This year I bought Conserve and have had no problems, while my neighbors have been infested. (I did give them some Conserve just in time to save their roses.)

Untreated they will kill the plant. Our normal thrips come with the Orange blossoms in the spring and only seem to affect the new buds. The chili thrips are very bad news.

People buy knockout roses primarily because they didn't need to be sprayed. But the chili thrips must be treated.

    Bookmark   October 17, 2008 at 12:59AM
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I am glad I saw this thread because I've been having the same problem with my roses. I just trimmed them all back and sprayed them, but I am not familiar with Conserve; I used the Ortho rose spray and it has seemed to help although they just are not thriving the way they were before. They get a regular feeding and supplement program. Where do you buy the Conserve? I don't even like the SOUND of chili trips!

    Bookmark   October 17, 2008 at 10:42AM
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minibim(FL z10)

The state of Florida has restricted spinosad containing products in Broward and parts of Palm Beach and Dow has voluntarily suspending sales. Why only these 2 counties, who the heck knows.

The state is afraid it is already seeing signs of the pests building a resistance and wants people to realize they have to rotate chemicals.

    Bookmark   October 17, 2008 at 10:57AM
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atreelady(9b SW Orlando)

I looked up spinosad on the internet and they were raving about how safe it was. I was skeptical, after all Dow makes it and to me that is a red light right there. Then they said " It doesnÂt kill spiders, ladybugs, insect-predatory mites or other beneficial insects  except honeybees. " Excuse me ... It kills honeybees? Then they said " Spinosad is so safe for humans that "protective clothing" for applicators means long-sleeved shirts, pants, and shoes with socks." Excuse me ... protective clothing is needed? So I am sticking with lemon soap and neem and if that doesn't kill 'em then I will look for things that are easier to grow. But that's just me.

    Bookmark   October 17, 2008 at 11:22AM
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minibim(FL z10)

Every pesticide has the standard protective clothing labels, it's called CYA for the chemical companies.

Kinda like the tv commercials for sleeping pills, "don't take these before driving or operating heavy machinery". Well, duh!

    Bookmark   October 17, 2008 at 12:14PM
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Below is a link to an exhaustive discussion of Spinosad. I think that it makes sense to use it with caution--like any insecticide. It does kill bees and fleas and others who come into contact with it. I'm not sure if it kills predatory insects. My understanding is that it usually does not.

I keep my Hybrid Tea roses pretty much separated from the other plants in my garden because they need to be sprayed regularly. I haven't had any problems with the chili thrips and my Old Garden Roses.

I appreciate the words of caution above. I will be more careful with the use of Conserve now.

Here is a link that might be useful: Spinosad

    Bookmark   October 17, 2008 at 12:52PM
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tomncath(St Pete Z10a Heat 10)

Well, sinosad has the seal of approval for organic gardening use, sure hope that doesn't end up being a mistake because I've had to use it on my sweet peppers.

Here's a link to the product locally, sold in an 8oz bottle by Southern Ag.

    Bookmark   October 18, 2008 at 9:03AM
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The Southern Ag product is cheaper (you don't get as much). I haven't used it but the word around the rose society is that it doesn't work as well as the Dow product. Also, some folks in the rose society used the Worms way version and the "carrier" had a bad effect on roses. I think they got spray burn.

The last time I got Conserve it was over $100 for a quart. I got that from Tampa Agricultural supply. carries it too. For a home gardener it will last a long time.

Chili Thrips perfer some roses more than others. We should spread the word what they like/don't like. I know that they leave Louis Philippe alone. One of my new red HTs (Vina Russo) is a chili thrip magnet!

    Bookmark   October 18, 2008 at 1:00PM
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tomncath(St Pete Z10a Heat 10)

Wow, I'm definitely out of my league since I'm not a rose affectionato...need to do the same thing with a post for sweet peppers but I seriously doubt I'll get the same kind of info you're offering...very good info. All I wanted to do is advocate that spinosad is probably okay to use. Thanks!

    Bookmark   October 19, 2008 at 7:45PM
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Thanks everyone for your suggestions.

    Bookmark   October 21, 2008 at 11:22AM
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