Augh! Aphids and spider mites!
Two days ago, all of a sudden, the plentiful roses on my beautiful bush suddenly all had dark, dried-out petal edges, including brand-new buds that had yet to open! I saw this at dusk, and I ALSO saw for the first time little green things flying around.
I mixed up a combination of 1 tsp Dr. Bronner's fragrance-free liquid castille soap and 2 tsp vegetable oil in a spray bottle filled with water. I also added and dissolved granulated garlic. (I know you're supposed to make garlic "tea" or oil, but I didn't have time for that.) I sprayed down the rose bush really well.
Last night I didn't see any flying green bugs. However, my little baby orange rose bush, which has its first flowers, also had developed the brown, dried petal edges. So does one of my pots of petunias. (The other petunia pot doesn't have brown edges, but does have some holes in the petals.)
I called the nursery and they said I probably have spider mites. And sure enough, for the first time I saw a little web at the bottom of my big rose bush. The nursery said to wash the plants down very well and then apply my spray. I realized that I would be washing away yesterday's heavy coating of spray, and also that the oily spray might not stick well to wet plants, so I did a little experiment:
I didn't wash the giant bush, but instead resprayed it.
I thoroughly washed the little orange rose bush, and didn't spray it (I'll do it today when the morning sun leaves the area.)
I thoroughly washed AND sprayed the petunias (both of the pots.)
I thought I would get opinions here about what to do, and also ask if the garlic is truly helpful.