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HELP!! Roses are been stripped bare

Posted by loftus 5b ( on
Sun, Aug 15, 04 at 20:53

I have climbing roses and rose bushes and some (not all) are been stipped of leaves and all I have is a few rose twigs??
Does anyone have any idea what is happening and how to I fight this - or do I pull them all out and try again next year!!
I hope someone has experienced this and can help.


Follow-Up Postings:

RE: HELP!! Roses are been stripped bare

Could it be earwigs or japanese beetles?


RE: HELP!! Roses are been stripped bare

  • Posted by Jroot 5A Ont. Canada (My Page) on
    Mon, Aug 16, 04 at 10:09

I would wager that if you look closely at it, or at least the parts of the roses not yet attacked, you will see little green caterpillars about a cm long or so. They attacked mine earlier this year and within a day or so left me with sticks. I had not noticed them because the roses were so heavily laden with gorgeous white blooms, that I actually could not see many leaves anyway. Suddenly the blooms started to drop and all that was left was the bare stems.

Now, I notice a few leaves coming back. Hopefully, the plant will survive until next year, at which time I will be more vigilant.

RE: HELP!! Roses are been stripped bare

If it is the little green worms they are often found on the edge of partially eaten roses. Insecticidal soap once a week for three weeks will do them in. Handpicking in addition is also a good idea. Your roses will survive, although they may be a bit weakened.

RE: HELP!! Roses are been stripped bare

Same thing here this year. At the Rose Forum, they call them rose slugs because they devour the leaves in no time.
Insecticidal soap sprayed on the plant will work. Make sure you get the underside of the leaves - if you have any leaves left.
I am working full time this year and do not have the time to check the gardens every day. They stripped my Austins down to their stems, but they are coming back with new leaves at this point.

RE: HELP!! Roses are been stripped bare

yup those little green worms, i use dormant spray mixture of 2parts lime sulphar to 1 part horticultural oil to 3litres of water in a sprayer . it stinks at first but the smell diminishes in a day. it works well for the bug and blackspot on my roses. once a month i use if needed. this is definetly done in spring to kill anything that overwintered on your roses. every year this has to be done also a weak rose is twice as likely to be infected as a healthy one so water and feed monthly as roses are heavy feeders in the blooming season. i know mine are and i first start out with epsom salts in spring and then miracle gro shake and feed for 3 months and if they look withered or not blooming that much i will give them more fertilizer . roses are very hard to maintain but they are worth it .

RE: HELP!! Roses are been stripped bare

Are these perhaps Rugosa roses?

Rugosa roses and their hybrids can't handle liquid chemical fertilizers or harsh chemical pesticides. Rugosas will often drop all their leaves (defoliate) if you spray or feed them with liquid chemical fertilizers such as Miracle Gro. Leaves will turn yellow and fall off.


RE: HELP!! Roses are been stripped bare

I have had these caterpillars on my roses several times. Last year they stripped three of my rose bushes (I was away for a month and came back too late to destroy the bugs) However they all came back this year, and I had wonderful displays of blooms on all my roses. I sprayed with Safers Insecticide spray, and also hand picked. The few places they managed to eat I cut off. Next year I am going to spray every couple of weeks so they don't get started.

RE: HELP!! Roses are been stripped bare

Leaf Damage on Roses

Have the above on Explorer Series, do not have it on carpet roses in same area. Had no luck with finding any caterpillars however damage persisted. Went out with a flashlight and found slugs right up to the top of the canes.
Never crossed my mind they would be so aggressive. A couple of sessions of hand picking on successive nights made a big difference.
Don't know if that is your problem, but it was ours. Good lock with it.

RE: HELP!! Roses are been stripped bare

Rose slugs are very common in Ontario. A rose slug is the premature form of a sawfly. Sawflies are members of the bee/wasp family, and there are different types....ones that lay their ever-so-tiny eggs within leaf axils, and those nasty ones that deposit tiny eggs within canes. Organic or chemical pesticides in liquid form won't prevent the adults from landing, and laying eggs, but will kill their offspring (slugs) on contact.

OTOH, Rotenone powder (a botanical derivative) is mildly toxic to bees, and will discourage the adults from doing just that. It should be applied on canes, and foilage only, and washes off easily with water. It needs to be re-applied every four days (depending on severity), as it loses its efficacy by then.

Not only do I get regular sawflies, but a very nasty *stem* sawfly who likes to deposit a series of bright orange eggs within tender cane shoots, destroying rose buds in the process. Rotenone powder is the only solution to this nasty; the adult doesn't like the powder in its face while it's trying to lay eggs, and avoids landing altogether.

Incisions (black dots) where eggs are laid

The incisions fuse together to form a slit that splits open after a few days, revealing a series of tiny orange eggs

Watch out for this nasty orange stem sawfly in Ontario. It measures 8mm in length.

Here is a link that might be useful: Rose Slug Info & Photos

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