Green Thumb, Not So Much


Spring has hit here in my neck of the woods.  The days have been warm and my roses are growing.  FAST.

What does that mean?  Aphids.  Oh so many stinkin' APHIDS!

What the heck.

I've tried everything.

All systemic and non-systemic insecticides.  ALL OF THEM.

I have tried biological methods.  Natural predator insects such as ladybugs and spraying the plant with soap and water. 

I even shook one of the plants to death to see if the aphids would fly off.  Um, no they wouldn't. 

I am anal enough to pick each aphid off with tweezers if I have to.  But I've refrained.

So with everything I've done, short of cutting the roses down, why do I still have this...



Don't be distracted by the fact a mama aphid has just given birth to five baby aphids.  That is beside the point (even though they are kinda cute).  Get over it.

I want them gone.

Hmmm, what if these are not aphids?

Help me.

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25 Comments

  1. Flea 1

    I do not think they are what you think they are. Google aphids and hit Images to see many pictures of aphids. Then Google roses bugs and hit Images.

    Reply
  2. I don’t know what they are but keep them off of my roses. Can an insect move from blog to blog like a virus?

    Reply
  3. I hate aphids!

    Are those aphids? They look kind of big to be aphids. I wish I had some age old remedy to help you get rid of them, but I don’t. My first thought was ladybugs, but you said you tried that and it didn’t work.

    Have you checked with a garden center? They might be able to give you something or at least an idea as to how to get rid of those nasty little buggers.

    Reply
  4. I’ve sent the pic to my dad… he’s a Master Gardener. They don’t look like aphids to me.

    Reply
  5. Ewwww. I thought aphids were white…but I must say that when you don’t look at the bugs, the rose is beautiful!

    Reply
  6. Not aphids.. Our aphids are little green guys… you don’t see their wings… they look like bumps on the stem… They like the stems….

    Reply
  7. annbb 7

    Not aphids. Not a clue as to what they are, tho.

    You gotta let us know when you find out!

    It’s gonna be 75º here today. YIPEE!

    Reply
  8. Alisa 8

    Those ‘aphids’ are monstrous! They definitely don’t look like the aphids I get. On my roses that is. Because, I definitely don’t have aphids, personally.
    Oh, and Flea’s, “I do not think they are what you think they are” reminded me of the line in Princess Bride, “I do not think that word means what you think it means” hee..
    Good luck.

    Reply
  9. Here’s the message from my dad…

    “I am not sure. It looks something like a lace wing. Try a rose systemic.”

    Reply
  10. Gross! Those look different than the aphids I’ve seen in the past, but I’m not an expert. I am, oddly enough, itching now. Thanks. 😉

    Reply
  11. Julena Jo 11

    They COULD be aphids if that is a miniature rose. However, I generally see aphids on closed buds and tender new growth rather than on the blossoms. It sounds as though they are determined critters, whatever they are. I’d probably hose them off with a blast of cold water and hope for the best. I generally use a systemic product on my roses which will take care of aphids and everything else except for Japanese beetles, contrary to the claims on the label. Apparently the Japanese beetles don’t read labels. The downside of systemic products is you cannot eat the roses. No rose petal tea! No crystalized rose petals! No rose petal jam! Alas!
    Roses are my passion, and that’s one beautiful rose. Do you know the variety by any chance?

    Reply
  12. Jules 12

    They don’t look like aphids, I think aphids are smaller. I don’t recall them being so large.

    Reply
  13. I do wish I could help you. I apparently don’t have a green thumb either as our entire garden has been eaten to the ground by something!!! And I was picking snails off of my citrus trees yesterday. You would think our hired gardener could do something, but NO! Good luck!!

    Reply
  14. Listen to all the smart people offering wisdom on plants. Alllll these green thumbs in the world, mocking me with their knowledge. I don’t have an aphid problem. Of course, I don’t have a plant-living problem, either. My garden is a cold wasteland of doom.

    Can’t you ask me something about reality television or something?

    Reply
  15. ALF 15

    I was reading Martha Stewart and she had all kinds of advice on what to do about rose problems (bugs, disease, etc.) Of course, I can’t remember what she said to do for aphids. Maybe you can get the April magazine and see if she has any good suggesttions. I love Martha!

    Reply
  16. Flea 16

    Dr. John,

    I know a Flea who moves from blog to blog like a virus. :)

    Reply
  17. Those are the biggest aphids I’ve ever seen. Most of the ones I’ve had to ruthlessly kill are the size of those cute little babies.

    Reply
  18. Viticulture Vern 18

    Those my friend, are aphids on steroids!
    Barry would be proud!
    I hate bugs.. they bug me.

    Reply
  19. Liz C. 19

    Whatever they are, go to your favorite nursery and buy some praying mantises and some lady bugs. That’s all the help I ever need.

    Reply
  20. grace 20

    why do i feel like there are spiders crawling across my neck? this is not pleasant. i blame you. :)

    seriously though, if those are aphids, they’re ridiculously huge. i don’t envy your roses.

    Reply
  21. Vonda 21

    They don’t look like the aphids I get but I have one word. Ladybugs. We can buy them in our local garden store.

    Reply
  22. I use systemic rose care, there isn’t any organic method. Roses attract bugs. what I have discovered is to search for old cemetary type roses native to your area, THEY are much heartier. Hybrid teas are just asking for trouble, but they are beautiful and I have them. Can I come over and eat ribs? I’ll bring something.

    Reply
  23. Lorena 23

    Plant nasturtiums underneath the roses? Bugs LOVE nasturtiums – who doesn’t? They’re pretty in salads too! The flowers that is, not the bugs. Anyway (in theory) bugs see nasturtiums, and instantly fling themselves off your roses into the pretty pretty flower patch below.

    Or, alternatively, they attract every bug in the neighborhood. But try to stick with the positives here.

    Reply
  24. Doris 24

    I just spray the hell out of them with malathion and try to ignore the smell. If they aren’t gone in a few days, I spray them again !!

    Reply
  25. Deb 25

    My war zone weapon lately has been insecticidal soap. The brand I use is “Garden Safe” by Schultz. Kills bugs on contact! And believe me, down here in Key West we have tons of bugs! They make me crazy!

    Reply

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