Aphid information and help!

This is only my second season growing roses so I’m still very new. This spring I have discovered aphids on my new growth of my roses. First I went with water then I went with neem oil and now I’m finally using an organic insecticide soap and getting ahead of them.

My question is this is there a reason that I all of a sudden have aphids? Or if it’s just part of gardening life? Will I be dealing with aphids all summer long now that I have some of them that I’m finally getting ahead of?

Aphids come out every spring or late fall when conditions are just right depending on your zone. I live in 7a. They love new growth. Keep on them! I physically knock them off or spray early morning with forceful spray of water or use a horticulture soapy oil spray like you have done. And of course there are insecticides. They multiply rapidly. I am too relatively new growing roses about 5 years.


Aphids will return if you over fertilize your roses. Yes, you can knock them down with a forceful spray of water or soapy water or go the route that you already have done with neem oil spray. I find that just hosing them down whenever I do see them, works easily. Not to worry…you are doing just fine. remember to smell your roses and enjoy them. Karen Anne McCann


Just hose them off. Many, many creatures love to eat them so never use any pesticide. Keep your roses well fed and well watered. If you want, a little soap spray will kill them. It clogs their breathing holes and they smother. Remember: they are all females, they are born pregnant, they give live birth to about 100 offspring who reach maturity in about eight days. They have a low metabolism so it takes a while for them to climb back up to the new growth. Always have some flat rocks and boards strewn about throughout your garden. Night feeding creatures like toads and salamanders need a cool place to hide during the day. Joe Truskot, Salinas CA

I too have noticed that there is a greater chance of aphids after fertilizing with a high nitrogen fertilizer that is really pushing out new growth. With fertilizers like Miracle Gro et. al., it is better to fertilize twice – each time at half strength – than it is to fertilize once at full strength. Do the half strength feeding weekly instead of the full strength feeding every two weeks. I also agree that using a forceful spray of water works great. I use the “Mist” setting on my Melnor water wand and put it right next to the growing tip of the rose where the aphids are.

Aphids are softbodied insects that breath through their exoskeleton. Therefore, water with a little dishliquid will suffocate them.

Aphids are not something to really worry about. Some predator usually comes along to take care of them. It really helps to plant a diversified garden when growing roses. If you don’t have room for a garden which is dedicated to pollinators, a few very carefully chosen containers can do the trick.

Is there a treatment that I can do either in the fall or the early spring that will prevent or discourage aphids from breeding in the later spring and into the summer?

Not that I am aware of.