Saturday, May 20, 2006

Aphids. Do they really harm roses?

Because we've got a lot of them. Do I need to spray them off with a hose, or some kind of detergent/cayenne pepper/tobacco type thing? If I leave them there, what will they do?

These days, my gardening motto seems to be "wait and see". Watch. Observe. Wait. It seems like those aphids are food for something. They have their own reasons for being too. Why disturb them? The bush looks very healthy and it's covered with buds. It looks so healthy I think it wants to take over the front garden!

Besides, the truth is, I'm curious to know more about these tiny green suckers. Georgia Okeefe said: "No one ever really looks at a flower." I wonder, does anyone ever really look at bugs? Posted by Picasa


Anonymous keeter said...

I am even more interested than usual in your photos, as I am not gardening this year. I know how deeply you live, breathe, and feel the circle of life philosophy when it comes to us humans interfering with the balance of nature, but aphids on roses are bad news. I read somewhere that a good way to get rid of aphids is to collect a bunch of them in soapy water, run them through a food processor, and then spray the remaining offenders with the juice of their dead and dismembered relatives. Seriously, I've read this. Quite possibly in the Old Farmer's Almanac. My own favorite solution is to buy armies of ladybugs at the gardening store and give them a nice home near the aphid buffet. If you think about it, it's not so much an intrusion on the circle of life as it is a fast forwarding of it.

5:38 PM  
Blogger Kate said...

Hey keeter, I miss you Baby! How's your new job?

Now answer me this: WHY are they bad news? What exactly do they do? Spread disease? Weaken the plants? I need specifics.

5:52 PM  
Anonymous keeter said...

Hello dearie. The new job suits me and I am buzzy like a chubby, clumsy bumblebee. To be specific, aphids are VAMPIRES! The feed on the life force of roses, and suck out the fluids of new growth. If you let them live and breed, they can weaken the bush to the point of stunted and deformed stems and leaves. Also, aphids secrete a sticky substance on the leaves that fosters the growth of black mold, as if sticky vegetation were not gross enough a concept.

9:37 AM  
Blogger mireille said...

Well ... YOU do. And Keeter, too, apparently. xoxo

4:55 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi, Kate. Aphids will weaken your roses. You can successfully hose them off with a strong spray of plain ol' water every day at around dusk for about two weeks. I know from whence I speak---our roses were deluged with aphids last year and they were making one of the bushes very unhappy, the buds started to look pretty anaemic. The hosing-off, plain-water method was very effective.


10:50 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

p.s. according to the Oregon State University extension service, aphids do not cause significant damage, but can weaken the buds

10:54 AM  
Blogger Kate said...

Okay, you have convinced me. I am ordering some predatory bugs (lacewings and some praying mantis for the caterpillars on the apple tree) and I'm going to use the hose too! :-) Thanks guys!

6:43 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

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10:02 AM  
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4:10 PM  
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8:17 AM  

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