tenderloingardener
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crawlers on miniature roses

Hello rose folks,

Likely this has been addressed, but honestly I read through as many posts as my back can stand. The miniature roses I got for my birthdau last year have been a bit of a trial. First it was the "downy mildew," actually a fungal infection which I was finally able to get unter control with a water, baking soda, and drop of soap mixture sprayed on once a week or so. Leaves were coming in all glowing and nice-not shriveled or dying after reaching full size. Then, suddenly they weren't looking as good. Leaves were mdying or looking yellow. Just...not right. I pushed all the new leaf grwth aside and gort an eyefull.

I find I have some kind of bugs...they are crawlers, pale green, seed shaped. I don't see them on leaves, only on stems and on the roots that are close to the surface. Digging under the rock mulch I find them all over the thick stems. I am not sure if they are aphids or not.

I made a concoction out of water, baking soda, a little olive oil, chopped up garlic, pepper flakes and a drop of soap which I will let soak overnight and strain before using as a spray.

I also passed some garlic through a press and smeared the paste into the soil around the roots as well as directly on stems (to the extent I could reach them).

Did I menrtion that I have no idea what I'm doing? I have never grown roses of any kind, nor have I ever had this kind of pest before. Does anyone have any experience or advice? If it was any other plant I would have simply evicted them. I may have to anyway, but I wanted to try something forst....

Shawna
Shawna

imafan26
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Re: crawlers on miniature roses

It sounds like aphids. Roses are beautiful and yummy to a few pests and diseases. To keep roses healthy they need to be spaced far enough to get good air circulation. Pruned into a vase shape after each bloom cycle to promote more blooms. Fed regularly and make sure they get their micros.

It is very hard to grow roses organically. The best defense is a healthy rose. I find that the hybrid teas are the hardest to grow without systemics. Floribundas (I don't like them, so I only had a few) Grandifloras amazingly were not as hard as teas but they are big plants and required a lot of space. I have learned to buy roses with glossy leaves. They do better with black spot and mildew.

My hardiest roses are the ramblers, shrub roses, and landscape roses. I don't do anything for them. Pests don't really bother them, they rarely get mildew unless the rain lasts for a week and I don't even plant them under lights. Rose beetles don't bother them either. But I don't have that many problems with rose beetles now since I decided to let nature do the work. I stopped using the systemics last Spring. Some pests, like the papaya scale, were immune to the systemics anyway are still there. I pulled out the weakest roses since they always had black spot and kept only the toughest ones. I planted alyssum and I already had false heather. The beneficial insects have come back and the roses are doing o.k. I may have to spray the hibiscus more this summer for the erineum mites, but the rest should do fine.

To deter rose beetles. Plant under strong light. I plant my roses in the front yard near the street light.

Roses are heavy feeders. I use a slow release fertilizer and supplement with citrus food (it contains micros and I use it on everything. That way I don't need to have too many kinds of specialty fertilizers)

Mulch roses to hold in moisture in summer. Water roses deeply. Newly planted roses need to be watered every day for a couple of weeks but established roses can handle once a week deep watering if you mulch. Shallow watering and watering leaves just invites problems.

Prune after each bloom cycle to the vase shape. Make sure tools are clean. It promotes rebloom and your roses will have better air circulation

Plant roses far enough apart that air can move around them. Do not plant them up against a solid object like a wall.

Roses like all the sun they can get.

If you know it is going to rain or it has been raining for a while. Fungicide roses. You can use a horticultural oil or neem as a preventive. They help the leaves repel water. In the summer when the temperatures are above 80 degrees it is best to use a sulfur product. Do not use oil and sulfur within two weeks of each other or the plant will burn.

Aphids are not that hard to take care of. Oil or insecticidal soap will work, but that is too much work for me. I plant nectar plants and hosts to lure natural predators. Alyssum, dill, fennel (fennel needs to be planted alone somewhere it attracts lady bugs but it does not like to be around other plants), dwarf french marigolds, Garlic or onions planted under the roses deter some pests. I don't use neem when plants are flowering, I use horticultural oils instead especially if bees are foraging. Oil works better on scale.

The biggest problems are with diseases like black spot and mildew. If removing and discarding (don't let the leaves drop to the ground. Sanitation is important) the leaves and preventive sprays don't get it under control there are systemics that will work. Fungal infections are hard to cure once they start. Then I resort to the systemics. Systemic rose care lasts for about 6 weeks. Bayer tree and shrub and Bayer 3 in 1 Insect, Disease, and mite control both contain imidacloprid which is harmful to bees and every other beneficial insect. It works for a year. Use it only if you are desperate. It controls both disease and chewing pests.


https://www.rosemagazine.com/pages/pests.asp
Happy gardening in Hawaii. Gardens are where people grow.

tenderloingardener
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Joined: Fri Jul 05, 2013 11:39 pm
Location: San Francisco

Re: crawlers on miniature roses

Wow! Thanks for the detailed and quick response! I've got a container situation on a ledge that limits size, so I'm stuck with the smaller varieties. Checking today it seems my potion did pretty well initially. I found only one of the little $&,:!! My foliage is a bit the worse for wear, but it's only so dense because we've not had much of a winter this year-if I lose all the leaves in battle it's fine with me! they'll grow back. The container I got had 4 plants in it, which I've moved into 2 pots. Two plants had rooted together with a very thick root, but there's space. I rinsed the gravel I use for mulch in the potion as well.

I'm gonna have to come back and read all of the information you've given me more carefully. I was totally tempted to buy some insecticide at a super discount price the other day-and I knew somehow I'd regret not getting it-typical. :o :x .

Thanks again and I'll keep you posted.

Shawna
Shawna

tenderloingardener
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Re: crawlers on miniature roses

It seems that my noxious potion has so far been amazingly successful. The leaves are coming in healthy after losing a few to either burn or black spot and there is no visible evidence of insect life or downy mildew. In case anyone else missed it the first time and wants to try it:

2 cloves garlic, chopped
Red pepper flakes-about 1/2 tea
Pinch of baking soda
Smidgen of cured tobacco from cigarette (additive free, but not organic)
2-3 T olive oil (mineral oil would be better)
Just a drop of Dawn dish washing liquid
Added to about 1 1/2 C water (spray bottle)

I let this marinate overnight before passing through a sieve and spraying liberally on the stems, base, and leaves. I also took some garlic and passed it through a press and put the mush right into the dirt near the roots, and some "juice" on the stems. I reeked! I also removed the gravel I'd used as a mulch and rinsed that clean and sprayed it with my "potion" before putting back onto the dirt. So far, only one application was needed, though the problem was not extreme.

I had already been having pretty good results-so far anyway- with a simple mix of water, baking soda, and just a drop of my good old Dawn for keeping "mildew" at bay. Of course it's very early and even though I'm getting a lot of new growth do to a practically nonexistent winter this year in SF, I'm not yelling "victory" yet. After all, I have a long way to go before I'll be producing roses again. Still, it's a marked improvement.

I will just keep a sharp eye on them (becoming increasingly difficult with each year!) in case anything comes back.
Shawna

imafan26
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Re: crawlers on miniature roses

Sounds great. It seems like your mixture contains a soap, an oil, a dessicant (baking soda), a nerve toxin (nicotinic acid), and a repellent (garlic). Looks like you have it covered.
Happy gardening in Hawaii. Gardens are where people grow.

tenderloingardener
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Location: San Francisco

Re: crawlers on miniature roses-but what about the black fly

Thanks! I was going for that effect, plus some stinky stuff just to maybe put them off. Of course, don't let commercially grown tobacco near any tomato plants- the tobacco mosaic virus can be passed to tomato plants easily, and the last I read up on it virtually ALL of the tobacco grown in the US is infected.

I seem to have gotten rid of the crawlers, but I still have these little black or brown things that look like small fruit flies, but aren't. They mostly like to hang out in the dirt-I suspect they are chewing away at roots.

This stuff isn't fazing them a bit.

Any idea on how I can get rid of, or at least greatly reduce the number of these guys?

Thanks!
Shawna

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rainbowgardener
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Re: crawlers on miniature roses

The little flies on the soil mostly crawl around, but may fly up briefly if disturbed and then settle down again?

Look like this:

Image
https://entoweb.okstate.edu/ddd/IMAGES/fungusgnat.JPG

(but much smaller, this is very magnified)

Fungus gnats. If you let the soil dry out well between waterings, that will mostly control them, since they need moisture to live as does the fungus they feed on. Also helps to put a little bit of cinnamon in the water you water with. The cinnamon is a natural anti-fungal. If there's no fungus, there's no food for them. They lay eggs in the soil which hatch out into larvae, which can eat your plant roots, so you really don't want them, even though the adults are harmless to your plants.
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tenderloingardener
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Joined: Fri Jul 05, 2013 11:39 pm
Location: San Francisco

Re: crawlers on miniature roses

Great idea-I'll try it. I have no idea what they look like under magnification, but it seems harmless enough, so I'll try it! It's taken a bit of effort to get the plants growing well again, so I'm not giving up now! :)

Thanks!
Shawna

tenderloingardener
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Re: crawlers on miniature roses (gone!)

Hi! I just wanted to let you all know that my roses look great! :mrgreen: I even have a bud! It's all because of help I got from various people on this site. When I got these 4 little plants I was completely clueless about caring for anything more dramatic than indoor basil. Nearly a decade ago at that.
I have 2 pots. A friend who is a farmer suggested diatomaceous earth, so one pot has that on the top of the soil while I use the cinnamon/ water on the other. It's in my nature to run little experiments. Neither one seems to be getting harmed by either treatment and whatever larvae are still about they don't seem to be doing much damage anyway.

I have read that many rose gardenrs use an anti-fungal weekly in the summer to keep the fungus we like to call mildew (horticultural nomenclature is a mess! :wink: ) at bay. This seems like a better way than letting obvious damage appear, at which point you are going to lose a lot of foliage -I learned the hard way. If none of you "helpful gardenrs (I have to misspell that or it becomes GardenerSan. Tech!!! :x ) think it's a bad idea, I'll be treating weekly with the baking soda, drop of Dawn in water solution that seems to have worked so well. I am guessing that one doesn't need to use a bug potion unless there's bugs.

Thanks again. I doubt very much these guys would have made it without all your help. :D
Also, since getting the roses I'm now raising so many different herbs and flowers I would bore you listing them all, plus I hope to add to my collection soon. I'm actually running out of space! Move over you filthy rock doves-I'm reclaiming the fire escape!

:>
Shawna

imafan26
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Re: crawlers on miniature roses

You only have to use the preventive fungal sprays usually in wet humid weather, especially the days following a heavy rain when every thing is humid as the sun evaporates all that water.

Also learn how to prune roses for better flowering, opening up the rose to increase air circulation and keep a nice vase shape. Remember as with orchids it is important to keep tools sharp, clean and disinfected when moving from plant to plant to prevent spread of disease.

https://guilford.ces.ncsu.edu/2013/02/200515/
Happy gardening in Hawaii. Gardens are where people grow.

tenderloingardener
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Joined: Fri Jul 05, 2013 11:39 pm
Location: San Francisco

Re: crawlers on miniature roses

I studied microbiology so I'm no stranger to asepsis, but it always helps to be reminded when it comes to plants, so thank you. Actually I have been (guiltily) using my pocket multitool scissors to take samples and on my flowers without much of a cleaning. I knew it wasn't proper. When the crawlers were there I tried to separate the shears used on those from other plant tools but my gardening partner and spouse is indeed cabeza dura as his mother calls him. It means stubborn-I digress.
I read the link and some more and pruned this morning with an eye to increase air circulation with a great deal more confidence, so thanks for that.

I cleaned the tools properly afterward. :oops:
and will continue to do so. My multitool sissors are getting too dull anyway. :lol:

Thanks again for all your help.
Blue is the life giving waters taken for granted-they quietly understand
Shawna

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