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My roses are being attacked!

Hello Gardening Friends!

I have discovered this year my roses have been attacked by reddish/brown looking aphids, rather than the usual green variety.  Has anyone else come across this?  I tried the dishwashing liquid and water trick to spray on them, but this doesn’t seem to have phased these little critters and taken hold of the plant and the branch or rose bud have gone black.

Please could I have advice on the most effective way to get my roses back to full health.  Would having another plant , lavender for example, help keep these aphids away permanently?

Thanks for your help and advice!


  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 77,444
    They’re just normal greenfly/aphids. Our rose bushes are full of bluetit families gobbling them up as fast as they can ... attract bluetits to the area and they’ll solve the problem for you. 

    I never use sprays. 
    If there are too many aphids around before the birds have got into their strides, I brush the greenfly off with my fingers or a jet of water from the host pipe ... but to be honest I’ve not had to do that for several years now. Between them, the ladybirds, lacewings and bluetits have got it covered. 
    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh

  • Peggy7Peggy7 Posts: 34
    Thank you Dovefromabove for the advice and info!  I’m not sure how to attract bluetits, do they venture further north to Scotland?  We have a few pesky pigeons and a black bird and lots of sparrows.  I tried putting a ladybird directly on to them, but it didn’t seem to be interested in eating the aphids.  I’ll try to hose next!
  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 77,444
    The ladybird larvae eat lots of aphids. They’re strange looking little creatures so don’t panic if you see them. 

    I feed the blue tits in my garden with sunflower hearts all year round  ... they see our garden as info big cafeteria 😆 

    @Fairygirl gardens in Scotland ... I’m pretty sure she gets bluetits there 😊 
    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh

  • lilysillylilysilly Posts: 511
    My roses and other shrubs are having their aphids eaten by great tits, blue tits, wrens, sparrows and even gold finches. They are almost queuing up to have a search. I do feed the birds, I have two feeding areas with hanging feeders that are well visited by a variety of birds. Long ago, before I bought the hanging bird feeders I only used a bird table, which tended to attract only robins and blackbirds, who only seem to search for worms. 
    I think originally the aphids were noticed by birds as they visited the feeders and that the youngsters then copy their parents and so you then have your own nice little eco system of pest control. 
    I used to have a severe greenfly problem. I would wipe them off with tissue as I don't use sprays. Now I sit back and watch the birds clear them for me. 
  • FireFire LondonPosts: 14,093
    I rub the aphids off with my fingers.
  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 77,444
    I find it strange that we have to use seeds to attract the birds to eat the aphids. Surely the aphids are attractive enough on their own!?
    The aphids aren’t there all year round ... if you’ve got a good number of birds living locally and habituated to looking for food in your  garden then they’ll discover the aphids in your garden more quickly when they appear. 

    Its certainly worked here in the years since we move here ... the numbers of small birds nesting in the area has increased as we’ve improved the habitat and nowadays I don’t have to  do anything about the aphids on the roses and other plants, as the birds deal with them before ang damage is done 😊 
    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh

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