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Pest help!

Hi everyone,

so my husband and I have bought some roses and other flowers a couple of months ago. They’ve been doing quite well! But we seem to be having a major pest problem that’s been affecting pretty much all flowers (plus our strawberries). The leaves all have holes and appear to have been eaten. Please see the attached pics.

Also the flowers and buds have started looking like this.

I don’t know what’s causing this and we’re both heart broken!!! The yellow rose is full of buds and I’m afraid they’re all going to end up like that 😭

I suspect it’s something to do with this ugly ivy we’ve got growing on the fence:

There are loads of insects and whatnot in there. We got so many spiders too. Perhaps there’s something nasty in there that spread out to our flowers.

we’ve tried repeatedly blasting water on the foliage and flowers to remove any pests. Also tried some pest killer from wilko. Didn’t seem to do much.

it’s the first time I’m planting anything so I don’t know what to do or who to ask. So would appreciate the advice of someone experienced with this sort of thing :)



  • Hostafan1Hostafan1 Posts: 33,723
    I'd not worry about either. The foliage damage is minimal and the roses are "balling" due to all the rain. 
    The "ugly ivy" is a wonderful thing for nature. Birds will nest in ivy and the winter flowers are a vital source of nectar at that time of year
  • Hostafan1 said:
    I'd not worry about either. The foliage damage is minimal and the roses are "balling" due to all the rain. 
    The "ugly ivy" is a wonderful thing for nature. Birds will nest in ivy and the winter flowers are a vital source of nectar at that time of year
    But the foliage of the roses is pretty much entirely like that. My photos don’t do it justice 😭

    That’s one rose, the other is the same.
    also, why do the buds and flowers have that brown thing? The red rose had 2 flowers that were completely… rotten? Like when I removed them they were literally rotten. They just ‘came off’ in my hand. Hence my concern for the other buds and the look of the flowers (with them turning brown and all)

    all plants have the same kind of foliage damage.

    I’m new to this so perhaps it’s somewhat normal, I don’t know. That’s why I’m asking for advice :)

  • LiriodendronLiriodendron Posts: 7,947
    Blasting pests with water is effective on greenfly, but only works if you can see the pests first - otherwise you just soak the flowers, and potentially damage them with the force of the water.  Your roses look as if that's what's happened to them, I'm afraid.

    Perfect plants completely un-damaged by the other inhabitants of your garden are hard to achieve, and very unusual!  Your plants look absolutely ok to me, with nice healthy foliage with a few holes in - I suspect most of the holes are caused by slugs and snails, though it's hard to tell unless you see the culprits in action.  You could go out with a torch at night, and see if you can find any slugs - that's when they are mostly to be found.  Physically removing them and "re-homing" to local woodland, or dispatching with a pair of secateurs if you're that way inclined, is the way to go.  But a healthy garden ecosystem will have loads of spiders, bugs and beetles, birds, ants, ladybirds etc, all contributing to the whole.

    Yes, that ivy is ugly... thick ivy provides great cover for birds, as well as spiders and insects, so if you wanted to leave it to grow out again that would be more attractive.  Otherwise, assuming it's yours and not your neighbours', you could remove it...
    "The one who plants trees, knowing that he will never sit in their shade, has at least started to understand the meaning of life."  Rabindranath Tagore
  • As Hostafan said, the rose buds are `balling` because of too much wet. The rain and the hosing will both have contributed. Nothing to do with `nasties` coming from the ivy. More here:

    I agree with others, the foliage damage is just par for the course. The leaves look very healthy. No sign of the major rose problems such as black spot or saw fly, so you are lucky! No need for pest sprays from Wilko.
  • Papi JoPapi Jo Posts: 3,740
    I agree with previous posters; all this is perfectly normal. No need to apply "pest killer from wilko" (whatever that is).

    You are invited to a virtual visit of my garden (in English or in French).
  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 50,262
    I agree too. All perfectly standard in a garden.  :)
    No point in using any kind of chemical pest deterrent if you don't what the pest is. 
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

    I live in west central Scotland - not where that photo is...
  • This is very reassuring! I only planted them 4 months ago and I was afraid I messed them up somehow. 😶‍🌫️ I mean, they’re double the size they were when I planted them and they seemed to be all full and green and gorgeous… then this.

    i will keep an eye on them, but glad to know it’s all right!

    thanks everyone, muuuch appreciated! :)

  • TopbirdTopbird Posts: 7,708
    Please @hannahs1234 - stop using the pesticide. Any chemicals (pesticides, herbicides and fungicides) should only ever be used as a last resort.

    The correct way to go about things is to first identify the problem and the cause, then decide whether the problem is so serious it requires intervention (most 'problems' in the garden sort themselves out) and then research the least harmful way to deal with the issue.

    Spraying with pesticide 'just in case' will do a lot of harm in your micro-environment. You will kill off lots of good guys with only a chance that you'll kill a few less desirables as well. Many garden pests can only be effectively targetted if you know their lifecycle and understand when they will be vulnerable. 

    Ask and read first (this is a good place to do that🙂) - spray second (and only if you really have to).

    Lecture over - sorry.
    Heaven is ... sitting in the garden with a G&T and a cat while watching the sun go down
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