Roses are some of the most beautiful flowers to grow at home. Pests such as aphids find them attractive as well. They eat their leaves and stems to the point they can kill roses completely.
Controlling aphids with insecticide or any other strong chemical solution dries or kills roses. Natural alternatives such as vinegar might be a better option for homemade aphids on rose sprays.
Diluted vinegar kills aphids on roses. It needs to be sprayed once per week up to a few weeks to eliminate aphids and their larvae from rose stems, rose leaves, and rose flowers. Only diluted vinegar is safe for the flowers.
Rose aphids (Macrosiphum rosae) are the main aphid species known to attack these popular flowers. These aphids eat a rose plant until it becomes overcrowded before moving to another rose.
How to recognize aphids on roses
Rose aphids are some of the common types of aphids on these flowers, even if other species can be seen eating roses.
Rose aphids are not hard to spot. They tend to gravitate around roses in high numbers.
Look for orange or green aphids
Rose aphids have different colors from orange to green. They grow from a size between 1.7mm to a maximum of 3.6mm and can be seen around the leaves or rose stems.
These aphids can be winged or wingless.
A first female known as the stem mother starts to multiply without reproduction giving birth to small live rose aphids.
These young aphids molt 4 times until they reach their maximum adult size.
The second generation of aphids is then known for reproductive cycles where females reproduce with males.
Aphids of this generation tend to concentrate on one rose before it becomes overpopulated and start to move to other rose plants nearby.
Black residue on leaves
A sticky black substance is left on leaves whenever aphids attack roses.
You know your rose plants have been impacted by aphids whenever you see this black residue on the leaves and the underside of the leaves.
Why you should kill aphids on roses?
Killing aphids is mandatory if you want your roses to survive. Roses are some of the most delicate flowers as they’re known for not being too resilient to pests.
Stunted rose growth
The first sign of an aphid invasion is a stunted rose growth. Slower growth rates or stunted growth are common in roses.
Leaves that don’t look healthy and that start to curl up or down are a sign of an aphid invasion.
Yellowing rose leaves
Some leaves might not curl but they might turn yellow. This is another sign of an aphid invasion.
Does vinegar kill aphids on roses?
Vinegar kills aphids on roses. It kills Rose aphids species within 1 application. Homemade vinegar spray can be used a few weeks in a row so that aphids don’t return to the rose plant.
Vinegar only needs to be applied in a diluted form on roses and is only seen as a short-term solution.
Introducing natural aphid predators such as ladybugs might be necessary when growing roses on a large scale.
How to mix and spray vinegar for aphids on roses
A diluted vinegar spray needs to be used on rose aphids and other types of aphids that eat plants to kill them.
Pro tip: don’t spray undiluted vinegar on roses as its high acidic profile might kill the plant. Only spray it when mixed with clean water.
Mix 1 parts vinegar to 3 parts water
You can use an old sprayer bottle to create the vinegar solution for your roses. 1 part of vinegar and 3 parts of water are mixed to create the vinegar sprayer that kills aphids.
Spray the roses
You can now thoroughly spray the roses with the new sprayer. You need to spray the flowers, the top side of the leaves, the underside of the leaves, and the flower stem to evenly coat roses in vinegar.
Only spray once per week
Even diluted vinegar should only be sprayed once per week. This is a solution that may kill the flower with frequent application due to its acidic profile.
Consider spraying roses with clean water
As an alternative to multiple sprayings per week, you can consider spraying roses with clean water. A powerful sprayer bottle is needed for the process to eliminate aphids.
Alternatively, you can consider removing aphids by hand before spraying it again with vinegar the following week to keep aphids away for good.
Can vinegar kill roses if overused?
Vinegar kills roses when applied too frequently and when sprayed in an undiluted form.
White vinegar is ideal to kill roses. However, you should apply it once per week and not multiple times per week.
Even spraying roses with clean water in between these vinegar applications is not the best idea since too much water can kill roses.
Some roses die even after a small amount of vinegar
You can start spraying vinegar on your roses in small amounts, on a single rose plant as a test. This is the only true method of keeping your roses safe as some flowers react badly to vinegar.
Testing a diluted version of white vinegar on roses ensures you don’t kill all your flowers to keep them healthy and aphid-free.
Vinegar can kill aphids on roses when sprayed correctly. Regular white vinegar you have around the kitchen is mixed in a 1:3 ratio and sprayed on roses once per week.
You can continue this process for up to 3 weeks or 3 applications to keep aphids away. However, spraying vinegar on roses for the entire summer isn’t recommended as it can kill the flowers.
Diluted vinegar is only a temporary solution against aphids. You can consider manually removing aphids from roses from time to time to refrain from spraying an otherwise acidic liquid on the flowers.
Rose aphids are the most common types of aphids you need to worry about. These types of aphids don’t bite and they can be removed by hand.