Rose Aphids are small green, brown or pink sap sucking insects which are approximately 2.5mm long. They appear in clusters and can be winged or wingless. Aphids infest the soft tips of new growth, leaves and flower buds and can cause deformed flowers, the wilting of shoots and may even defoliate the plant if left untreated. They usually appear during Spring and Summer and can build up their numbers very quickly due to their prolific breeding. During the warmer months Aphids produce live young that develop into adults within weeks mulitplying the colony seemingly overnight. Rose aphids will only inhabit roses and will not attack other plants in your garden.
At the first sign of Aphids, use a hose to spray the affected rose making sure you spray above and below the leaves. Aphids hate water and will soon move on.
Remove Aphids by hand. Rub your fingers up and down the buds to squash and remove them.
Encourage natural predators to the Aphid, such as: Hover fly larvae, ladybirds, lacewings, parasitic wasps and red and blue beetles.
It may be necessary to spray roses with an insecticide or Eco Oil. Remember that the aphids also lay eggs on the plant and a repeat spray may be necessary a couple of weeks after the first. Please use chemicals sparingly as they also kill the good insects and natural predators as well as the one you are trying to get rid of - always look for a natural alternative before using chemicals! Aphids have a short life cycle, having many gererations in one year, therefore they can become immune to a certain chemicals if used too often, try changing sprays with different active ingrients for best results.
Try using a garlic or chilli spray. Take two teaspoons of crushed garlic or chilli and put into 500mls of water. Let this sit for a couple of days so the water is very potent. Strain and spray onto the plants. Although this home remedy is highly effective it will need to be repeated each week for a couple of weeks or after it has rained.
If you do know you will have aphid troubles then please consider companion planting. Aphids dislike garlic, chives, mint and lavender. Roses grown with companion plants are much less prone to aphid attacks.
Important: signs and symptoms will vary significantly between varieties, even within similar categories. The information provided here is a basic summery of the most common affects and will not always be applicable to all rose varieties.