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Insect and Disease Guide
for Common Rose Problems



Safe insect and disease remedies you can make at home
Click the Pest or Disease name for the Formulas


Small brown, green yellow or red colored insects with pear shaped bodies. Aphids cluster on buds, leaves and tips of shoots. They feed on plant juices causing poor plant growth and distorted leaves. Insecticide containing malathion can take care of these pests. Systemic insecticides can also be used. These help the plant combat buts from the inside.

Small, green caterpillars that feed like slugs. They spin a web and roll the leaf around their bodies. Crush tier inside leaf roll or remove infested leaves and burn.

Reddish-brown, greenish or yellow, barely visible oval bodies found on the undersides of leaves. Mites suck plant juices, causing whitish or yellowish speckled areas on tops of leaves. Heavy infestations produce frail, silky webbing and can cause plant to die.

Slugs skeletonize leaves, giving them a lacy effect. Larvae are easily recognized by yellowish-green color and 1/2" tapered bodies. Start spraying early to prevent.

About 3/8", metallic green with coppery-brown wing covers. Appear on flowers and leaves usually in mid to late summer.
Hand pick or spray with Pyrethrins, rotenone, or ryania.
Treating your soil with "Milky Disease" will kill them before the season starts

About 3/4", green, slender caterpillars eat the leaves. They turn into those cute little ( about 1" to 1 1/2" ) white butterflies with a black dot on there wings that flutter around your garden or flowers. They are just about everywhere.




Common Rose Diseases
Click on the disease for the remedy


Black spot is a fungus and is one of the three major diseases that affects roses, especially common in humid climates. On the plant, it first appears as pin-head sized dots on the leaves and as it progresses, the dots grow into patches and the leaf turns yellow as the tissue consumed by the fungus begins to die. The bush begins to weaken and takes on a decidedly lacklustre appearance! Fortunately, with treatment and then prevention, even serious cases can be saved. The spores of black spot travel in various ways, the most common being : through the air on surfaces that brush infected leaves via water spray through dead infected leaves that have fallen onto other areas of the plant

Disease causes white powder on the deformed plant part.Worst in hot, dry days and cool nights.

Disease causes reddish orange spots under the leaves with yellowish spots on top of leaves


Common Deficiencies
Click on the Deficiency for the remedy


Magnesium Deficiency
It can also be a major problem with trees, shrubs, perennials, annuals, bulbous plants, vegetables and fruits. Tomatoes, roses and chrysanthemums are also most often vulnerable.
This deficiency is seen in the form of distinct areas of discolouration on the leaves. It is usually yellow but may, on occasion, be red or brown, and develops between the leaf veins (a condition known as interveinal chlorosis). The affected leaves may fall early.
This condition is caused by acidic soils, heavy rainfall or watering, both of which leach out magnesium, or high potash levels, which make it unavailable. Plants fed on high potash fertilizers to encourage flowering or fruiting (such as tomatoes) are most susceptible.

Nitrogen Deficiency
The same plants as for magnesium deficiency are also vulnerable to this.
The most obvious signs are that pale green leaves are produced on more than 40% of the plant (starting at the base), and these sometimes develop yellow or pink tints. Overall growth is reduced and the whole plant may eventually become slightly spindly.
The main cause is growing plants either in poor, light soils or in containers that are too restricted or low in nutrients.









To keep aphids and other pests off your roses:
Finely chop 1 onion
2 medium cloves of garlic

Put ingredients into a blender with 2 cups of water and blend on high. Strain out pulp. Pour liquid into spray bottle. Spray a fine mist on rose bushes, making sure to coat both tops and bottoms of leaves.
Use an aluminum foil much around the base of plants such as tomatoes. The reflection confuses the insects and drives them away.


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Combine 1/2 cup buttermilk, 4 cups wheat flour and 5 gallons water. Suffocates spider mites and other mites.


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Apply rubbing alcohol to insect clusters with cotton swab. Wash with insecticidal soap and rinse. Isolate infected plant if possible.


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Sprinkle flour on developing cabbage heads. The flour swells up inside the worms and bursts their intestines.


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Sprinkle salt directly onto slug. They shrivel up and die.
Place shallow bowl of beer on the ground near slug trails and leave overnight.
Copper wire? That's what Martha Stewart says. Coil a piece of wire around the base of your plants to give slugs a shocking experience. They won't come back.


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To help protect flowers, vegetables and shrubs from insects attacks.


Recipe 1:

1/2 cup dead insects
2 cups water

When insects infest flowers, vegetables or shrubs, identify and gather the pests. Collect at least 1/2 cupful. Place in an old blender with the water. Blend on high, and then strain out the pulp using a cheesecloth or fine sieve. Dilute at a rate of 1/4 cup to 1 cup of water. Pour liquid into a spray bottle and apply to plants.
Will keep up to a year, stored in a tightly sealed container.


Recipe 2:

3 hot green peppers (canned or fresh)
2 or 3 cloves garlic
3/4 tsp liquid soap
3 cups water

Puree the peppers and garlic cloves in a blender. Pour into a spray bottle and add the liquid soap and water. Let stand 24 hours. Strain out pulp and spray onto infested plants, making sure to coat both tops and bottoms of leaves


Always test any new insecticide on a few small leaves before starting a full-scale application


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Magnesium Deficiency:
To control this condition, treat plants and/or the soil with Epsom salts in autumn.
Add to the soil at a rate of 25g/sq m, or apply a foliar spray of 210g of Epsom salts in 10 litres of water, adding a wetting agent such as soft soap.
(Ivory Flakes are recommended)


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Nitrogen Deficiency:
The best solution and control of this deficiency is the use of green manures, such as lupins, tick beans or mustard, on affected areas in the veggie garden; in other parts of the garden around established plants, apply a high nitrogen fertiliser, such as sulphate of ammonia, urea or manures.
Container plants should be re-potted or given a side dressing of a proprietary nitrogen fertilizer.


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Prevention is the key here:
inspect roses weekly for the first signs. Treat small outbreaks quickly by removing infected leaves and throwing them away. Pick dead infected leaves off the ground as soon as they fall because the fungal spores will settle in the soil and will survive the winter there. Plant roses where air circulation is good around each plant and around the bed as this is effective in limiting black spot infection watering roses from above can spread the black spot fungus water the plants at their roots early in the day. Use soaker hoses or a hose wand that prevents splashing and softens the water stream.

If an infection has set in, spray with fungicidal soap.

This safe remedy is Baking soda ( sodium bicarbonate )
1 teaspoon Baking soda
Ivory soap ( just a pinch )
2 quarts of water

Spray on and under plants once a week until the infection has cleared. Lime sulphur can be used following pruning in winter and then spraying with the fungicide every ten days or two weeks when the new growth appears.
Since the spores can survive winter both on the rose branches and in the soil, spray the soil as well as the bushes straight after pruning.

Clean all the tools you use to remove the infected leaves and branches, and wash the gloves you use to handle the diseased segments to help prevent spreading the disease to your healthy plants.


More home brew fungicides are:

Bordeaux mixture - a mixture of copper sulphate, slaked lime and water. Should be placed in a non-metal container and used immediately while mixing. Used too frequently and it can cause copper toxicity. Use only when fresh and in cool weather, wearing protective gear for hands and face.


Camomile the perennial (Anthemis nobilis) and annual (Matricaria chamomilla) forms can be used. To make a spray, infuse a handful of leaves with boiling water, cool, strain and use. You can use tea bags in lieu of fresh leaves.


Chives for use as a fungicide or antiseptic : they contain a variation of the sulphur compound found in garlic. To make a spray, cover a handful of chives with boiling water and let steep for an hour. Strain and use undiluted.


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Needs good air circulation. next cut off bad parts and spray with fungicidal soap.

1 remedy is Baking soda ( sodium bicarbonate )
1 teaspoon Baking soda
Ivory soap ( just a pinch )
2 quarts of water
Spray on and under plants

Another remedy
Garlic oil:
15 cloves of garlic (chopped fine)
2 cups of mineral oil
Let stand 1 day
Strain garlic out of the oil and add a couple drops of ivory liquid
If you have a lot of bushes or the oil is to thick for your sprayer, it may be deluted with water


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Same as for Powdery Mildew


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