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I grew up in a neighborhood with emigrants from Europe. One of our neighbors had beautiful roses. My mother asked this woman how she tended her roses. My mother often relates the story of the answer she received and noted this remedy worked well for her too.



She would take bar of Ivory soap and lather up some in water. Then she sprayed this soap mixture on her rose leaves at a time of day when they had a chance to dry. Roses don’t especially like leaves to remain wet for too long. The soap clogs up an insect’s breathing organs and it will perish. Remember to keep the area beneath your roses free of debris as insects multiply and hide out in this leaf matter. It seems that hybrids in particular are susceptible to a variety of diseases and pests. These problems can result in killing parts of the rose plant, stunt the plant’s growth and diminish the quality of their blooms.

The above picture shows aphids on a rose bush.

I found several sites that give great information on dealing with pests and disease in the rose garden. Heirloom roses offered succinct information and natural recipes to make at home : for example:

“Aphids, Mites, Scale & Whiteflies

Orange Oil Cleaner – Dilute 1 teaspoon per gallon of water. Use when needed (apply to leaves). Good coverage is important; wet leaf surfaces to point of drip.

Soap Spray – Mix ½ teaspoon mild dish soap and 1 teaspoon cooking oil to a 1-quart sprayer filled with water. Spray liberally over entire plant.

Bring in Ladybugs – To keep aphids in check, release on the affected plant. They will stay as long as there is shelter and host bugs to feed on. Aphids may also be dislodged by a strong jet of water.”

Essential oils are easy to obtain.  Soaps and oils are easy mixtures to make.

Lady bugs are easy to obtain too if you are not noticing them in your gardens and see a beginning pest problem. Organic, natural means of caring for our garden can minimize harmful pests and diseases.

Happy Gardening today. Judith

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