Northern California Coastal & Inland Valleys
Watch for Aphids
My friend Sandra Swanson uses this method of removing aphids from her 84 rose bushes. Soak a cotton cloth in soapy water. Surround the aphid-infested bud with with the cloth, then clasp gently as you pull the cloth away from the bud. The aphids wipe off nicely.
Keep Them Clean!
Remove any diseased foliage from on or under rose plants. Hand pick any leaves that show indication of the fungus diseases rust or black spot. Keep the surface of the soil under rose plants clean and raked up to prevent the spread of fungus diseases. Do not compost diseased leaves.
Lightly go over your rose plants with sharp, clean pruning shears to improve air circulation and to shape plants. Remove any stems or branches that cross through the center of the plant. Cut down tall stems to retain overall shape and remove any sign of fireblight. Clean shears after pruning with a bleach solution to prevent the spread of disease.
Controlling Rose Beetles
Apply neem oil early in the morning for control of rose beetles. Beetles spread disease and should be controlled. Encouraging birds into your garden is another excellent way to keep beetles under control.
Check Container-Grown Roses
Make sure the drainage holes are not blocked on roses growing in containers. Roots will rot if left standing in water. Turn pots on their sides and use a screwdriver or thin bladed knife to free the drain hole from protruding roots or debris.