If you are passionate about growing roses, you definitely need to learn some tricks to save your beautiful flowers from caterpillars and spider mites. Here’s what you should spray on your roses in May to get rid of pests that attack the plants.
Roses in general are a hidden passion of all flower lovers and are traditionally associated with romance. Greeks and Romans wore rosaries made from roses at weddings as far back as the 4th and 5th centuries BC.
Over the years, many ingenious gardeners have thought of ways to make their rose bushes rich and healthy through various home practices. A few tricks can help keep pests and diseases away from these beautiful flowers.
Below we have put together a collection of ‘home remedies’ for growing healthy roses.
1. Banana peels are an excellent soil additive due to their high macronutrient content and potassium concentration, which improve the flowering vigor and general health of roses. The peels can be dried and crushed into powder. They can also be put it in the freezer and, when a good heap of peels has accumulated, liquefied in a blender with a little warm water and then poured over the rose roots. Banana peels are also said to repel aphids.
2. Bathwater can also help kill harmful insects, so as well as saving water, this practice can also improve the health of your roses. Soap will not harm plants if diluted well and does not contain chlorine bleach, but it can help in getting rid of soft-bodied insects such as aphids that hide in the soil. So will water used to cook pasta or vegetables after it has cooled. There is usually nutrient left over in this water, creating a kind of weak compost tea.
3. Coffee grounds nourish the roots of roses because they are rich in phosphorus, potassium and magnesium. The fine texture and high moisture absorption capacity also make coffee grounds an excellent soil loosener. Note, however, that coffee raises the pH of the soil, so be careful not to overuse it.
4. Sprinkle cinnamon on roses and get rid of fungi, as well as caterpillars and spider mites. This natural fungicide is handy to sprinkle into the soil to prevent soil-borne diseases. To combat leaf diseases, mix cinnamon in warm water, leave to stand overnight, then strain and spray the water on the leaves.
5. Applying baking soda to the leaves is another excellent method to combat fungi. Dilute 1 teaspoon of baking soda in 1 liter of warm soapy water and spray on the rose leaves. Baking soda treats and prevents several common diseases caused by fungi, while the soap helps it to stick and kills many harmful insects.
6. Straw helps protect roses from winter frosts. Many roses need winter protection, especially if they are grafted. A cheap and effective way to protect roses is to surround them with a basket or wire mesh and fill the mesh with a natural insulator such as straw.
7. Use old tights to tie roses, as they can securing the plant stems without damaging them.
8. Crush eggshells and sprinkle them in a ring around the plants to form a barrier against slugs and other soft-bodied creatures. In a larger garden, however, this can take a lot of eggshells and time. In this case it is more practical to grind the eggshells as fine as possible and add them to the compost. This will add plenty of calcium to the soil, while keeping your roses healthy.
9. Milk is actually an excellent substance to keep pests away and is even effective against black spots. Gardening professor Jeff Gillman suggests making a mixture of 2 parts water and 1 part milk and spraying on the leaves, but not the roots, once a week. The theory is that calcium helps strengthen the leaves’ natural defenses against fungi.
10. Beer also keeps pests away, so if you notice that your roses are being chewed by slugs, place a saucer with some beer next to the plant overnight, as it will attract slugs and they will drown.