Roses are woody perennial plants from the family Rosaceae that are known for their vibrant colors and prickly stems. In addition to being grown as houseplants, roses are grown naturally across the United States. Gardeners of roses must keep a look out for plant pests, such as the whitefly. Whiteflies are covered in a wax-like substance and range from 1 to 3 mm in length. Whiteflies cause damage to roses when they suck the sap from the plants, which causes the foliage to turn yellow and dry. Getting rid of the whiteflies is necessary to enjoy a garden of healthy roses.
Spray the underside of your rose leaves with a high pressure hose end sprayer. Texas A&M; University recommends this method to dislodge adult insects, such as whiteflies, on outdoor roses. Indoor plants can be treated by wiping the whiteflies away with a cotton ball soaked in rubbing alcohol.
Release true bugs and parasitic wasps into your rose garden. These are natural predators of the whitefly. True bugs will take care of any whiteflies that still are in the pupae stage. The University of California recommends releasing parasitic wasps at a rate of two parasites per plant once each week for a total of 8 to 10 weeks.
Remove weeds regularly from your rose garden, as weeds are known to be a haven for whiteflies.
Replace your mulch with a mulch made from silver reflective plastic. This type of mulch repels whiteflies.
Spray indoor roses with either azadirachtin, insecticidal soap, horticultural oil or pyrethrins plus piperonyl butoxide to kill the whitefly infestation if it is too large to control with other methods. Outdoor roses will require either cyfluthrin, insecticidal soap, horticultural oil, imidacloprid or azadirachtin. Always follow the product’s instruction label to dispense the chemical insecticide correctly and safely.
Things You Will Need
- Hose end sprayer
- Cotton ball
- Rubbing alcohol
- True bugs
- Parasitic wasps
- Silver reflective plastic mulch
- Chemical insecticide
- Yellow sticky cards can be used to monitor your rose garden for whiteflies. Adult whiteflies will be attracted to the yellow color. They will stick to the card so that you can identify them clearly. If you have trouble seeing the whiteflies, use
- a magnifying glass with a 10X lens to get a better look.
- Whiteflies are attracted to roses that have been excessively fertilized and irrigated. Avoiding these practices will make your roses less susceptible to whiteflies.
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