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Aphids are among the most important rose pests that make gardeners despair. The aphids can appear in large groups, which can seriously damage the plants. Suitable methods and home remedies help against the infestation.

Eliminate aphids on roses: 8 methods and home remedies

If your rose bushes are weak, they are at the mercy of aphids. In combination with persistent dryness and heat, a real plague of aphids can quickly develop, especially in spring, from which the roses are not immune. Once you spot the classic signs of an infestation, such as lice, honeydew, or stunted leaves, you need to act as quickly and effectively as possible. If there is a severe infestation, you should remove the parts of the plant that are particularly badly infested before using home remedies. With these, the use of the methods listed below is usually no longer sufficient. If the infestation is not too intense, you can use home remedies in a relaxed manner. The infestation usually takes place from the end of March or beginning of April to July and can restrict flowering accordingly.

Notice: Also, do something about ants that are likely to have nested near or under the rose. The way of life of the individual colonies can weaken your specimens even more.


One of the classic ways to quickly get rid of aphids on roses is to rinse off the pests. Water ensures that the insects lose their footing and fall to the ground. From this point you can collect and dispose of the lice. With this method it is important that you do not set the water jet too strongly, otherwise the rosettes could be damaged. For this reason, it is advisable to use a water hose. You should never use a pressure washer for this method. Proceed as follows:

  • Locate aphid infestation
  • Aim the jet directly at insects
  • Don't ignore the underside of the leaves

An important point in this method is choosing the right time. Choose a day when the rose can dry out quickly, as excess moisture can lead to fungal infestation. If your specimens are tub roses, you can also fight the lice with water. To do this, cover the substrate and the bucket with cling film or something similar before using the garden hose. As with the bed roses, the plant must then be able to dry quickly. Since aphid infestations often come back, you'll need to use this method more often.

soapy water

If rinsing the roses is not enough to drive away the aphids, you should use soapy water to help. Soapy water forms a film on the insects and ensures that they suffocate, effectively containing the infestation. In addition, the lye is a home remedy that will not harm the roses because natural soaps are used. Are suitable:

  • curd soap
  • potash soap
  • neutral soap
  • soft soap

When purchasing a suitable soap, make sure that it does not contain any chemical ingredients. This way you can be sure that the lye is not harmful to your specimens. Once you have decided on a soap, you can take action against the aphids:

  • 50 grams core, neutral or potash soap or 30 grams soft soap
  • dissolve in 1 liter of water
  • Water should be lukewarm
  • fill in spray bottle

When mixing, you should keep a close eye on the structure of the lye. It should not be too thin, otherwise it will drip off the aphids too quickly, which will negatively affect the film that should lay on the insects. If the solution has a watery consistency, add a little more soap to make it thicker. Then spray the lice with the lye and check daily whether the animals have died. In most cases it is necessary to use the lye more often as the lice can be quite stubborn. If the remedy has worked, shower the roses well. If you don't have a spray bottle available, you can use a cloth to apply the soapy water. Dip the cloth in the solution and treat all affected parts of the plant.


In addition to the soapy water, another classic household remedy should not be forgotten to protect the roses from aphids. Vinegar works to prevent and control aphids, so it can be used in a number of ways. If your rose bushes have become a victim of lice, you can use the vinegar solution as a spray to effectively combat them. You can also protect specimens that have not yet been infected if you apply the remedy to them. Thanks to the acidity of the vinegar, aphids can't establish themselves once the roses have been treated with it. The household remedy is mixed according to the following recipe:

  • 100 milliliters vinegar essence
  • 1 liter of water

You don't need more for the remedy, 100 milliliters are enough to get rid of the aphids. When applying, it is important that the entire growth drips, otherwise the solution will not work. Wait a little before doing another treatment so that the roses are not sprayed with vinegar too often. However, keep an eye on the lice and spray if necessary.

Attention: Never increase the concentration of the vinegar solution, otherwise the average acidity would be too high, which could negatively affect the health of the rose. Be careful with the dosage so that the plants are not weakened.

nettle manure

Nettle manure has proven to be an effective remedy against aphids on rose bushes. Even if it takes a few days to produce, the action is effective against the lice, even if the infestation is moderate. Aphids cannot withstand the ferments in the manure and for this reason you should make use of it. You need:

  • 1 kg nettles (fresh)
  • 10 liters of water
  • large container (water butt)

The use of rainwater is recommended for the production of liquid manure. The container used must also be made of plastic or wood so that it does not get damaged. Metal vessels are completely unsuitable as they will be damaged by the liquid manure. For this reason, rain barrels are most often used for production, as they offer the best conditions. Follow this guide to make and apply the manure:

  • Place nettles in containers
  • put in a warm place without direct sun
  • fill up with water
  • stir briefly
  • to let go
  • Brewing time: about two weeks

During the two-week waiting period, the liquid manure will ferment and thus achieve the desired effect. Stir the mixture well every two days. Don't be surprised, the penetrating stench is normal. If it's too strong for you, add some rock flour to the mix to help reduce odor. After about two weeks, the liquid manure should be ready. This can be recognized by whether the liquid manure is still forming bubbles. If everyone is gone, the manure is ready to use. Before use, it is mixed with water in a ratio of 1:10. Pour into a spray bottle, spray roses and repeat after two weeks if necessary.

nettle brew

Manure made from field horsetail

If you don't have any stinging nettles available, you can use horsetail manure as an alternative. This has exactly the same effect on the lice as nettle manure and is also produced in the same way. The only difference is in the dosage:

  • 1 kg field horsetail (fresh)
  • or 200 grams horsetail (dried)
  • 10 liters of water

Remember, the water should be cold to allow the ingredients to be released over a long period of time. In order to fight only the aphids with the manure and not the roses, the manure must be diluted. In contrast to the variant with nettles, you dilute two liters of liquid manure with ten liters of water. You can then use the liquid manure as a spray against the lice.

Tip: A faster version of liquid manure is the use of broths made from tansy (Tanacetum vulgare), male fern (Dryopteris) or bracken (Pteridium aquilinum), each of which is mixed with ten liters of rainwater for 24 hours. Use 200 grams of dried leaves from the worm and bracken, while 300 grams of the dried inflorescences of the tansy are used for the broth.

field horsetail

vegetable brew

If you don't have time to make slurry and the infestation is far advanced, you should switch to a plant brew. The broths have the advantage that they can be made from a wide variety of herbs and plants in a short time, making them indispensable for your rose bushes when the aphids are causing damage. Compared to liquid manure, a brew is heated, which causes the liquid to be enriched with the active ingredients of the plants. In addition to being used as an insect repellent, they have other advantages if they are used regularly:

  • improves vitality of rose bushes
  • protects against diseases and other pests
  • supplies the plant with nutrients

If you want to make use of a brew, there are several types available to you. You must always observe the mixing ratio with water:

  • Garlic: 80 to 100 grams per 10 liters of water
  • Onions: 80 to 100 grams per 10 liters of water
  • Savory: handful from two liters of water
  • Oregano: 100 grams (fresh) or 10 grams (dried)

While you're boiling the garlic, savory, and onions in a double boiler, brew a remedy with oregano by infusing the herbs with hot water. Allow each brew to steep for 30 to 60 minutes before diluting. Finally, you can spray the plants.

Tip: If you cannot boil garlic broth, you should use the garlic cloves as protection against aphids and their shepherds. Gently crush a few cloves of garlic and spread them around the roses as a barrier so that the ingredients will help against the pests.


potato water

Potato water is one of the simplest and often the fastest available home remedies. Aphidoidea are sensitive to a variety of substances, including the solanine contained in the nightshade family (Solanaceae). The insects cannot tolerate solanine and, depending on the amount used, they either die or flee. Thanks to the simple production, large quantities of potato water are available, as it is a waste product when the delicious tubers are cooked. It is used in the following way:

  • Let the potato water cool down
  • fill in spray bottle
  • apply directly to the aphids
  • let work
  • apply several times at regular intervals as required

If you are dealing with a persistent infestation, potato water will establish itself as an effective and readily available remedy that you can use in a short time.

Black tea against aphids

Last but not least, black tea is a home remedy that you can use to combat lice on your pink. The reason: caffeine. Caffeine is a powerful neurotoxin to many insects, and black tea contains high levels that have been shown to be effective against the lice infestation. You can take advantage of this by making a spray from the popular drink:

  • put two tea bags in a pot
  • pour in 500 ml water (boiling).
  • Brewing time: 15 min
  • Remove pouch
  • let cool down

When the tea has completely cooled down, it is poured into a spray bottle. Spray the lice and apply the treatment more often as needed. If you don't have a spray bottle at hand, you can dip a cloth in the tea and rub the infested leaves, leaf axes and shoots with it. As an alternative to black tea, you can use coffee grounds that have been brewed again. Allow the coffee to cool and dip a cloth in the mixture to wipe the bugs off the leaves.

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