How to Get Rid of Bugs on Your Plants and Rose Bushes – Natural and Thrifty Alternatives

by Jenni on May 26, 2013

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how to get rid of bugs on roses and plants

Spring has sprung and my rose bushes are in full bloom. The leaves are also full of holes and brown spots from early buggy visitors and disease. The pests are more than likely aphids and the disease could either be from the pests or some type of fungus. This happens each and every year with my roses and some other flowering plants that I have. It absolutely drives me batty!!! Almost as much as mole hills in the yard!

how to get rid of bugs on plants and rose bushesI haven’t mulched yet so my flower bed is sort of bare under the bush. My favorite is red mulch!

I wanted to share some natural and thrifty remedies with you if you’re finding the same thing with your roses or plants. I have used Sevin Dust in the past and it works but it’s also a poisonous chemical and you really should be careful when you use it! I recommend wearing a mask when you dust it on your lawn or plants because you don’t want to breathe it in. I tend to get a little shake happy with the canister so I know from experience :). A friend of mine on Facebook (thanks Lori!) also said that she uses lime on her garden and plants. She buys it locally from Ace Hardware.

I have several different rose bushes and I am going to be trying some of the following methods below and will update through spring/summer with what has worked best for me. These methods below have been recommended from friends/family or found through different garden forums.



How to Get Rid of Bugs on your plants and roses:

1. Drown those suckers…with a blast of water from the garden hose. This remedy seems to work well for most to get aphids or other little buggars off your roses and plants. You want to use the jet stream setting on your water hose sprayer. A regular spray from the hose won’t have enough power to knock them off. Make sure that you’re not knocking off blooms or breaking stems…you just want to put a good blast of water on them and work underneath too. Aphids like to hide UNDER the leaves!

2. Soap ‘em up and shove ‘em out! Mixing gentle soap (Blue Dawn dish soap or Ivory Liquid are the most recommended) and/or oil with water in a spray bottle and giving your roses a squirt will help get rid of the aphids and other bugs.

Spray Mixture:

In a quart of water, mix in a few drops (5-8) of dish liquid or other liquid soap (something gentle, even Murphy’s Oil Soap works well) and 1 teaspoon of oil (vegetable, canola, etc.).

Combine well and spray on your plants or rose bushes. Don’t’ forget the underside of the leaves because that’s where they like to hide! After it rains, give them another spray.

3. The ole’ vampire method! Aphids hate garlic. I wonder if they’re related to vampires?! ;) Combine about a tablespoon or 2 of minced garlic with a quart of water and spray that mixture on your plants or rose bush.

4. ACV – The Cure All Solution! Mix 1 ounce of apple cider vinegar to 3 oz. of water and spray onto your roses or plants. Keep in mind some plants are not tolerable of vinegar. P.S. If you didn’t already know, you can get rid of fleas with vinegar too!


how to get rid of bugs on your roses and plants

5. Natural store bought insecticides. If these other methods don’t work for you, you can go with a natural grade insecticide from your local nursery or garden store. Always read and follow the instructions. This Garden Safe Insecticidal Soap has great reviews on Amazon and it says it kills all bugs on contact.

If you have tips or tried and true methods, please leave us a comment! We’d love to hear them!!



Jenni here! I'm the owner and primary blogger here at Sweet Pennies from Heaven. Married to my better half for 17 years and mom to one awesome little boy. We have 2 dogs, Pepper and Izzy. My favorite thing to do is nap. I love sweets and coffee. Sweet coffee.

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{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

Michelle June 8, 2013 at 4:15 pm

Thanks for the tips! I was wondering if there was a more natural way to get rid of those!


Jenni June 8, 2013 at 4:36 pm

You’re welcome Michelle! I prefer natural routes if I can…usually cheaper and safer!


Denise June 10, 2013 at 10:10 pm

great tips! I hate when the bugs attack my plants and love the natural ideas with items I already have at my house to get rid of them! Thank you


Carole June 12, 2013 at 11:07 pm

Something is eating all the leaves of my miny roses but they are still blooming ,but no leaves left, please help….. Tx


Jenni June 14, 2013 at 6:28 pm

Hi Carole, I am not sure and I’m definitely not an expert. I would suggest trying any of the methods I mentioned in the article. Good luck and let us know how it pans out!


Layne June 18, 2013 at 12:05 pm

Love, love, love these gorgeous flowers! Thanks for the tips! :)


how to use a dermaroller August 24, 2014 at 4:14 am

Yes! Finally something about dermaroller downtime.


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