With gardening season just around the corner, I’ve been busy purchasing seed packets for this year’s summer garden. Along with food crops, I’m also buying the seeds for companion plants which will deter aphids from my rose beds organically.
Planting chives, dill, fennel, mint, and coriander in your rose beds is a natural way to discourage aphids. The fragrant aroma of these herbs not only deters aphids, it attracts the good bugs that eat the aphids. While these herbs can be purchased in starter pots for under $3 each at your favorite gardening center, I need so many herbs for my rose beds that it’s more cost effective for me just to start them from seed. Starting them indoors now means they will be ready to go into the ground at the start of the summer growing season.
Companion planting is one way to get rid of aphids naturally. Here are a few other strategies I use as well.
Buy ladybugs. Ladybugs provide rose bushes with natural aphid control by eating dozens of these pesky critters a day. I buy live aphids from my favorite garden shop at the beginning of summer which are released on my roses. A container of 1000 ladybugs costs around $7 which makes this an affordable method to keep down an aphid population.
Hose them off. In my yard, aphids often appear suddenly in one massive wave. The reason these pests seem to come out of nowhere is because they are born pregnant and reach maturity in less than a week. An easy way to get rid of these explosive infestations is by carefully knocking the aphids off the tender shoots and buds of your rose plants with a spray of water from the garden hose. Since aphids don’t fly (at least mine don’t!) they drop to the ground where other bugs will gobble them up. This green technique should be repeated at least two more time every third days to get rid of that particular aphid hatch for good.
Provide ground protection for beneficial insects. Beneficial insects such as ladybugs, preying mantises, and beetles are naturally attracted to aphids without a lot of coaxing from us. To keep these helpful insects in our rose beds yet safe from birds and other predators, low plants such as thyme, oregano, creeping phlox, and other ground covers can provide them with ground protection.
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