Sunday, April 26, 2009

You Know Its Frost Free Time When...

The Aphids come along.

I have three rose bushes in my front yard garden. One is a the climber, New Dawn. The other two are pictured here. On the left is Rosa "Knockout" and on the right is an old Tea Rose I ripped out of my grandmother's backyard before her house was sold. I pruned the knockout heavy this year. The Tea is about 50 years old.

The leaves and bud on the old Tea
As you can see in the above picture, there's not one aphid on the Tea. Whole plant completely clear.

The leaves on the Knockout

But the Knockout, literally 18 inches from the Tea has a good colony of Aphids on many of the young leaf shoots. Why do they prefer the Knockout over the Tea or the New Dawn? This isn't particular to this year either. I don't believe it has to do with the hard prune, but does it? The Knockout can handle it though, its one tough mother.


  1. Wow, look at that, on the first warm day, there they are. I've got to go check my cilantro.

  2. Yeah, and my Iceberg has %&**^%# blackspot!

    I'm interested in your grandmother's tea rose? What colour, shape...

  3. Amarilla, I took that photo a few days ago, so I'd say they've been around a week or so.


    Black spot already. Let me tell you something I noticed when I was in NM.
    They grew roses, regular garden roses on street medians. I don't mean rugosa or other tough roses. The red rose has such powerful symbolic meaning to the mexican culture, so its everywhere. But you know what, no black spot.

    My grandmother always complained of black spot. She was a rose grower, morning and mid day sun, shade in the afternoon. This bush had blackspot. She tried everything.

    Converge my NM experience with pulling this rose from GM's place.
    Hot sun, dry air, no watering apart from rain and guess what - no or little blackspot. Blackspot is a disease of dampness, humidity in my hypothesis.

    I've never had blackspot on this rose. I told my GM she don't believe it.

    Its an older variety. That famous rose deep pink, marvelous scent (somewhat spicy citrus), keeps blooming as long as you prune the stem after each bloom. Its weakness is in its flower heads. The buds are upright, but the weight of the bloom flops it down. The flowers wilt fairly fast in the heat. The same heat that keeps down the blackspot. You may have better luck away from a hot wall like mine.

    Boy -that was a keyboard full.

    Its the one surrounded by the yarrow, not the prolific knockout behind.
    Its the double on the right, the left is a single-the knockout.

  5. I kind of miss roses. Our house in Toledo had roses and I remember every winter they would sccratch against the vynil siding whenever it was windy.

    I get aphids on my citrus trees (something about the baby attracts aphids and wasps!). What really works for me is a mix of water/cooking oil/dish soap. Aphids have soft bodies so it kills them pretty easily and since it is just water, oil and soap you can spray everyday or hell every hour without having to worry about poisoning your plants. Really great for stuff that you may want to eat.


If I do not respond to your comment right away, it is only because I am busy pulling out buckthorn, creeping charlie, and garlic mustard...