Integrated Pest Management

Rose Care with Less Effort and Pro-Environment


What's New:

Time to stop fertilizing, but if you spray for disease, keep that up until late Nov.

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Current News:

Survey for the website complete. Revisions to current website in progress.


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New info on Rose Rosette Disease at recent meeting

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Integrated Pest Management of Roses


 This section of the Connecticut Rose Society’s website is focused on Integrated Pest Management. Modern roses are not pest-free by nature. It can be said, without reservation:
Exhibition-quality hybrid teas and floribundas will generally require spray protection for fungal and insect pests to be competitive.
Roses will require pest protection to perform at their best.
Some roses require a great deal less chemical help than others.
There are varying levels of treatment available. Everyone can benefit from a sound approach to pest management- using the right weapon for the actual pest challenge facing the roses.
Different gardeners have different thresholds for acceptance of pests.
Knowledge is Power.


Specifically for Roses:


IPM Overview and Links to Additional Information:

The information and links presented is not a choir. There is a thread of melodious thought, but not harmony. A variety of initial points of departure differentiate the material. The scale ranges from No Controls to Total Organic to a Conscientious, Deliberate Approach to Pest Management. The latter point of view is emphasized. Total Organic is a necessary choice for some, but is not generally practical for most of our members, due primarily to the climate we face, and the newer roses we tend to grow. Furthermore, in order to provide a broad-ranging source of information (given that linked articles are provided without editing), articles that emphasize a different climate from CT (and in some cases different sets of pests) may be included in the discussion/links if there is significant merit to other parts of the article. Bad propaganda has been screened. Articles that are generally good, but with weaknesses, are included in the site/links. The reader should be alert to different, and, rarely, erroneous, points of view.
The assistance and enthusiasm of the following made this section possible:
Gill Smits
Deb Haydock
Tim Abbey- CT Agricultural Experiment Station

The IPM Principals that should apply to most Connecticut Rose Growers are distilled (edited) to these:

  1. If spraying is personally not acceptable, or is highly objectionable, select roses that are disease-resistant to begin with. These include rugosas, old roses in general and shrubs. More modern roses, hybrid teas and floribundas, generally are not as disease resistant. Further, Japanese Beetles tend to favor yellow and white blooms over darker ones. If you can’t use insecticides, consider avoiding light colors.

  2. If you are not constrained by time available for the garden, you have more flexibility for less ‘toxic’ methods that require frequent application and effort. These may include Frequently manual picking off beetles, frequent high pressure water sprays of all roses for aphids and spider mites, application of weak solutions of chemicals that don’t stick or last (sodium bicarbonate) (and must be repeated after every rain), defensive water sprays for fungal diseases that must dry later in the day to be successful (and are thus most effective in the Early Morning, when most folks are getting ready for work). If Available Time is an issue, and there is a low tolerance for pests, you must be more aggressive.

  3. If you use your roses primarily for cutting for indoors, consider accepting more pest damage in the garden, then spending more effort toward cleaning/grooming the stems before display in the vase.

  4. Remember that the more objectionable part of spray materials might be the solvent/propellant, not the active ingredient. A wetable powder may be a good answer where the petroleum-based solvent is the issue.

  5. Treat for the pests you need to, only when you need to; not widespread anti-everything spraying. Know the seasons (weather conditions) that favor fungal problems. For insects: aphids can be controlled fairly successfully without insecticides, or with mild ones. Japanese Beetles are usually only a problem in CT for a period from the beginning of July for about six weeks. Thereafter, they are much fewer in number (and potentially acceptable without treatment). Fungal Rust, and some insects common to the west coast, are not prevalent in CT- and so need not be defended against.

  6. Systemic fungicides are designed to be applied to a growing rose plant’s leaves and stems. There is low benefit from spraying the ground and mulch- since they are not contact fungus killers. And this uses far more spray material than would be necessary to fully coat the leaves! For that matter, use a very fine spray pattern (fog-like). Don’t overuse or over spray. Science has determined that leaves have two sides- and both need coverage; but the maximum amount of coverage needed for the leaves is 100%. Overspray is not helpful; it is wasteful and not environment-friendly.
    Fall clean up as part of the Winterizing the Rose Garden process is important, and can be done without chemicals. Keeping the garden free of disease one year goes a long way toward the ability of the rose to survive Connecticut ’s biggest pest: cold, windy winters.
    So take a look at the collection of articles and links to other websites provided here in this section. After reviewing, re-make deliberate decisions concerning your personal rose garden goals and pest tolerance. Then plot a course for Managing your Pests in an Integrated manner. Consider contacting a Consulting Rosarian (from New England , where the climate/weather are understood and the pests are common) to compare your plan with another person. CR’s can be a huge help in the planning and action IPM process.

Additional Articles and Links:

More to Come!!

  • Diseases

  • Insects

  • Spider Mites






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