Roses Without Pesticides.
|BIRC research includes
investigation of organic gardening and farming techniques. Quarterly and Practitioner
reprints are available on organic and least-toxic approaches to gardening. The following
is an excerpt from a Quarterly gardening article titled "Organic Control of
Rose Insect and Mite Pests":
enemies. These include many general garden and mite pests, as well as specialists that
feed only on roses. The creepy crawly list includes leafhoppers, thrips, scales, aphids
and mites. Common chewing insects found on roses include caterpillars and beetles. Despite
this onslaught, roses can survive without any chemical intervention.
Just as with disease control, insect and mite control
should start with resistant plants placed in the proper location. Species roses and other
old roses are usually better adapted to local pest and growing conditions than exotic
hybrids. Some, such as antique hybrid musks and Noisettes, are shade tolerant. Roses with
red or orange flowers are less attractive to insects and mites than those with white,
yellow, or other light-colored blooms.
Many rose pests are controlled by natural enemies already
in the environment. These beneficial organisms, including insects, predatory mites, and
birds can be encouraged to stay in your garden by providing a good habitat for them.
Growing small-flowered nectar plants, such as sweet alyssum, baby's breath, asters,
fennel, marigolds, and yarrow around the roses provides alternative food sources for
beneficial insects. Pesticides should not be used, as they kill beneficials more
effectively than pests. If your garden is recovering from pesticide sprays, or there is a
particularly bad infestation, beneficial insects may be purchased and released." (See
the 1999 Directory of Least-toxic Pest Control Products in Publications and Reprints for
suppliers of beneficial insects and other organic gardening supplies.)