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Saturday, April 5, 2014

bug off rose spray


Bug Off Rose Spray comes in handy at this time of year. I give you a tried and proven recipe that has worked for me for several years now. When we bought our house in AZ, these gorgeous roses were already well established. Their deep roots tap down into our septic system, I'm pretty sure, as I hardly need to water them, and they provide me with lovely, delicate, fragrant, dark pink blooms all summer long. I love to collect the fresh petals for infusing into oil (post coming!), and dehydrating to add to bath salts. They are so pretty.

But greenfly also love my roses. Drat them. Those pesky little aphids sweep through on the wind all spring, every year, and multiply like crazy on all the new growth. Left to their own devices, they will eat the new leaves, and especially all the rosebuds, and I will have no lovely flowers for me.

Enter Bug Off Rose Spray. I certainly don't want to use any commercial aphid killers, as they are not great all round and I want to harvest organic roses. So nothing gross. In my garden in the back of the house, I've been working hard to cultivate bee and butterfly attracting flowers and plants, and to balance as much healthy plant life in together as possible to create a little mini ecosystem, complete with all the good bugs and spiders that come with it.
(No black widows or grey recluse, please, but garden spiders we love.) In this front area, though, I just have roses and rosemary, and a septic covered with gravel on top of which I cannot plant. So I have to get rid of the greenfly a different way.

Step one. Make up Bug Off Rose Spray:
  • 3 cups water in a spray bottle
  • add 1 tsp biodegradable dish soap, such as blue original Dawn, or BioKleen
  • add 8 drops each of essential oils of rosemary, citronella, geranium and lavender
Step two. Shake up bottle and spray roses thoughly. Soak those little pesky insects, and all vulnerable new growth. They hate the essential oils, and the soap gums up their wings and makes it hard for their feet to grip to the plants.

Step three. Blast roses with a strong jet of water, pulverizing the dying greenfly.

Step four. Once roses are cleaned and fresh, spray with Bug Off Rose Spray all over the plant once more, to leave a residue that inhibits greenfly attaching to the roses on tomorrow's wind.


Let your kids help with the spray! This is a fab activity for preschoolers, in particular, as there are no nasty chemical to worry about getting on their hands, and they love to spray and spray and be useful. They genuinely are useful in this activity.


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