A Love Hate Relationship

Back when we lived at the farm I had it in my head that I wanted a climbing rose bush….I got one.  The dumb thing was expensive but I broke the bank and got one.  In a short time, it grew like crazy…never bloomed.  I had bought it late in the season and blooming time had already passed.

That next year, we moved to town.  It bloomed at the farm but I never saw it.  Then that fall, I cut it way back so I could dig it up and move it to town.  I plant is SUPER thorny with thorns that are more like spikes!  I got pricked a couple times and once pricked it made me feel like that pricked spot was on fire.  It was nasty.  I quickly learned to give that plant some space and stay away from it if at all possible.

That spring.  One sprig came.  The rest, DEAD.  That’s it.  Hubby told me to dig it up and get rid of it but me the eternal optimist said no…lets give it until next spring.  It stayed it’s one sprig self all year last year.  It was pathetic.  One day I was weeding and Hubby was mowing the lawn.  I bent over near the climbing rose and somehow got close enough that a thorn got wedged onto the back of my thigh!  It hurt like a son of a gun.  The problem, it was a long thorn and wedged into my back upper thigh in a way that would not allow me to get loose from it.

Hubby was on the mower and just about to round the corner of the house to go to mow the back yard.  I screamed as loud as I could and he luckily heard me.  I started waving frantically – trying not to poke the thorn any deeper into my thigh.  He came and got the thorn out of my leg.  At that point I was ready to get the Round Up and kill the rose.

So this year it came up and looks like this….


I’ve had to wrap the branches on the trellis but that has only happened with leather gloves on.  Wow this thing is a mean plant…

I was so excited it is blooming really beautifully and there are LOTS more buds ready to open.  All the frustration with this bugger has finally paid off.  I have blossoms!!…but wait.  I also have….bugs.  Something is eating the leaves.  I am so frustrated.  I finally got the dumb thing to bloom and grow and now this.

Can you see why I am calling this a love hate relationship?

Anyone know what to do for bugs on a rose bush?  Looks like I’ll be making a trip to the nursery to see if there is anything I can do.  I’m hoping for a little more love from this rose and a little less hate.  Maybe, just maybe, if I can get these bugs taken care of, I’ll be able to love it again.

21 thoughts on “A Love Hate Relationship”

  1. Not sure what kind of bugs, but sprinkle with Seven dust or something like that and that will take care of the bugs. Shouldn’t hurt the Rose bush

  2. If you think it’s aphids spray with sudsy water(dishwashing liquid). That will kill the aphids. Be sure to spray the underside because that’s where they hide, Also you can get rose spray at any plant store or Walmart. Hope it helps.

  3. Probably the Asiatic Beetles are the shiney copper and sorta green colored? You can spray with soapy water and it will help. They like Rose Of Sharon plants also. When you get stuck with the thirns make it bleed as quickly as you can. It will push the poison on the thorns out and they won’t hurt so bad. I work for a Greenhouse in the floral arrangement department and we had to strip the thorns off of the roses. That wasn’t fun either. they did this for wedding work and large floral arrangements. Bayer Shrub and Tree insectiside is for the grubs that hatch out into those beetles. It is available at WalMart.

  4. Seven dust will work and can be bought at Walmart. I use a home mixture of 2 tbsp. of dish soap (any kind will do) and water mixed in an average size spray bottle. You need to apply every few days or after it rains until they are gone. I also find that if I mix 1 cup of Epson salt in a 5 gallon pail and slowly pour it on the roots of my roses the color of the flowers are super brilliant in color. Roses need to be dead headed if you want them to continue to bloom threw out the season. I would use a pair of rubber gloves(the kind for doing dishes) or buy a pair of rose trimming gloves for trimming. Thorns are painful!! Your rose is very pretty.

  5. That rose looks a lot like mine. It’s called William Baffin. Not sure about the spelling. It acts more likely a wild rose, and has tons of thorns. I also get new branches that come up from the ground around it, as it is grown on its own roots. Not too many climbing roses to choose from in our cold climate. This one was originally developed in Canada. Looking forward to meeting you in August!

  6. Like everyone else, I use 1 TBS. liquid soap to 1 gal. of water. It can even be baby shampoo. It has to be sprayed on the insects to kill them. It even works on Japanese Beetles. I keep filling a spray bottle with the solution mixed in a gallon jug. Beautiful roses.

    I love, love all of the Quilts you have made. I want to make all of them.

  7. Jo, IMHO that rose bush just isn’t pretty at all. Get the roundup, douse it good, dislodge it and BURN it! That’ll kill those bugs. All joking aside, check the catalog nurserys to see if they have an affordable climber, or wait until the hardware stores (Home Depot, Menards, etc.) are having a sale late in the season, and get another one. I’ve been wanting a yellow climbing rose, but we must wait until we get our house!

  8. I have 9 roses and use Bayer Advance Rose and Flower Feed. It feeds and protects the plant from insects in 1 step. When you trim in the spring use it every 3-4 weeks. My area, Feb, March, April when it rains and then no bugs fro Spring and Summer.


    The Master Gardeners can help figure out your bug problem. You may need chemicals or you may not. If you clip off a small section of the plant with the bugs on it, put it in a tupperware container and take it to their plant clinic (they usually have them on the weekends in most communities) and those plant experts can ID the bugs and look up the proper way to get rid of them. They might even tell you why you’re having such a hard time with that nice little rose. Just Google the name of your county and “Master Gardeners” and contact info should pop right up. The advice is free and reliable.
    Happy Gardening (and quilting), Cheryl

  10. Marsha from Delaware, USA

    Without seeing the leaf damage it is difficult to tell what bugs maybe the problem. IF the leafs have holes in them you might be feeding a hive of leaf cutter bees! Which are extremely beneficial in a farming area. Leaf cutter bees love rose bushes. There are special sprays for rose bushes and leaf cutter bees that will protect the bushes from the bees but will not kill the bees. You may have to Google a bit but information is available. OF course you could also take a sample to a specialist for inspection. Good luck saving and enjoying your rose bush!
    Leaf cutter bees are small, fast flying and black in color, very interesting reading about their habits.

  11. I too have bug issues on my roses! I loved the comments and plan on using some of the solutions. I did use the Bayer Rose feed stuff and they did better this yr.
    My problem is the 4 legged harvesters….. DEER!!!! they seem to love the rose buds…..

  12. I agree with Carol. That bush does not look like something I would want in my garden. There are more thorns than flowers. Maybe it’s a Crown of Thorns in disguise. I remember a crimson rambler rose that grew next door. It had thorns, but only one or two per inch of stem. Not the entire stem full of thorns. Good Luck with whatever you do!

  13. I too use Bayer Rose and Flower Care. Swear by it! There are granules you can sprinkle around the base or a liquid you mix with water. If you need fast then the liquid works a bit better.

  14. I like to use Bayer’s Rose and Flower Care because it is a systemic, meaning that the plant takes up the pesticide inside so you are not handling the poison covered plant. Bayer’s has a 3-way version that is pesticide, fungicide (blackspot, mildew) and fertilizer all in one. You just water it in; no spray in the air you are breathing. —Just remember that you do not want to sprinkle the rose petals in your salad! :-p

  15. I don’t know what to do about bugs on rose bushes, but I want to warn you about some other creatures that like to eat rose bushes—deer! We had a roaming herd of deer who ate day lilies, rose bushes, impatiens, and whatever else they could find, include azalea bushes!

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