The biggest problem most people encounter with a knock out rose is trying to prevent insects from destroying them. Preventing pests from destroying plants presents a problem for organic gardeners as they cannot use chemicals that damage the soil. This article will examine how you can reduce or eliminate the insects that are preying on your plants using organic pesticides and alternative plant treatments.
The Knock Out Rose has a couple of common pests that attack it. Aphids are drawn by the sweet smelling blossoms and stick around to eat the leaves, and Japanese beetles are particularly fond of the plants as well. There are other insects to be wary of, but these two are the major pests you will have to deal with. Dealing with these pests can be time consuming, but with a little time and attention it can be accomplished.
There are not many organic pesticides available. In nature, repelling a harmful pest is more common than killing it. Of the organic pesticides available, only Neem oil is recognized as being effective against a wide range of insect pests. There are other organic pesticides on the market but none have the success of Neem oil. In most cases, you can achieve as much benefit from using other plants as you can from any sort of pesticide. Ladybugs are another option. Ladybugs feed on aphids so try both attracting them and planting them in the area. You can order them online or pick them up from your local garden center.
Care and Feeding
Taking care of a rose bush means giving it proper care and feeding. Additionally, you can reduce the effects of pests if you intersperse knock outs with sweet alyssum to draw predator insects away from your prize plants. Marigolds are another plant known as an insect repellent and are often used in gardens for that very purpose. But a healthy knock out is probably the best defense and that can be done by treating the soil, not by planting new plants.
Plant and Soil Care
One of the best all-purpose fertilizers for organic gardening is cottonseed meal. It contains more vital plant nutrients than either bone meal or fish meal and is high in all three macro-nutrients as well as the other necessary minerals and metals. If your soil is healthy, it is more attractive to predator insects which help to keep your pest problem at a minimum. Additionally, healthy soil gives the plant more energy to fight off infection and the damage to your roses caused by pests.
If all else fails, you can pick your knock outs clean. Pick off insects and place them in a paper bag. It may take quite a while, but this is the healthiest and safest method. Many people save the insects they remove and mix them into a water solution. This solution is then sprayed back on the leaves of the plants, and many gardening experts believe that this mixture will repel other bugs of the same types as as used in the solution. The idea is that the odors of dead bugs causes other to avoids coming into the perceived danger zone.
Using these tips for treating knock out rose pests will keep them blooming for years to come. It's to time to sit back, relax, and enjoy their beauty.