Get rid of greenfly on roses with these simple steps

Greenfly, also known as aphids, are a common pest that can be found on roses. These tiny insects suck the sap from plants and cause them to wilt. This is not only annoying but it can also stunt your plant’s growth too. They will be found underneath leaves, as well as clustered around buds and flowers.

Aphids can damage buds so they fail to develop while sucking on young shoots which causes them to wilt or look unhealthy in appearance over time due to the sugary honeydew substance left behind by these pests

If you have been wondering how to get rid of greenfly on roses, then this article will provide you with some simple steps that will help keep these pesky bugs at bay!

control aphids

Table of Contents

greenfly on roses

So you’ve noticed some greenflies on your beautiful roses in your yard. Don’t worry we’ve all been there. Is it possible that we have been ignoring them or caring for them in an incorrect manner

Regardless of how good a gardener you are, pests will will pay a visit to your garden… It’s just a part of life. So don’t get yourself worked up, there are things you can do to avoid this! So take my virtual hand and join me on my greenfly-killing journey:

how to get rid of greenfly infographic

How to get rid of greenfly on roses

  • So here is a quick overview of things you can do to remove those annoying little greenflies from your roses:

    • Use your garden hose. Use the high-pressure setting on your hose to wash them away

    • Plant plants next to your roses that will give off a pungent smell such as onions, garlic, sage and lavender

    • Create an environment where aphid predators will inhabit. Dense shrubs and climbing plants will bring in birds whilst being less tidy in the winter will encourage ladybugs

    • Minimise the use of nitrogen-rich fertilizers

    • Use a natural vinegar spray

greenfly on roses in yard

What are greenflies?

Greenflies are essentially like little monsters that can wreak havoc on not just your roses but any other plants that currently grow in your garden.

In essence, the only role they play in their whole lifecycle is to extract plant sap, from plants. Imagine them as illegal tenants in a flat you rent out. They take advantage of the shelter you provide, they drink all your supplies, use your facilities and don’t even bother to pay you the rent due.

Ok, enough of the analogies. Greenflies, more accurately known as aphids are tiny little sap-sucking creatures that come in a variety of colours depending on the type. The most common species and one you will find on roses is the greenfly. As their name suggests, they are green in colour.

These pests are very destructive and can cause a whole lot of damage to your plants if left unchecked. They can also spread viruses from plant to plant which makes them doubly dangerous.

So let’s go into more detail about how to get rid of greenflies from roses below.

garden pests on roses

Use your garden hose

Now, this may sound a little too obvious, but believe me when I say that your main focus, to begin with, is neutralising the threat. After we have done that we can then worry about preventative measures.

So the first thing you want to do is take your garden hose and use the high-pressure setting to wash away as many of them as possible. This will not get rid of all of them but it’s a good place to start. Remember not to go mad with the pressure setting of your hose as standing too close to your roses whilst doing this could damage the flower and its petals.

garden hose to wash away greenfly

Complimentary Plants

The next thing you want to do is think about planting some complimentary plants next to your roses. By that, I mean plants that will give off a pungent smell such as onions, garlic, sage and lavender. These smells will act as a deterrent for the greenflies and stop them from coming back.

lavender can repel greenfly from roses

Minimise Fertilizer Use

You also want to minimise the use of nitrogen-rich fertilizers as these can actually encourage the growth of new leaves too early and encourage more greenflies to settle. Instead, opt for a phosphorus-rich fertilizer which will help to deter them.

fertilizer for roses

Vinegar Spray

Finally, you can make a natural vinegar spray which will kill them on contact. To do this, mix one-part vinegar with ten parts water and put it into a spray bottle. Then simply spray it onto the affected area and watch as the greenflies start to die off. 

To read more about this natural vinegar aphid spray, have a read an article I wrote that covers this. I have also covered natural vinegar spray on Youtube so make sure you have a watch!

homemade vinegar spray

Why are Greenflies bad for crops?

While not as well known as other pests such as black beetles, greenflies are just as damaging in gardens around the world. They lay eggs on roses near leaf joints and under leaves looking for tender shoots where larvae will bore into them before being activated at night.

Can you spray your roses with chemicals to get rid of greenfly?

No, you cannot. This is not a good idea because it will harm your beloved plants and make them more susceptible to other diseases and pests. If possible, we should let nature regulate itself. We can get rid of greenfly on rose bushes by making sure we’re attracting all kinds of insects and species, which will create a balanced eco-system. This system will regulate itself via the food chain.

rose bushes can be killed by aphids

What amount of greenflies should be concerning?

It is good to have a few green aphids on your plants as they serve the same purpose of providing food for beneficial insects. With them, other insects will find another home elsewhere and there will be nothing to naturally deter an aphid attack.

Though little greenfly on plants is normal, you should act if you notice multiple aphids covering the whole plant.

What should you do when you have an outbreak of greenflies?

We recommend gently but firmly shaking the rose plant from top to bottom. This will get rid of the most aphids and it can be done several times a day, as needed.

You should also take off any leaves that have been attacked by greenflies or other pests like caterpillars. You don’t want these around your plant because they are toxic.

We also recommend pouring some water at the base of your rose bush every few days so that there is always fresh moisture in the soil where the roots grow from. These simple steps can help you keep those pesky greenflies away!

plant growth and pruning

Will aphids go away on their own?

No, they will not. If you notice many aphids on your plants and there are still more coming in every day or two, this is a sign that the environment around the plant isn’t balanced anymore because of too much greenfly activity.

The only time greenflies might go away without any help from natural predators or humans is if outside temperatures get below 10 degrees Celcius for a long time.

What time of year do aphids come out?

Greenflies will come out in the spring when they sense new roses, flower buds and plants. They are most active during this time of year and you’ll notice a lot more aphids on your rose bush because of it. Aphids also prefer wet and warm climates, so springtime, with plenty of rainfall, can be ideal for them.

garden pests in the spring

Do coffee grounds kill aphids?

Yes, coffee grounds are a good way to get rid of the aphids on roses. They can be applied as an organic pesticide on plants and will help deter them from returning. To use this method, simply put the grounds in a pot with water over high heat until boiling then strain out the liquid before spraying it onto your plant’s leaves or flowers to kill off any pests you find there.

how to kill greenfly on roses

Aphids are hard to kill with pesticides, so the best way to get rid of them is by using an organic pesticide. This can be done by following these steps:

  • Apply a layer of mulch around your plants’ root area in order to keep aphids from coming up through the soil and attacking roots.

  • Use a natural companion plant near roses that will help repel aphid infestation such as catnip or spearmint.

  • Add compost tea made from worm castings or cow manure every two weeks for beneficial bacteria which will naturally deter pests like greenfly and other insects.

mulching to prevent rose aphids

Can you kill aphids by freezing?

Some insects have the capability of avoiding being frozen during winter and can survive with no adverse effects from freezing. They include aphids, ticks, emerald ash borers, adelgids, and pine beetles.

Do banana peels keep aphids away?

Banana peels can be effective in deterring pests like aphids and other insects from your plant if they’re applied as an organic pesticide. To use this method, simply peel a banana to get the skin then place it on top of any flowers or leaves that are infested with aphids. They will avoid coming near this fruit due to its natural chemical property called Eau de Banana which is produced when bananas start to ripen.

attract beneficial insects using banana peels

What plant keeps aphids away?

Marigolds are known for keeping pests away such as greenflies because they emit a strong aroma that bugs don’t like. This is because it contains pyrethrums which are toxic to aphids and other insects so they will stay away from this plant as long as it’s planted near roses or any kind of flowering plant.

Can plants recover from aphids?

Yes, plants and roses can recover from aphids. Remove the affected leaves by hand or with clippers and dispose of them in an appropriate place before they attract more pests that will damage your roses even more.


So now you understand a little more about how to get rid of greenflies on roses, which can be done by using different methods such as:

  • Use your garden hose to blast them away. Make sure you use the high-pressure setting

  • Plant onions, garlic, sage, and lavender next to your roses so they give off a strong smell

  • Create an environment that is favorable to the survival of aphid predators like birds and ladybugs

  • Don’t use nitrogen-rich fertilizers as much

  • Make a natural vinegar spray

  • Shake the plant from top to bottom

  • Remove some infested leaves.

  • Pour water at the base of your rose bush

  • Use banana peels

  • Organic pesticides like manure

  • Plant marigolds

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Oliver Wright
Oliver Wright

I hope you enjoy reading some of the content and ideas from this site, I tend to share articles and product reviews on a daily basis, so be rest assured… you won’t run out of things to read!

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