From a distance, your roses look beautiful. But on closer inspection, you notice that little pests have taken up residence on your plants. Roses are known for their ability to attract insects, but getting these critters off your roses should be a priority if you want to keep your plant in good shape.
Keeping roses in tip-top condition can be a challenge. Notorious for being high-maintenance, these plants can be a bit overwhelming for the novice. Roses require adequate light; morning light is best. Plants grow best in well-drained soil with a pH between 5.5 and 6.5. Good air circulation is a must. Roses prefer deep watering. Avoid getting moisture on the leaves as this encourages disease. Roses are heavy feeders and must be adequately fertilized to promote healthy growth.
Roses attract many pests and are susceptible to a number of diseases. Determining the type of pest that is invading the plant is important. Note the size of the insect when attempting to identify it. The color of the insect may alter depending upon the type of insect, as well as the type of plant. Most insects are specific in which type of plant they attack. Knowing the exact name of the plant will help in the pursuit of pest identification. The most common plant-eating insects are found in the orders Coleoptera (beetles and weevils), Hemiptera (true bugs), Homoptera (leafhoppers, aphids, scales and whiteflies) and Lepidoptera (butterflies and moths). Each classification has specific characteristics an insect must possess to belong to that group. Bugs that have a blue or bluish appearance may fall in any of the above categories. When identifying pests, it is important to have a solid description of the insect. Size, color, damage to plants and whether wings are present or not all matter when detecting what is eating your plant. Other insects may be present on the plant, and some of them may be beneficial.
Aphids are one insect that can appear blue in color. Common to rose plants, the telltale sign of leaf curling and puckering will be their first giveaway. Up close, they are visible to the naked eye. Pear-shaped bodies and long legs and antennae are representative of this species. Small populations of aphids are relatively harmless; however, larger groups are capable of plant destruction. Aphids exude a honeydew that often attracts ants. It is common for them to transmit viruses from plant to plant, so eradication of these unwanted guests is necessary. A sharp blast of water will generally disable these pests.
Another common insect that is blue in color is the sowbug. Generally inhabiting organic matter underneath the plant, the sowbug is blamed for more than its share of trouble. Not usually a threat, the sowbug typically feeds on decaying plant matter.
Keeping an eye on your rose plant is the best way to head off problems. While admiring your plant, check for early signs of infestation. Make sure you are not mistaking a beneficial insect for a pest. Observation is the simplest way to save time and give the rose plant the meticulous care that it requires.