Problems With Rose Leaves
QUESTION: I have four Knock Out roses. Two yellow, and two pink, and they all have problems with rose leaves.
The leaves on all of them are being eaten by something.
The leaves are either completely gone or look lacey, lots of holes.
I use Beyer Rose and Flower but they're still being eaten. Do you have any suggestions for me?
ANSWER: Hi Nancy,
Sorry to hear about your problems with rose leaves.
I do think that your rose leaves are eaten by Japanese beetles.
They appear widely in the eastern states of the USA.
These beetles have a dark green, and copper coloring, so they are easy to spot.
I suggest you take a night stroll with a flash light.
They often skeletonize leaves, eating everything except the thick part of leaves, such as the mid-rib and veins.
Japanese beetles can be treated in the larval stage (a white grub that causes damage to lawns), or as adults.
There are several biological controls such as bacterium and beneficial nematodes that can be used on Japanese larvae.
You can handpick adults and drop them in a bucket of soapy water.
However, if the infestation is very bad, treat them with insecticides.
There are other beetles who like roses also, they are red and green-spotted or brown.
You treat those the same as for Japanese beetles.