Give your roses protective planting to fight the villains that kill them!
The organic home gardener who hates to spray chemicals over roses will like to hear about this success story from The Organic Way to Plant Protection (Rodale Press). This book tells us the happy tale of Edward P. Morris who says that he kept his roses mostly free from insect infestations by simple methods.
He planted a clump of chives close to each rose bush, with petunias, dwarf marigolds and geraniums nearby. This helped to keep an army of enemies like rose chafers, leaf beetles, ants, leafhoppers and aphids away from his roses!
He also frequently crushes a few leaves of each protective plant and hand rubs them around the canes. It is amazing how much up and down activity is reduced by this simple step.
In the spring he renews the protective plants around each bush, waters them, and then mulches them nicely. Mulch too is a very protective border around your roses.
Pics and text: daksha