Green Bugs on Roses

Green Bugs on Roses

Table of Contents

Having fallen in love with roses and their long and rich evolution, perhaps you’ve planted some sumptuous bushes in your garden and have been carefully tending to them to ensure their best blooming potential. Except one day, you discover your bushes have been overrun with strange green bugs that are damaging your buds and stunting your roses’ development.

Well, if you’ve ever wondered what these green bugs are and how to treat them, wonder no more. In this guide we’ll tell you everything you need to know about the green bugs on roses and how to treat them, as well as helping you identify some other green creepy crawlies wandering around your garden.

What are the green bugs on my roses?

Roses are an easy to grow shrub with a variety, color, and shape to suit every garden. They are also relatively low-maintenance once you know how to prune, trim and care for them, and so are a great addition to any novice gardener’s plot.

However, one of the most common bugs that can wreak potentially harmful damage on these beautiful shrubs are green aphids. Green bugs that are found on the underside of leaves and clustered around buds and blooms, aphids are bugs that suck the sap out of young shoots and damage buds so they can’t properly develop. The effect of these green bugs is to cause leaves to become unhealthy and even infected with sooty mould.

Green aphids on roses are incredibly quick to reproduce. These bugs only need a little time to create a full-on invasion in a relatively short space of time. They typically appear in early spring and summer and you can easily identify these green bugs by their pear-shaped bodies and slender bugs’ legs.

What are the green worms eating my roses?

Alternatively, you might find your rose bushes being decimated by other green bugs. Other bugs are common on rose plants, like the green caterpillar. The green caterpillar on your rose bushes are in fact rose slugs – small bugs that nonetheless have an enormous appetite when it comes to rose leaves.

These little critters, which resemble caterpillars, are actually the larvae of a sawfly.

These bugs won’t kill your plants but they will decimate your foliage and weaken your plants. Here’s how to get rid of both rose slugs and aphids – the two green bugs most likely to be found on your rose bushes.

How to get rid of green bugs on roses

Now we know what these two little green bugs are, how do we get rid of them?

The best way to control these bugs is to remove them as soon as you notice them. As ever with gardening, bug prevention is better than cure and vigilance and attention is crucial in getting rid of these green bugs effectively. So here’s the best strategy for stopping your rose bushes from being covered in green bugs in a remarkably short space of time.


This is true in most bug control. From the start of your rose bush’s growing cycle, be diligent in keeping an eye out for both aphids and slugs as well as any other green bugs. Checking your roses regularly is the strongest tool in protecting your plant from green bugs.

Then, when you catch these bugs in action on your plants, removing them is as easy as picking them off with your fingers. Squishing the bugs in your hand or tapping the leaf or flower to knock them to the ground should be enough to get rid of them. Once these bugs are knocked off the foliage, they become easy prey for good insects who will do your pest control for you!

Use water

Water is another effective tactic for both aphids and slugs. Either spray the green bugs with a strong jet of water (be sure not to damage your plant in the process) or you can equally squirt the pests with some soapy water.

If choosing the soapy water method, ensure you apply it to the bugs and leaves on a cooler day and wash it off properly after fifteen minutes as it can damage the plant.

Depending on how bad the green bug infestation is, you might need to repeat your water spray technique for several days to ensure you catch them all.

Encourage natural predators

Finding natural solutions to bug control issues in your garden is the best way to ensure a happy garden and happy planet. The good news is that there are several “good guy” insects who love to feed on green bugs and can help you in keeping them off your rose bushes.

Ladybirds and their larvae, hover-fly larvae as well as green lacewing and their larvae, are all natural predators who will happily feed on green bugs and aphids so encourage them into your garden by planting things like dwarf lavender near and around your rose bushes.

However, if the infestation is particularly bad, it might take too long for nature to work its magic.

As a last resort, you can use insecticides. Check with your local garden center for the best options.

Green caterpillars

We often find people asking, what green caterpillars are eating my plants? If these green caterpillars are hanging from trees these are likely cankerworms, which are sometimes called inchworms, or Oak Leafrollers.

Though they might be a nuisance, they’re not harmful and will, after feeding, do exactly what caterpillars always do – cocoon themselves on their way to becoming a moth.

Ordering roses online

Though keeping green bugs off your plants and particularly rose bushes is quite straightforward and can easily be incorporated into your regular gardening, you can always forget the green thumb and leave it to the experts at a flower delivery service. 

To skip straight to fresh and luscious rose blooms in your home, why not treat yourself to a bouquet or arrangement delivered straight to your door? Try out SendFlowers, FromYouFlowers, or 1800Flowers for an exceptional delivery service.

Or, for a monthly supply of the freshest and most beautiful blooms, set up a subscription to premium flower subscription services like MonthlyClubs, BloomsyBox, or EnjoyFlowers. Read our review of the best monthly subscription options here.

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