Bugs On Helleborus &

Question:

 I’ve noticed that Aphids have attacked my Helleborus. I thought Aphids were only a problem in the spring. What should I do to control them now? 

Answer:

  • Aphids are not seasonal pests. You’ll find them on selective  hosts  in the fall. Besides Helleborus, leafy vegetables, Photinia and Camellias are a favorite target with their fall flush of growth. And not so much with their favorite springtime host, roses.
  • Regardless of the time of the year, the non-toxic solutions for controlling Aphids are the same. Washing the bugs off with water is one method.
    • Option two is to spray them with Insecticidal Soap, Horticultural, or Neem Oil. These are contact sprays that kill both the adults and larva on the plants. You’ll need to monitor the plants frequently as there is no long-term solution and the Aphid returns.
    • Option three is to apply a systemic insecticide only to non-edible plants.
    • Bonide Systemic Insecticide is a granular material that’s applied to the soil. The insecticide is absorbed by the roots and translocated throughout the plants. Aphids are sucking insects, ingest the pesticide in the plant juices, and die. The systemic controls Aphids and other sucking insects for eight weeks. I’d suggest the systemic if the other two solutions are not working. Bonide Systemic Insecticide is available at your favorite garden center or at Amazon.

NOTE: Helleborus, also known as the Christmas or Lenten Rose. They’re evergreen perennial, whose bloom looks similar to a rose, and are early bloomers often during the Lenten season. They’re disease and pest-free except for Aphids.

Question:

I have two rose bushes that are too close together. I want to transplant one to the front of my house. When is the best time of the year to move them, and how do I go about digging them up?          

Answer:

  • Roses are easily transplanted from one location to another. Mid-November through March is the best time of the year to move them.
  • Although it’s unnecessary, I’d first give the rose bush its winter pruning before doing anything else. It makes the moves more manageable.
  • Roses have a lot of lateral surface roots that extend beyond the drip line. With a round nose shovel, you sever these lateral roots by making a circle around the bush. You may need to use a pair of loppers or hand shears on some larger roots.
    • Next, use the shovel to lift the root ball upward, forward, and sideways to cut the lower and other roots as you go. I wouldn’t be overly concerned if you end up bare rooting the bush.
  •  Roses are very resilient and will take lots of abuse. You could temporarily place the bush in a container if its new home isn’t ready.  A rose bush can stay in this type of container for many months if needed.