Rose leafhopper

Rose leafhopper can cause a course pale mottling to the leaves of roses and some other related plants.

Rose leafhopper ( Edwardsiana rosae ) on rose

Rose leafhopper (Edwardsiana rosae) on rose

Quick facts

Common name: Rose leafhopper
Scientific name: Edwardsiana rosae
Plants affected: Wild and cultivated roses as well as various other rosaceous trees and shrubs such as hawthorn and rowan
Main symptom: Pale mottling on foliage
Most active: May-September

What is rose leafhopper?

Leafhoppers are small sap-feeding insects that feed on the undersides of leaves often causing a place mottling. Rose leafhopper adults are pale yellow adult insects are 3.5-4mm long and sit with their wings folded back over their bodies. When disturbed, they readily jump and fly short distances.

Symptoms

Pale, coarse, mottling is seen on the upper leaf surface of roses. Over time, the mottled area can expand leaving foliage looking blanched. Heavy infestations can cause leaves to turn brown and fall prematurely.

Control

Although unsightly roses are usually able to withstand heavy attacks and control is not always necessary.

Non-chemical control

There are no non-chemical control methods.

Chemical control

  • To prevent damage plants should be sprayed in spring
  • Two or three applications of insecticide may be necessary since leafhopper eggs are not readily controlled with pesticides
  • Contact pyrethroid insecticides such as natural pyrethrum (considered organic e.g. Defenders Bug Killer, Ecofective Bug Killer (also contains fatty acids)) or synthetic types such as deltamethrin (e.g. Sprayday Greenfly Killer), lambda-cyhalothrin (e.g. Westland Resolva Bug Killer) and cypermethrin (e.g. Py Bug Killer) should give some control
  • The systemic neonicotinoid  insecticide acetamiprid (e.g. Bug Clear Ultra) can also be used
  • Plants in flower should not be sprayed due to the danger to pollinating insects
  • Inclusion of a pesticide product does not indicate a recommendation or endorsement by the RHS. It is a list of products currently available to the home gardener

Download
Pesticides for gardeners (Adobe Acrobat pdf document outlining pesticides available to gardeners)

Biology

Rose leafhopper overwinters as eggs inserted in the leaves and young shoots which hatch in May. The creamy white immature stages, known as nymphs, then begin to feed on the lower leaf surface. They reach the adult stage in July and lay eggs which hatch to produce a second generation.

Overwintering eggs are laid in the autumn but in mild areas the adults may persist until late winter. Roses growing in warm sheltered positions are particularly at risk of attack.


Gardeners' calendar

Advice from the RHS

Find out what to do this month with our gardeners' calendar

Advice from the RHS

Did you find the advice you needed?

RHS members can get exclusive individual advice from the RHS Gardening Advice team.

Join the RHS now

Get involved

We're a UK charity established to share the best in gardening. We want to enrich everyone's life through plants, and make the UK a greener and more beautiful place.