Aphid Invasion

September 25, 2012 Gardening Gals Uncategorized

Many gardens we have visited lately have had an invasion of aphids on their roses.  Aphids are tiny suck sapping insects about 1 – 2mm long that appear when the weather warms up.

They eat developing shoots and flower buds by piercing the plant’s surface and sucking out the plant’s juices, which can result in deformed buds, flower loss and even defoliation.

They do not just attack roses and they like both indoor and outdoor plants. Aphid damage does not usually kill plants but the insects can transmit diseases as they feed.

There are organic ways to treat aphids including squishing them, squirting them with a strong stream of water and companion planting to attract insects that are natural predators to the aphid.

To attract beneficial insects for aphid control, try planting the following:

  • Ladybirds – Dill, Coriander, Fennel, Marigold, Tansy, Dandelion
  • Hoverflies – Dill, Coriander, Lavender, Lobelia, Alyssum, Lemon Balm, Spearmint, Parsley, Marigold, Zinnia, Sunflower
  • Lacewings – Dill, Coriander, Fennel, Sunflower, Dandelion

There are also many plants that aphids find distasteful and may actually help to repel them from the garden.  Try growing these around plants that frequently experience attacks by aphids:

  • Aniseed
  • Coriander
  • Garlic
  • Nasturtium
  • Onion
  • Spearmint

You can always spray for aphids using commercial or home made sprays but unfortunately these are non specific and will kill natural predators too.

The best way to control aphids in your garden is to build up the health of your plants by feeding, mulching and watering appropriately.  Happy, healthy plants are more resistant to pests.  So sit back and let nature do the work for you!

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