Monday, January 17, 2011

Aphids on Ornamental Peppers!

Insect pests (like aphids) are always frustrating to find on your plants. I've dealt with aphids many times before but I still never like to find them again. Inevitably I do. Aphids are one of the most common insect pests in every garden. If you garden you will eventually find them on one of your plants. I've had them on plants like spirea, hostas, asclepias (butterfly weed), and now my ornamental peppers!

The solution is simple and non-toxic which is great if you have children or pets around. Soapy water! We have a spray bottle that we keep in the kitchen for cleaning up with a little bit of dish soap and a lotta bit of water. I just take the bottle and spray my plant away making sure to cover each leaf thoroughly top and underside. But the aphids will come back! In a few days the aphids will return (not the same ones - the offspring) and I spray again. Aphids have this crazy characteristic of producing live young without mating which means the eggs are already about to hatch inside the stem mother so their return is pretty much assured.

Also this spring when you start to see ants mysteriously exploring your plants check closely because they may be stealthily transporting aphids to your plants!

If you don't have a spray bottle you can take a soapy solution on a paper towel and wipe out those aphids. This may in fact be more effective since you would be removing the dead bodies of the aphids and the baby aphids would not be able to return to that plant.

Have you checked your houseplants lately?

2 comments :

  1. Great Dave...just when we are all dreaming of nice full flowers in the garden you just have to bring this up...and my guara was just smothered in aphids this last summer, seriously, if you bumped into a branch your arm would be covered in them..

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  2. Always like your practical comments. Here with all the snow again today, gardening is only a thought! Can not wait for Spring. If you would like to see the recent snow photos go to; gardensatwaterseast.blogspot.com/ You can see what I have to deal with for now. Beautiful but I am ready to get into the dirt again. Jack

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