Wednesday, March 2, 2011

War of the Aphids

I have two indoor mini rose plants.  I have been determined to keep them alive, mainly because the person who gifted them to me over a year ago stated that he did not believe I could keep them thriving.  Them there's fightin' words, Buddy! 

I have recently ordered a new, more spacious pot to re-pot them together with some delicious Miracle-Gro for their dining pleasure.

We have a loving bond, these beauties and I.

Which is why it hurts me so that aphids are trying to develop a rather destructive relationship with my little Rosies.

Battle One:  I tried running lukewarm water over the Rosies and gently rubbing each stem to clear the pests, promptly squishing them between my thumb and index finger.  This did practically no good.  I swear the squished remains sprout back into five more pests!

Battle Two: I tried the home remedy of warm water and soap.  I accidentally didn't wash off enough of the soap and practically killed the Rosies sans help of the aphids.  That did the trick for a little while - the Rosies even grew back healthier and more full than ever.

Battle Three: I found four aphidinators - clearly the soap-resistant strain.  I sprayed the Rosies down and then sprinkled cayenne pepper all over them.  This seems to be working (kill aphids, not kill Rosies) for the time being.

Any advice for my Great Aphid War?


Unknown said...

I've heard that garlic oil helps.

Anonymous said...

Your best bet is probably Ladybugs. Since aphids are their preferred diet, I would guess the population would decrease significantly.

I could only find them in big batches, but maybe a local store would be able to supply you a smaller batch.

miss kristen said...

Lady bugs are always a good bet but I found these remedies too:

Carnation Nonfat Dry Milk: Mix Carnation Milk Mix with water according to instructions on the box. Fill a trigger spray bottle with the solution. The aphids get stuck in the milky residue as it dries on the plants

Real Lemon: Mix 4 tsp. Real Lemon Juice and two cups water in a trigger spray bottle. Spray the mixture on plant leaves being attacked by aphids. The lemonoids in the lemon oil kill the aphids.

Tang: Mix 4 tsp. Tang drink mix and two cups of water in a 16 oz. trigger spray bottle. Spray the mixture on the plant leaves being attacked by aphids. The lemonoids in the mix kill the aphids.

Tabasco Sauce: Mix two tsp. of Tabasco sauce, two tsp. garlic powder, one tsp. Ivory Liquid Dishwashing Soap and 2 cups water. Fill a 16 oz trigger spray bottle with mixture and coat the leaves of the plant with the solution. This will repel the aphids.

Good luck

miss kristen said...

but I would test a small area before you spray the whole plant to make sure it won't hurt it...

Jon said...

Haha! Can you imagine how Conor would react to ladybugs in the house? Hahaha!

Sheldon said...

It would be kind of fun to have a bunch of lady bugs in your place!

The recipe I've used before is:
2-3 tablespoons of cayenne pepper powder soaked in 1 cup of hot water for a couple of hours. Strain the solution, add it to a spray bottle with 2 cups of vegetable oil, and 3 tablespoons of dish soap.

Spray on plants! Works pretty well :)

Anonymous said...

Try a mix of 1 part rubbing alcohol to one part water in a spray bottle and mist the plant each day. The alcohol kills the bugs, but evaporates too quickly to hurt the plant. I've fought the battle with spider mites on my precious Plumeria plants from Hawaii and it's the only thing that has actually worked!

Aphids are evil little creatures and I'm not sure if anything can kill them (and their wretched eggs) but it's worth a try! Otherwise, keep them alive until spring and plant them outside to live, they may have a better chance in the great outdoors with the lady bugs and praying mantis to help them out.