Succulent Control Pest: How To Get Rid Of Aphids Naturally + Natural Aphid Spray Recipe
How To Get Rid Of Aphids
Here in New Orleans the winters are mild and spring starts early, which mean we have a really, really REALLY long bug season- including APHIDS! Since my succulents stay outside year-around they're exposed to whatever happens to be in the area.
So far I've had it pretty easy when it comes to aphid infestations, but I still have to stay on top of them because they can have a population explosion in what seems like overnight. There are a few things I do to get rid of them and keep population under control:
#1 Prune! Prune! Prune!
Probable one of the most underrated and most important plant care practices. Pruning plants is more of a preventative measure for keep aphids in check. Overgrown plants provide plenty of little hiding places for
Thinning out overgrowth, removing pups when they're ready, removing spent leaves, and clearing debris from around the plant limit options where pest like aphids can hide. New growth is also a favorite of aphids. You'll often see them hanging around tender new growth and flowers, so be sure to check these areas regularly.
#2 Watch Out For Ants
This afternoon i was watering my little babies and I noticed an ant crawling around frantically on my String Of Pearls. Innocent enough, right?! Nope, when I took a closer look I could see this ant was farming aphids.
Aphids and ants typically go hand-in-hand. Aphids release honeydew which ants use as a food source. They move the aphids around the plant and protect them from predators. So anytime you see ants hanging around your plants, it's a good idea to check for aphids.
Finding the source of the ants is really important in controlling aphids. Sometimes, small colonies of ants will make their home in your potted succulents. When this happens, repotting the plant will remove the ant problem without the use of harsh chemicals. If the ants haven't made their way into the pot, move the pot away from the ant problem and deal with the ants however you like.
#3 Water Power
When it comes to actually removing aphids from your succulents, spraying the aphids with a strong stream of water can be very effective. This will dislodge them from the plant. Pretty simple, right?! This method works great, but you do have to thoroughly check the plant to make sure you don't miss any aphids hiding in any crevices. You will have to continue to check the plant for reemerging aphids. Whenever I check my plants, I usually have a spray bottle with me to get rid of any aphids I come across.
#4 Soapy Water
During aphid season, populations can explode despite the best of efforts. For more severe aphid cases, diluting a mild natural soap with water can kill them. It usually take a few applications to completely get rid to them. When using anything on your plants that isn't water, ALWAYS TEST the spray on a single leaf to see how the plant reacts and to make sure it won't damage your plant. Once you're sure the spray is safe for the plant, start spraying the aphids. I usually hold the plant at an angle so the soapy water doesn't go into the soil (not necessary, just a personal
Here's the recipe I use for aphid spray:
DIY Aphid Spray:
- I tsp Castile Soap
- 4 cups water
- spray bottle
- Mix soap and water together in spray bottle and spray on aphids
My favorite method so far because it feels like I have pets for a few days. Ladybugs have a huge appetite for aphids and are ready to eat as soon as they’re released from the package. A lot of garden supply stores sell ladybugs around spring.
The good thing about ladybugs is they’re very effective. The bad thing is they only work if they stick around. The have wings and are ready to use them! Whenever I use ladybugs I put my succulents in a butterfly terrarium and then release them. Within a few days the ladybugs eat the aphids and any other little pests on your plants. Pretty cool!Well, that’s it! That’s how I get rid of aphids on my succulents. I hope it was helpful. I’m curious how you guys deal with aphids. Leave a comment and let me know.