Aphids are a garden and houseplant pest that will produce extensive damage to plants if left uncontrolled. Aphids damage plants by sucking sap, which causes the plant to grow improperly and become misshapen. To search for aphids on your plants, turn the leaves over and check the undersides because this is a favorite hiding place for groups of aphids to cluster together. Kill aphids on flowers with a simple dishwashing soap and water mixture.
Measure 1/2 tbsp. of dishwashing soap into the bucket. Add 1/2 gallon of cool water and mix the soap and water well to create suds. Pour the soapy water into the spray bottle and seal the bottle.
Spray the soapy water onto an inconspicuous area of the affected plants to test the reaction of the plants to the soapy water. Wait for two days to make sure no damage occurs to the plants.
Proceed with spraying the plants that had no adverse reactions to the soapy water. Spray the plants everywhere, including tops and bottoms of all leaves and the flowers.
Spray once per day for three days and assess the aphid population on your plants. Continue spraying if aphids remain or discontinue spraying if the aphids are all gone.
Things You Will Need
- Dishwashing soap
- Spray bottle
- Measuring spoon and cups
- Spray plants in the early morning or late afternoon. This will reduce the possibility of the sun burning the soapy water on the plant foliage.
- Ladybugs are natural predators of aphids. Purchase ladybugs at gardening and home centers.
- Some gardeners set a soapy water trap with a yellow bowl filled with soap water. The aphids are attracted to the color and the soap water will kill the aphids. A downside of this trap is the beneficial insects that will also die in the trap.
- Some plants are very sensitive to soap water. When you are spraying, do not over-spray onto other plants.