One of the worst feelings, is finding out that your indoor plants growing in your AeroGarden have aphids. Seeing those small green specks has you wondering, what can I do? Can I save my plants or do I need to start over?
Take a look at some of the tips below for how to control aphids on your indoor plants. You'll see what aphids are/look like, how they get on your plants, and ways to help and control them.
We get them every now and then in our own Grow Lab, and our team tackles them with lots and lots of ladybugs as well as Dr. Bronner's Soap diluted in water.
What Are Aphids?
These common garden pests are usually green, yellow or black and are very small. You'll typically find them on the underside of leaves and plant stems. They go after a wide variety of plants, from salad greens to veggies to fruit. You may also notice the sticky residue they leave behind, called honeydew (not the melon).
These pests multiply very quickly, with females giving birth to 3-6 live offspring per day. And this population growth is even more pronounced indoors, with no natural inhibitors, like predators and cold weather, around to stop them.
What Are The Signs?
The biggest sign you have aphids are the aphids themselves. But you can also spot their presence by the damage they'll cause. By feasting on young growth, they'll create stunted and disfigured plants in your garden. Like we mentioned above, you can also spot the sticky honeydew the aphids secrete on your plant stems and leaves.
Why Do I Have Aphids Inside?
You are significantly less likely to get aphids when growing indoors, but no environment is completely immune. You may bring in the aphids by moving an outdoor plant inside to protect it from the weather. Or you may carry them in on your clothes or on a pet. Some aphids fly, so they may travel in on the wind through an open door or window.
How Do I Prevent Aphids?
Always start indoor plants from seed, rather than outdoor transplants. You just never know what pests those outdoor plants may be harboring.
Make sure to give your plants enough nutrients and light. Unhealthy plants are more prone to pests and disease, so you want to keep your garden strong.
Many herbs actually repel aphids, so growing plants like mint, chives and dill will be a safeguard.
How Do I Get Rid Of Them?
If the infestation is small, you can simply remove them by hand. Either with your fingers, by pruning the infested plant material or even sticking a piece of tape to the plant and peeling off the aphids.
If your plants are small and immature, you can try removing them from your AeroGarden and rinsing away the aphids under a heavy faucet flow.
For the spray solution we mentioned above, just mix 1 tablespoon of Dr. Bronner's Soap with 1 gallon of water and spray your plants. Make sure you get the underside of the leaves. You could also use a solution of essential oils, mixing 10 drops each of peppermint, thyme, rosemary and clove essential oils with 1 gallon of water.