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Aphids

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Aphids

Postby RubyTuesday49 » Oct 05, 2012 8:42 pm

I was shocked to see I have a lot of aphids on my varigated iris plants in the front yard!! I have the same plant in the backyard and it has none! I have never seen aphids on my iris before. I'm just curious what you all use to control aphids. I know you can just wash them off - and of course they will be back on quickly. I haven't had aphids this year at all (certainly not noticibly) Would love to hear your Pearls of Wisdom on the subject.
Gardening requires a lot of water - most of it in the form of perspiration.
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Re: Aphids

Postby Drought Smart Plants » Oct 13, 2012 4:39 pm

I usually use Safer's insecticidal soap, but I have also been known to use dish soap, diluted, even using a few drops of salad oil. This year, I had so many issues with aphids on my Sempervivum and mealy bugs on my tender succulents that I started putting quite a large amount of isopropyl alcohol in - and it worked like a charm! Other things to check are ants - if you have an ant colony nearby, they farm the aphids for the honeydew (eww!) and wasps will do the same thing on a smaller scale.

Some people I know swear by using rotonone, which I don't like because of its toxicity to fish (and pigs!) and another thing I've tried is diatomaceous earth. You have to use the really fine kind, which is fairly easy to puff on. Keep in mind the two latter options are somewhat unsightly.
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Re: Aphids

Postby RubyTuesday49 » Oct 13, 2012 9:36 pm

DSP - when you say you put isopropyl alcohol in too - how much do you put in? Do you mean you put it in a spray bottle with some dishwashing detergent and water? I didn't have aphids on any of my other plants this year and it surprised me to find aphids on the varigated iris. (they are in the front boulevard which is now big rocks and smaller gravel ) The varigated iris in the backyard don't have any on them! As you said, it makes you wonder if somewhere there ants - though I never did see any. I wouldn't have thought that aphids would like an iris. Ah well - I will stay on top of it. Let me know about the alcohol. Thanks.

Ruby
Gardening requires a lot of water - most of it in the form of perspiration.
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Re: Aphids

Postby Drought Smart Plants » Oct 20, 2012 12:06 am

Hi Ruby, sorry to take so long getting back to you - computer issues! I broke down and bought a laptop to take over, but now I need a special usb jack gizmo before I can use it online, so my desktop has to limp, very slowly, along for now.

RubyTuesday49 wrote:when you say you put isopropyl alcohol in too - how much do you put in? Do you mean you put it in a spray bottle with some dishwashing detergent and water?
Yep, all in together.

The rubbing alcohol doesn't seem to hurt the plants - test a few out of the way leaves to see before going all out and maybe damaging the whole thing - I found that for about a liter/quart of water, a squirt of dish soap (not detergent) or Safers soap, and about a quarter cup of the alcohol will kill off mealy bugs, which I've battled for years now - it finally looks like I won! Fingers crossed.

Aphids are opportunistic - if the plant is the slightest bit stressed, they'll find it :lol:
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