Trap Plants For Aphids: Plants That Repel Aphids In The Garden
By: Liz Baessler
Among all the insects that can prey on your garden, aphids are some of the most common, and also some of the worst. Not only do they harm your plant and spread easily, they’re just plain gross. Fortunately, controlling aphids with plants is an easy and effective practice that anyone can do. Keep reading to learn more about plants that naturally repel aphids as well as trap plants for aphids.
Plants That Naturally Repel Aphids
While some plants seem to draw aphids out of nowhere, there are plenty of plants that repel aphids. These include plants in the allium family, such as garlic, chives, and leeks.
Marigolds, known for being able to drive away all kinds of pests, have a scent that keeps aphids far away.
Catnip, known for attracting cats, also has a way of repelling most other pests, aphids included. Some other fragrant herbs, such as fennel, dill, and cilantro are also known to deter aphids.
Scatter any or all of these plants that repel aphids throughout your garden, planting them especially close to plants that tend to suffer from them.
Trap Plants for Aphids
While there are some plants that naturally repel aphids, some others are known to attract them. These are called trap plants for aphids, and they can be just as useful. They draw aphids away from other, more delicate plants and concentrate them in one place that can be sprayed or just plain removed.
Just make sure not to plant them too close to your valuable plants or the aphids might travel. Some good trap plants for aphids are nasturtiums and sunflowers. Sunflowers are so big and strong that they can take a real hit from aphids without suffering any damage.
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Annoying Aphids: All About Aphididae And How To Get Rid of Them
Oh, do I ever hate aphids. These little pesky insects suck the life out of my plants (quite literally!), and wherever they go, they bring plant destruction in their wake. Their presence causes even more disastrous problems to occur to my garden.
But there’s a way to eliminate aphids from your landscape, and by keeping on top of the problem, you can keep them away for years to come. Today, I’ll tell you everything you need to know about these tiny pests, how to treat problems that they cause, and how to get them out of your garden for good!
Listen to this post on the Epic Gardening Podcast
Best Solutions for Aphid Control:
Environmental Control Options:
- Parasitic wasps
- Insect houses
To Prevent Aphids, Use:
- Neem oil
- Diatomaceous earth
What are aphids anyway?
These small pests have pear shaped bodies, ranging in color from light neon green to dark green and brown. They have soft bodies and suck plant juices from infested plants, causing them to wither and ail. Singly, small aphids are difficult to spot. When a plant becomes infested, you’ll easily spot them, usually covering the tender new shoots of garden plants and orchard trees.
Natural aphid control
Sometimes a strong stream of water is enough to blast aphids from an infested plant. If you have a larger invasion you can whip up a batch of homemade garden bug spray. I don’t have my recipe here on the site (yet) but here are a few others to check out:
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- Organic Bug Repellant [Little House in the Suburbs]
- Natural Garden Pest Control [Weed ’em and Reap]
- Homemade Insecticidal Soap [Five Little Homesteaders]
- Organic Bug Spray [The Elliott Homestead]
Another very important aspect of controlling garden pests is to encourage beneficial insects — the kind that will nosh on the bad guys. Aphids are a particular favorite of ladybug larvae. Here’s the catch-22: Even natural sprays can deter natural predators. Spray to kill aphids, and the ladybugs might stay away.
Years ago I was fretting over a serious infestation of aphids on my pluot tree. The poor leaves were just covered and the tree was really looking unhealthy. Just as I was about ready to break down and spray, I happened to be out in the garden with a friend and we spotted something odd.
Little yellow things on the underside of the leaves alongside the aphids. I did some research and discovered that those little yellow things were ladybug eggs! Mother Nature doing her thang, right there in my backyard.
It wasn’t long before we spotted lots of ladybug larvae (photo above) munching on the aphids, and the problem ultimately resolved itself very quickly. If I had gotten involved, it might have resulted in a very different outcome.
Natural Aphid Spray Recipes
If you have already witnessed the establishment of aphids in the garden, you can spray the plants with these spray recipes, super easy to make. Such household remedies for aphids have the advantage that they are harmless and organic.
Keep in mind that these spray recipes may not work like chemical pesticides and require regular and frequent application.
Garlic is a strong pest resistant. To make a garlic aphid killer, put 100 g of crushed garlic cloves in 1 gallon of water and leave that for 24 hours. Next day, boil it for 20 minutes for decoction. Fill the liquid in the sprayer for use, when it cools up.
Shred 100 g onions and mix it in 2 gallons of water. Cook it up for 30 minutes. Use it without dilution it can also be used against fungal diseases. *Extracted spray recipes should be used within a day.
Dandelion is not just a weed there are many medicinal properties in the plant that makes it useful. It can kill aphids too. Bring 400 g (0.8 pounds) of dandelion leaves and pour 10 liters of water in it. Leave it for at least 3 hours and spray this on affected plants, soaking deeply.
You can use stinging nettle to make an anti-aphid spray. But take care to wear gloves while picking its leaves as it can cause stinging pain and itchiness if you’re sensitive to it.
Pick up 1 kg (2.2 pounds) of leaves from a plant that is not flowering, pour 10 liters of water and leave that for 24 hours. Use it without dilution next day on plants, spraying thoroughly.
Another effective method to use nettle: Harvest 1 kg (2.2 pounds) leaves and pour 2 gallons of water on it. Leave this to ferment for two to three weeks until it becomes clear brown. Use that to kill aphids, mix 1 part of the solution in 7 part water and spray it on plants. Store the remaining solution you can use it within a month.
Read more about natural pesticides
Natural Homemade Aphid Killer Recipes
Soap And Water
A combination of liquid soap and water can do a lot of damage to aphids. It is simple to make and anyone can do it.
All you will need is a few tablespoons of mild liquid soap and about a pint of water.
Pour a pint of water into a container and add a few tablespoons of liquid soap. Mix the combination thoroughly until they are well blended then pour into a spray bottle.
When your mixture is ready and bottled, grab a sponge, and then you can proceed to head out into your garden.
You may wonder what the sponge is for. You’ll find out soon enough.
It’ll be a big mistake spraying indiscriminately across the leaves of your garden plants, but doing so will mean you’ll kill the beneficial insects in your garden along with the harmful aphids.
The best way to apply the soap and water mixture is to spray some of it on the sponge and gently wipe it across the leaves of the affected plants.
As you wipe, be sure to check under the leaves, just in case aphid eggs and larvae are finding there. Wipe those off too.
A combination of vinegar and Castile soap is a lethal weapon against aphids.
Castile soap can be used for many purposes. It is a vegetable-based liquid soap with its main ingredients being mineral oil and olive oil.
Combining Castile soap and vinegar with water, you can make a DIY aphid killer.
The good thing about vinegar is that it can also act as a repellant, who prevents the aphids or other insect pests from returning.
Vinegar Aphid Spray Recipe
- 1 tablespoon Castile soap
- 1 tablespoon white vinegar
- 1 gallon of water
After you have mixed the ingredients in a container, you can pour it into a spray bottle and visit your garden with it. Spray across the affected leaves and stems to kill the aphids.
Neem oil is one of the most powerful organic substances you can use to win the fight against aphids. It is derived from the seeds of the Neem tree and it has devastating effects on insect pests, aphids inclusive.
All you have to do is mix some neem oil with a few drops of mild liquid dish soap and some water.
Stir thoroughly to make sure it is well blended in then pour it into a spray bottle. Go to each of the affected plants and apply them to the leaves and stems.
Search for the eggs and larvae that may be hiding under the leaves of the plants and wipe them off too.
Neem Oil Based Aphid Spray Recipe
- 1 tablespoon of neem oil
- 1/3 tablespoon of liquid dish soap
- 5 cups of water
You can also use a garden hose to spray across your plants. You can place your fingers at the tip of the hose to create a mist spraying effect.
Another advantage of using neem oil is that it doesn’t have any harmful effects on beneficial insects, just the harmful pests.
As far as aromatherapy goes, essential oils have always been constantly used. But that isn’t all that it’s good for, it can also be combined in several ways to get rid of aphids and other insect pests.
Using a mixture of thyme, peppermint, cloves, and rosemary oils, you can whip up a highly potent pesticide that will annihilate aphids in an instant. The great thing about this combination is that it can also repel them and keep them from coming back.
Keep in mind though, peppermint oils can be very toxic to cats, so if you have one, you may one to skip this combination and try something else. Other than that, you’re good to go.
Tomato Leaf Spray
Tomato leaves contain a toxic compound called alkaloids, and you can use this to fight against aphids.
All you need to do is chop them up, soak in water overnight, drain and dilute with water, pour in a spray bottle, and head over to your garden. This is a simple but potent aphid killer.
If you’re allergic to tomatoes, then do not attempt to make this spray as it will also affect you. However, if you’re fine with it, then make as much as you need to treat the aphid infestation in your garden.
Besides those who are allergic to tomatoes, this tomato remedy is not dangerous to humans, animals, or plants.
Take the spray bottle to your garden and apply directly on the leaves, beneath them, and around the stems to get rid of aphids.
Garlic Oil Spray
Garlic is one of the most potent organic foods you can use to kill and repel pretty much any insect pest. It contains sulfur that these pests find extremely toxic and they cannot stand being around it.
The major disadvantage with garlic is that it can also kill beneficial insects such as ladybugs, so you need to be careful when you apply. Better still, only use the garlic-based pesticide if you have no ladybugs in your garden.
Garlic Oil Natural Aphid Killer Recipe
- Several cloves of garlic, minced
- 4 teaspoons of vegetable oil
- 1 pint of water
- 1 teaspoon dish detergent
- Spray bottle
To prepare, add some cloves of garlic to the vegetable oil and let it sit for about a full day. After 24 hours have elapsed, strain the garlic and add the oil to some water then mix with some dish detergent.
Stir the combination thoroughly so they all blend in nicely then pour into a spray bottle. Visit the affected plants and spray accordingly.
Why Put Organic Aphid Control Methods in Place
You’re already aware of the dangers of synthesized chemicals, especially when used around crops that’ll ultimately be found in your kitchen and on your plate.
You are what you eat, right? So, if you feed your plants mercilessly with chemicals, you affect the fauna and flora in the environment. Soil microorganisms are ruined, beneficial insects are chased off or killed, and you can compromise your own health.
No fearmongering here just plain old facts. Rather than resort to chemicals, it’s best to control aphids naturally.
Why should you not delay in getting rid of them? The cruel destruction mete out to your plants is obvious, but there’s one vital truth gardeners don’t know.
Come closer…I’ll share the secret.
Much like rodents that are carriers of harmful diseases, aphids can transmit viruses to plants. In fact, aphids are the most common bearers or vectors of plant viruses. No worries, I’ll expound a bit more on plant viruses spread by aphids, but in another article.
Now let’s jump back to the elephant in the room. You can control aphids naturally by using the suggestions to follow.
23. Citronella Plant
Mosquitoes hate the smell of the citronella plant. It is a member of the geranium family and resembles spiky ferns.
Simply planting it in your garden is not enough to drive them away however, crushing or touching the leaves will release its oils.
The scent from the oil is what they hate, preventing them from coming near.
This is an extensive list of natural insect repellent plants to consider growing.
These are quite easy to cultivate. If you take the time and plan it correctly, you can have the best companions near each of your plants, dispelling harmful insects and protecting the health of your garden.