Any flower gardener with more than just a little experience with plants inevitably encounters aphids. Recognizable immediately by their soft, translucent, pear-shaped bodies and the sticky sap they leave behind, aphids not only harm flowering plants by sucking the juices from them, but also attract a host of other plant problems in the form of diseases that they spread. Many savvy gardeners eschew the pricey aphid insecticides found at garden centers and instead opt for home remedies for ridding flowers of aphids that work just as well at only a fraction of the cost.
Garlic and Organic Oils
A simple mixture of vegetable oil and garlic does the trick as sworn to by many that use home remedies for ridding flowers of aphids. It works by first repelling the tiny insects with its pungent smell and then by the effects of the oil. The oil, being slippery, helps to prevent aphids from climbing up the plant in the first place, and then, when the aphids feed, the oil suffocates them by clogging up their breathing tubes.
Other oils have also proven effective as home remedies for ridding flowers of aphids. Canola oil, for instance, has shown to be irritating to aphids as well as actually changing the surface of the leaves in such a way as to make them unattractive to aphids and other insects.
Herbal teas offer yet one more method of providing the backyard gardener with more home remedies for ridding flowers of aphids. Wormwood, nasturtiums, catnip, feverfew, rue, chives, and marigold are some of the herbs people have been using successfully to curb this persistent pest without spending buckets of money.
To make a potent concoction strong enough to kill aphids, mash two cups of leaves and then pour four cups of boiling water over them. Allow to steep until cool, then strain through cheesecloth. Add another two cups of water, ½ teaspoon of liquid dish soap (to help the mixture stick to plant leaves), stir, and put into a spray bottle.
A Few Final Tips
Home remedies for ridding flowers of aphids provide safe, natural ways to get rid of these pests, but there are some things to keep in mind when using them. Use both oil and herbal sprays when temperatures are below 80 degrees to keep from potentially burning the plants (called phototoxicity). Use even these natural aphid killers and repellants cautiously.
Test on a small part of one plant by applying and leaving for 24 hours to ensure no bad reaction occurs before using on all your plants. Remember that beneficial insects can be killed, too, so apply these home aphid cures with discretion, use only where and when necessary.
And lastly, always protect your skin, eyes, and lungs when using these concoctions. Just because they are homemade does not mean they cannot irritate delicate tissues and your skin. So with that said, go to it and get rid of those aphids while saving some money to boot!