Here are some plants that repel aphids. We’ll be looking at some species of herbs and flowers that keep these insects away.
Aphids are teeny tiny pest (the biggest aphid is just ¼ of an inch) with soft bodies, sharp mouths used for sucking the sap out of plants. They are mostly wingless, and they come out in different colors- green, gray, yellow, red, etc.
There are several species of aphids, each for the types of crops that host them. For instance, there are cabbage aphids, melon aphid, bean aphid, potato aphid, etc.
What makes an aphid unique is;
- The speed at which they reproduce; in one season they could breed more than the generation next
- They like to leave proof that they are around by leaving their sticky honeydew poop on plants
Plants That Deter Aphids
You can get rid of aphids in so many ways, but using an aphid resistant plant to repel the pest is a more productive, cost-effective, and risk-free method of deterring the pest biologically.
Using plants to be companions for your vegetables or herbs or food crops that aphid are set to attack will protect the plants and get rid of aphids together. So the companion plants will either attract predators or alter the plant itself so that aphid can stay clear.
You can use aphid resistant plants by;
- Making the plant unwelcoming to aphids
- Planting their predator favorite
- Disguising the host plant’s aroma
The following are the categories of plants that will repel aphids
Planting any member of the allium family next to your roses or any type of plant will help send away aphids.
Researches have had it confirmed that plants with strong odors like onions, garlic, and the rest could deter aphids from your garden or plantation.
Alliums contain Sulphur and allelochemicals, which is an active agent in repelling a lot of pests.
The killer of this wingless pest is that aromas of allium is not only an irritant to aphids but will also affect the behavior and regular reproduction cycle of the repel
The stong scent of this plant or plants belonging to the allium family also affects the behavior of aphids and their reproduction cycle. It is well worth growing alliums as a companion for your crops to repel and control aphids.
Some allium plants you can try out are:
However, if you don’t have the knack for planting any of the above, alternatively, you can make a spray by dicing cloves of garlic into water. Soak the diced garlic into the water for seven days; by that time, the water would be concentrated.
Pour the concentrated water into a spray bottle, and then you can spray on your plants. But make sure that you don’t spray this concentration on hot or sunny days.
Here is another planting trick: once you plant chives among your vegetables, within seven days, the aroma of chives will automatically transfer to the other plants, which will send the aphids on their heels.
Herbal plants can either be uses to attract aphid and then trap them; some can be used to draw their predators while others can be used to send aphids away because of their strong odor. There are a lot of herbs that you can plant to send off aphids from your garden.
The idea of companion planting proves that mixed cropping is the best practice for effective pest management and control. If you have a rose you want to save, try panting any of the following herbs;
- Basil; This herb is not just about the overpowering scent it produces; it is more about the fact that the smell alters the functioning of the olfactory receptors in aphids. It is an excellent companion for your tomato plant, and it’s also easy to grow.
- Rosemary; This plant performs a dual function- it attracts the predators of aphid, which will feed on the pest. It also comes with a strong fragrance that repels aphids but is beneficial to bees and butterflies to your garden.
- Mint; Like some other herbs, it has an overpowering scent. Mint contains oils that are toxic to aphids. This is also a fragrant herb that repels aphids by attracting the pest’s predators like bees and wasps. When this herb is planted, you will need to prune and constantly trim because it is capable of taking over your garden in no time, plus you need to prevent it from bringing seeds. And it’s aroma is capable of taking over the garden in no time.
- Rue; Rue is a hardy plant, which means it can survive the harshest weather. It is also a very bitter plant. Like Rosemary, rue also performs a dual repelling function; it attracts the pest’s predators which will feast on them. It also has a very strong odor and very bitter leaves that send-off aphids.
- Savory; This herb is useful in repelling black bean aphid. It can also attract beneficial insects like bees and butterflies.
Some flowers with very repulsive odor will repel aphids. Flowers like marigold, nasturtiums, sunflowers are companion plants that will repel aphids by attracting their predators or sending the pest away with their strong scent.
For instance, the strong smell of marigold is a strong irritant for aphids, and they stay as far away as they can from marigold.
Flowers like sunflower or even he crape myrtle tree can serve as trap plants because aphids love sunflowers and crape myrtle tree are one of their biggest fascinations.
Below are some of the flowers that can attract aphids and therefore be used as trap plants for aphids. Some flowers attract the pest’s predators while others repel the pest outrightly.
- Sunflower; You can use this flower to trap the whole colony of aphids and get them out of your garden or plantation. This is because sunflowers are broad and strong and will not waiver in the face of aphids’ attack even in their thousands.
- Marigold; The strong aroma of this plant makes it impossible for an aphid to come any close. Apart from their strong smell, the marigold is capable of affecting the other plant by disguising the smell of the other plant such that it becomes an aphid repellent itself. Even at the end of the marigold season, you can keep using the soil to repel aphids and any other unwanted pests in the garden.
- Lavender; This flower can also be used to attract the predators of aphids. Lavender can be a companion plant for your pepper. It will help kick aphids out of your garden with its strong scent and also by attracting the enemies of the pest. This flower attracts insects like bees, wasp, plus a lot of butterflies. It does not only make a garden of beautiful fragrance; it is a durable repellent.
- Nasturtium; This flower works as a trap plant. Aphids love nasturtium, and it is an excellent way of distracting them from your vegetable crops. Nasturtium is an excellent companion plant that will grow well with other plants. To make it useful, you should keep checking the plants for aphids. You can get rid of the pest manually, or you can use the help of a pesticide.
- Catnip; Cats are particularly fond of this flower. It has a strong smell that confuses aphids and therefore repels them. The flowers of catnip help to attract pollinators to the garden, but then you have to be ready to get busy controlling the spread of this plant because it is well capable of spreading out of your control.
Another warning is that you have to make sure cats are not around where you are planting catnips or that you have guarded your garden against cats. Otherwise, you’ll have cats digging up plants and ruining your vegetation
Other companion plants that can repel aphids are;
- Parsley; This plant attracts the enemies of aphids- wasp. Wasps are very useful in cutting down the population of aphids. Parsley helps deal with an infestation, or it can be used to prevent the infestation from starting with.
- Rye; This is a companion plant that will conceal the other plants and thereby makes it difficult for the pest to find their host.
- Spear; If you want to plant rye, you are better off planting it alongside these thistle plants. The reason is that once aphids find it challenging to reach their favorite crops, they will attack rye. But to eradicate them from the garden, you need to prevent them from attacking rye. Spear thistle comes in handy when it grows among the rye plant making it difficult for aphids to live on the rye crops
The plants listed above will do a beautiful job of eradicating the pest naturally for you.
But for some who may not like to do any more planting after you might have carefully arranged your garden, here are some other things to do to control an aphid infestation on your garden
- You can use sticky tapes to trap the. Aphids are often drawn to yellow colors; even their poop is more like the color yellow. You can place the sticky traps at a strategic location; they will get attracted and be trapped on it
- Spraying water directly in the area of infestation will also do the trick. Aphids are tiny insects, and the pressure from spraying water is enough to send them flying away and may even get knocked down. Either way, they will only be gone for a short while.
- You can use soapy water to get rid of them. To use this method, mix dish soap with water and spray it on your plants, and it can be more effective when you dice some garlic in the water and spray on the plants to keep the pest out of your garden
Of all of these methods of eradication, using aphid repellent plants is more effective.