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Aphids on Jasmine

Q: I have, indoors, a night-blooming Jasmine which has become infested with aphids. It was doing beautifully until someone gave me another infested plant.

I hesitate to use chemicals on an indoor plant. Do you have any suggestions for non-chemical alternatives that would not harm the plant?

Someone suggested spraying the plant with lemon juice, but had no idea how strong the solution should be. Would this work? If so, should the lemon juice be diluted?

Thanks!

A: There are several products you can use indoors to help control aphids. Home-remedies are trial and error, meaning lots of plants get damaged, or worse, while you try to fine-tune things.

Lemon juice might work, but until you figure out its dilution rate you may end up doing more harm than good, or no good at all.

Instead, I suggest trying insecticidal soaps and/or oils. These can be found at your local garden center or hardware -- even some grocery stores carry some seasonal products. They are relatively benign materials to use, and should work fine against your aphid problem.

Before purchasing any product, read the label to be sure at least the insect you wish to control is listed. It's best if both the insect and the plant they're on are listed as some products can damage certain plants. If you're in doubt, ask questions!

Then, carefully follow the label's directions on how much to apply and how often. More is not better -- in fact, more can actually worsen your problem, so don't overdo it.



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Tom Mugridge




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