Tuesday, April 12, 2011

The Rise and Fall of caring Petunia...

Still very much have the neophyte greenthumb tacked over the little potted gardening I've started at home as another potted petunia starts to get sick. 
I see these white stuff clinging stem and leaves. Aphids? Anyway, went to Mr. Google and found this article.  Trial and error, I go. 
White Aphids

One of the most rewarding sides to gardening is enjoying beautifully colored blooms in the springtime. This joy can be dampened, however, if our plants and flowers are host to hordes of white aphids, insects that if not controlled can wreak havoc in our garden.

White aphids are small insects, the size of a tomato seed, that feed on the sap of almost every ornamental plant in our gardens. Plants prone to aphid attacks are roses, tulips, hydrangeas and, in general, any garden plant with tender green branches, since it is there that they find feeding easier. White aphids start growing in number at the beginning of spring, when the warmer temperatures become ideal for their growth and development. If not controlled, their constant sucking can cause plants to weaken. Flowers will fall off and the plant will turn yellow. White aphids also release a white sugary substance that sticks to the leaves of the plants. Overtime, this white substance allows mold to grow, which causes leaves to turn black. Photosynthesis becomes impossible, and the plants turn yellow and die. It is therefore important to be aware of the symptoms they can exhibit and be ready to act right away.

White aphids are quite easy to control. If the infestation is not so severe, a jet of water straight from the garden hose will cause them to fall off the plant and get stuck in the mud underneath it. If you try out this option, you should run a weekly check afterwards to ensure they do not reappear, since some insects may survive.

You will also notice that white aphids tend to gather at the tips of tender branches, where vegetable growth is greener and tender. A possible solution is to clip the tips of your plants and make sure to throw them away instantly so that the aphids do not return to your garden. This may not be desirable, however, if your plants are about to bloom. In that case, try any of the options listed below.

To get rid of them completely, you can make use of a chemical pesticide. This is not a good option, however, if you are growing an organic garden, or if the aphids appear in plants for consumption. If this is the case, there are natural treatments that you can try. The first one is to introduce in the aphid-ridden plants some ladybugs. Yes, ladybugs feed on aphids, as do many other garden beneficial insects, like lacewings. This is the most natural option to regain control of your garden. Another possibility to get rid of those white aphids is to prepare a solution with garlic alcohol and water. Spray the solution over the affected plants and the aphids will disappear in a matter of hours. Carry out this treatment preventively every week or fortnight, and you will see that white aphids do not come back.

Do not allow white aphids to ruin your plants. Try any of the solutions provided above and you will be able to enjoy an aphid-free garden this spring!

Author Patricia Wainwright Resource: Get all the facts about pest and disease and gardening articles at GreenThumbArticles.com!      

Article Source: White Aphids


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