Aphids on money trees are devastating to your plant’s overall health, leaving terrible traces of their presence behind. The general effects of these insect pests on money trees include leaf damage, stunted growth, and the spread of diseases, to name a few. If you notice any of these, you might want to take a closer look to determine the root cause.
No worries, in this article, we’ll take you through the damages aphids can cause, why they cause them, the ways to your money tree, and how you can effectively treat them.
- What Are the Causes of Having Aphids on Money Tree?
- What Are the Remedies for Aphids on Money Tree?
What Are the Causes of Having Aphids on Money Tree?
The causes of having aphids on money trees are that they become attracted to the diseases of the plants, and also because these trees are a food source for them. Moreover, they would also infest due to secondary pest infestation, and being attracted to the weak plants.
Aphids’ devastating effects on money trees include stunted growth, leaf damage, the spread of diseases, sap depletion, weakened stems, secondary pest invasion, and secondary infections.
Small aphid infestations are not likely to lead to the death of your tree. However, if the infestation is left unchecked, you can lose your tree as a result. It’s best to deal with aphids as soon as you observe them to curb their spread.
The money tree plant is usually sturdy and lush, but pest infestations can generally weaken it. Aphids, in particular, attack money tree leaves, depleting their sap gradually, causing the plant’s growth to become stunted. The feeding action of these pests drains the essential nutrients and energy your plant needs to thrive, which will cause it to appear less lush, and stunted.
– Attracted to Diseases
When aphids begin to grow in numbers and multiply, there’s a very high chance of them spreading diseases or infections from one plant to another. This is something that happens really fast because these insect pests reproduce and multiply quickly.
Aphids act as vectors for many plant diseases. In the process of reproducing and spreading, they may carry viral or bacterial pathogens from one plant to another, potentially infecting money trees. Therefore, besides the other damages aphids inflict on money plants, the diseases or infections they help to spread weaken the trees, leading to more significant damage or even death if they’re left untreated.
– Food Source for Them
Many of the important nutrients and sugars money plants need are contained in their sap. When aphids feed with their piercing and sucking mouths, this is the substance they consume, slowly depleting it over time.
This feeding action depletes the valuable resources necessary for the tree’s growth and development, also weakening and hindering its overall health. With severe aphid infestations, this happens very quickly. You’ll notice your plants looking unhealthy or stunted; they’ll be more prone to getting infected, as their energy levels get depleted.
Due to the way aphids feed, money tree plants’ stems may weaken over time. This is a result of depleted sap and nutrients. What will happen is that you’ll notice that your plants’ stems become distorted, weak, and easy to break. Some stems will even break or bend from the weight of the leaves. When you start to notice this, you need to fish out the culprits and get rid of them as quickly as possible.
– Secondary Pest Invasion
Aphids produce a sugary substance called honeydew when they feed on sap. This honeydew is irresistible to ants and many other insects, as it serves as a food source for many of them. For this reason, when you have an aphid-infested plant, you will most likely notice some other insect pests around your plant, and when this happens, they will start to grow around the plant.
Their primary attraction is honeydew, but insects like ants can cause further damage to your plants by protecting aphids from predators and facilitating their spread. Once you notice ants around your plant, be sure to look out for aphids, as they’re sure to be the primary problem, making the appearance of the ants a secondary infestation; in short, they have a mutually growing environment where they thrive together.
– Attracted To The Weak Plant
When the plant is weak and has diseases such as sooty mold, leaf spot, and powdery mildew, it can cover money tree leaves, and inhibit photosynthesis, further weakening the tree’s health and potentially leading to leaves dropping. Aphids would be attracted to this and would like to come towards them as they infest them.
Aphids’ feeding habits and their honeydew production can create a favorable environment for different bacteria and fungi. These pathogens can colonize the tree, leading to secondary infections, and when the plant becomes weaker, this is the perfect place for them to have shelter.
To feed, aphids have piercing mouth parts that help them penetrate the surface of leaves to get to your plant’s sap. You might not notice anything suspicious as they’re mostly hidden on the underside of leaves. However, the damage they can cause to leaves through this feeding action is substantial. If you’re dealing with a large infestation, you might notice your plant leaves turning brown over time.
Curled, distorted, or yellow leaves indicate that you’re dealing with a severe aphid infestation. While many other common pests like Mealy bugs and Spider mites have similar effects on money tree plants, you need to be wary of aphids.
What Are the Remedies for Aphids on Money Tree?
The remedies for aphids on money trees are to hand-pick them and sanitize the leaves after, and you should also spray some rubbing alcohol on them. You must also try to breed predator pests around them, tackle using insecticidal soap, and lastly, try spreading organic oils.
Many times, it’s best to treat your plants before they get to the point where you can see the effects of an aphid attack. In other words, prevention is better than cure in this case, so it’s best to inspect your plants for any soft-bodied or hard-bodied bugs as regularly as possible.
You should check for small clusters of insects on the stems and underside of the foliage to ensure your plants are pest-free. Early detection allows for prompt action, to prevent the infestation from spreading.
– Hand-pick and Sanitize Around Them
If you notice a few aphids on your plants, they might not do much damage. However, it’s best to eliminate them quickly before they spread, as they can do a number on your plant in large quantities. Once you identify that aphids are the cause of your plant’s leaf damage, you need to find ways to get rid of them quickly, so that the damage doesn’t spread to the rest of the plant.
If you notice only a few of these pests, you can hand-pick and squash them to eliminate them. Make sure you dispose of them and do not leave them around your garden; this is best if the stage is still earlier. However, to be more effective, you can spray the affected areas with water, or wipe them off with a damp cloth. Also, it’s best to remove the damaged leaves to improve your plant’s appearance and prevent unnecessary use of nutrients.
– Spray Rubbing Alcohol
The only way to deal with this is to deal with the root cause, so if the plant has diseases, you will have to be keen on the remedy. When aphids spread and multiply, they have a tendency to carry disease pathogens from unhealthy plants to healthy plants, so when you mix in five parts water with two parts alcohol and a few drops of liquid dish soap, you will target them.
So, your best bet to stop this is to eliminate them completely. First, make sure to adjust the growing conditions of your plants to make the environment less conducive for these pests.
Then, you can remove them by spraying rubbing alcohol on the affected areas to kill them. You can also apply the alcohol to the surface of leaves, using a cloth, to get all the hidden corners the pests may be hiding in.
– Breed Predator Pests
To counter the feeding effects of aphids, which deplete the sap of your plants, you can introduce beneficial insects that prey on them into the surrounding areas. Insects like ladybugs and lacewings will do the job in little time, and completely eradicate all traces of the pests on your plants by feeding on them, as the predators are growing in the surrounding, and finding the aphids as a food source.
You can get these beneficial insects by purchasing them from a local gardening store and releasing them into your garden, or by attracting them by planting nectar-rich flowers nearby. Once you’ve eliminated the aphids, your plants will naturally replenish themselves and return to their naturally lush state.
– Use Insecticidal Soap
Again, as with sap depletion, the key is to get rid of the insect pests. Another method to do this is by using insecticidal soaps and oils. To remove and kill aphids, you can spray these plant-safe insecticidal soaps directly on the affected areas. Once they’re gone, your plants’ stems will grow stronger with time, provided you take the necessary plant care steps.
You must make sure to tackle them because different reasons can lead your plant to become prone to other pests like fungus gnats, spider mites, the mealybug, and scales. The appearance of many of these pests is worrisome, especially when they’re in large quantities. However, there are easy preventive measures you can put in place, so you don’t ever have to worry about these pesky pests.
– Spread Organic Oils
If you have a secondary pest invasion as a result of an aphid infestation, it means the infestation has gotten really bad. It would be best to isolate the affected plants first to prevent further spread.
Then you can deal with the aphids and secondary pests. Horticultural oils like neem oil work great in repelling many pests, including aphids, so you can spray them on your plants and their surroundings. Repeating the oil application process is important until you have no traces of pests left in your money tree plant.
From this article, you’ll notice how significant it is to promptly address aphid infestations and implement appropriate measures to mitigate the damage. The following are some important things to note:
- Other insects like ants, will infest your aphid tree as a result of the sweet honeydew aphids produce.
- You can get rid of bugs using various methods, some of which include hand-picking, applying alcohol, horticultural oils, insecticidal soaps
- The honeydew produced by aphids can cause secondary infections like mold, mildew, and spots on leaves.
- A weak money tree is more susceptible to an aphid infestation because of its weak defenses.
- Biological predators such as ladybugs and lacewings can help get rid of an aphid population quickly by feeding them.
Regular monitoring, proper care, and early intervention can help maintain the health and vitality of money trees.
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