Aphids on succukents are a problem that can happen due to various reasons. The important thing is to catch the infestation early so that you can salvage your plants.
In this article, we’ll look into several possible causes of aphids on your succulents and provide you with the appropriate solutions to help you destroy them before they spread. Read on as we get more detail about what causes an aphid Infestation and how to get rid of them.
- What Reasons Can Cause Aphids on Succulents?
- What Are Solutions to Aphids on Succulents Problems?
What Reasons Can Cause Aphids on Succulents?
The reasons that can cause aphids on succulents are improper air circulation and the absence of natural predators around. They can also come from overwatering the plant or causing it to be stressed, placing contaminated plants around, or having infected soil, excessive fertilization, and overcrowding the plant.
– Improper Air Circulation
Aphids will thrive in humid areas with little ventilation, and when the soil is compact, with no circulation, it will increase the chances of having these pests, and this is because it is the ideal breeding ground for them. Keeping your succulents in poorly ventilated spaces means you’re begging for an attack from these pests. As with all plants, succulents require adequate air circulation to thrive.
While these plants are hardy and less fussy than other plants, their minimum care requirements still include adequate air circulation. They thrive in conditions that are dry, and when there isn’t the proper air for the pests to stay away, so they come and start to increase. The absence of proper ventilation gives room for annoying and devastating pests like aphids to attack.
– Absence of Natural Predators
If your garden, especially outdoors, has an abundance of succulents without any natural predators, your plants will be more susceptible to an infestation. Insects like ladybugs, parasitic wasps, and lacewings are natural predators that are harmless to succulents but do an excellent job of keeping pestering pests like aphids away.
These insect predators keep a check on aphids and other pests by feeding on them. If your garden lacks these beneficial insects, an aphid infestation will be more likely to occur. When there is the absence, what happens is that these pests start to multiply, and in the long run, they will freely infest.
Overwatering is one condition that causes a myriad of problems if it persists, the most devastating being an aphid infestation, and for this, you must also keep in mind that aphids are one of the many pests that love succulents. They enjoy living and feeding on succulent plants; if left unchecked, their effects on your garden will be devastating. In addition, you should note that the pests would find the medium a great one to increase, and the humidity would let them develop further and to shelter within the soil with all ease.
While succulents can tolerate dry conditions, overwatering can cause severe problems for them. When you overwater your succulent plants, the potting mix will become constantly wet or waterlogged, leading to root rot, which creates the perfect environment for aphids to survive.
Overwatering will also weaken your plants’ defenses, making them more susceptible to an aphid Infestation, and this way, you will see them growing in a larger number. The excessive moisture from overwatering can also draw other insects that aphids feed on, further boosting the aphid population.
– Plant Stress
Specific conditions such as sufficient sunlight, well-draining soils, and limited water supply are necessary for succulent plants to thrive. If your garden doesn’t meet any of these conditions, your succulents are more likely to become weakened and stressed, making them easily vulnerable to an aphid invasion.
Poor plant care practices like waterlogged soils, excessive watering, and insufficient sunlight can weaken your succulents and attract aphids, and this is when the matter is more triggering and accessible for them, so as a result, they begin to infest, lay eggs and grow. You must also keep in mind that stress can also happen when you transplant your succulents. This weakens their defenses against pests like aphids, which will always take advantage of your plant’s vulnerability.
– Contaminated Plants or Infected Soils
Purchasing new soil and plants for your garden is ideal. However, it can come with many risks if you don’t inspect your new purchases for pests, and when you don’t check in the right way, they may have laid eggs that were hidden, and so this is why you would suddenly see them taking overe.
Aphids can spread in your garden through contaminated soils or plants, infesting the healthy succulents in your garden. As a result, it’s important to properly inspect your new purchases before introducing them into your garden.
While fertilization is beneficial for your succulents, doing it excessively can cause more harm than good. Aside from all the other adverse effects of over-fertilization, overuse of fertilizers high in nitrogen can cause excessive plant growth, making your succulents more alluring to aphids.
Whether or not your plants will be susceptible to aphids depends on the little things you do or don’t do. As a result, it’s important to adhere to the suggested fertilizer application guidelines for succulents to prevent encouraging aphid infestations.
Be careful with placing your succulents too closely together, as this can foster an aphid infestation. Jam-packed plants make it easier for aphids to jump from one plant to another and spread, quickly taking over your garden. Also, when plants are closely packed together, proper ventilation is constrained, which gives aphids the perfect breeding ground.
What Are Solutions to Aphids on Succulents Problems?
The solutions to aphids on succulents are first to inspect the newly brought plant thoroughly and aerate the soil and surrounding. Then, bring natural predators around the plant, schedule the irrigation, try to reduce the plant’s stress, aim for proper fertilization, and leave space between the plants.
– Inspect the Newly Brought Plant
The first thing you should do when you purchase new plants or potting soils is to inspect them for pests, as they are tiny pests, usually one-tenth of an inch in size, and they vary in size and color, including pink, green, yellow, or black. Some species are winged, while others are not, and typically grow wings when their population becomes too dense.
These pests are typically soft-bodied, and you will also notice them in clusters, typically on the underside of leaves. This is why it is important that you would give your time and try to check in a thorough way and try to inspect and quarantine the plant if the case is likely.
Only when you are satisfied that there are no pests on them should you consider adding them to your garden. Ensure to inspect your new plant properly, especially around tight corners and the underside of the plant leaves, as these are the perfect hiding spots for aphids. If you notice aphids on your new plants, you can treat them with a few drops of dish soap or insecticidal soap spray.
– Aerate the Soil
The aim is to make your plant’s environment as weakly conducive as possible for aphids to survive. To do this, you need to ensure proper air circulation and ventilation for your succulents, and when there is proper aeration, and not humidity caused by the plant, you will see a greater change and how they won’t come near the plant to grow.
This is less of a concern in outdoor spaces, but if you’re growing these plants indoors, you should ensure they have ventilation access. You can do this by placing fans close to them or by moving them to a place with more ventilation.
This is primarily a preventive measure, so for this, if you notice a light infestation, it’s crucial to act quickly. You should inspect your plants regularly and remove any heavily infested succulent leaves or stems. Isolating affected plants can prevent the aphids from spreading to healthy succulents.
– Bring In Natural Predators
The easiest way to fix this is to introduce natural predators of aphids into your garden. Using insects like ladybugs, lacewings, and parasitic wasps is a natural method of pest control.
These insects are beneficial and will kill aphids for food, keeping their population in check. You can buy these insects online or at a local garden center, and when you bring some of them, they will grow, and eat the aphids with all ease.
– Schedule the Irrigation
As previously mentioned, overwatering will create a conducive environment for aphids to thrive. To combat this, you will need first to reduce your watering frequency. If you’re already dealing with an infestation, the next step will be to isolate the affected plants.
If the infestation is severe, you might eventually need to replace your plant’s soil and treat the new soil with diatomaceous earth in case there are any pests left around the roots of your plants. Another way to treat an already-infested succulent is by using rubbing alcohol and this would easily tackle them.
Applying rubbing alcohol to the affected areas, particularly the underside of leaves, will get rid of these pests quickly. You can also use an alcohol spray to get to the difficult-to-reach areas of your succulents. After this, you should go ahead and reschedule the irrigation, and in short, you will see that the plant is looking better, and it is also thriving in a consistent way.
– Reduce The Plant’s Stress
To prevent your succulents from getting stressed, you must ensure you provide them with adequate care requirements, including sufficient sunlight, proper ventilation, and well-draining soils. This will reduce their susceptibility to an aphid attack, and as you keep it tidy, it will make things easier for you and harder for the pests to increase.
Vinegar and water solution will get rid of small aphid infestations; on the other hand, it is less effective against large infestations. Hence, it’s not a fool-proof solution for an aphid attack on your plants. This is why, when you aim to tackle them, you will see that this will be a way to reduce stress.
In addition, you can also try to repot your succulents, and it’s also important to allow them to acclimatize properly while giving them the adequate care requirements, to reduce the risk of an aphid infestation. You can also use oils like horticultural ones such as Neem oil to repel and kill these pests if they’re already present on your plants.
While neem oil acts as a repellent, it also works against a large aphid infestation by disrupting their normal feeding and reproductive cycle. All you need to do is dilute the oil per instructions and apply it to the affected areas of your succulents.
– Proper Fertilization
Make sure to give your succulents the recommended amount of fertilizer within the recommended time frame to discourage an aphid infestation. If you’re already dealing with an infestation as a result of this, you can treat the affected plants with isopropyl alcohol or succulent insecticides to destroy them.
– Leave Space in Between Plants
Adequate spacing between succulents allows for better air circulation and reduces the likelihood of aphid infestations. So, when planting succulents indoors or outdoors, leave adequate spacing between plants to avoid overcrowding.
This also helps to slow the quick spread of these pests from one plant to another. You can employ the use of pyrethrum-based pesticides to aid in killing and repelling aphids if you notice an early Infestation.
One common homemade remedy for aphids and many other insect pests is a mixture of soap and water. The simplest way to make this is by diluting a few teaspoons of liquid dish or insecticidal soap in a pint of water. Once you have this mixture, you can apply it directly to the affected plants by spraying it with a spraying bottle.
Aphids are a common problem for many plants, including succulents, and now, you should keep the following in mind when you’re dealing with these pests:
- Aphids thrive in humid areas with little ventilation.
- The feeding action of natural predators like ladybugs, parasitic wasps, and lacewings can control an aphid infestation.
- Overwatering creates several problems, including weakening your plant’s defenses, which will make it easier for aphids to attack.
- You should always inspect new plants and freshly bought soils for insect pests so you don’t accidentally introduce them to your garden.
- You need to be careful with fertilizer application and stick to the recommended dosage to discourage an aphid infestation.
If you grow succulents, aphids will pay your plants a visit at one point, and while a small aphid infestation is not a big worry, it’s important to deal with them very early to prevent their spread. With everything discussed in the article above, you should know what to look out for and how to eliminate these annoying pests.
- 25 Kalanchoe Types and Colorful Varieties for Your Garden - October 3, 2023
- 17 Hawaiian Flowers That Grow and Thrive in the Hot Summer - October 2, 2023
- Watering a Poinsettia and How is it Done Correctly? - September 30, 2023