The very concept of plants that have different varieties and flowers is very fascinating, well the petunias are one of such beautiful plants.
The petunias are very easy to grow both indoors and outdoors.
They have different flowers with vibrant colours that produce exotic scents when they bloom. Like all flowering plants, petunias attract not just humans but insects, and sometimes these insects are pests that can cause harm to these plants.
Pests like aphids are also attracted to petunias but unfortunately, they cause harm to these plants, aphids are small-bodied insects that attach themselves to the sticky leaves of petunias and multiply causing harm to the plants.
Most likely we would want to get rid of these aphids on your petunias; we’ll not worry because in this article we are going to discuss how we can get rid of aphids on petunias.
Signs Of Aphids On Petunias
To get rid of aphids on petunias we first need to understand the signs and symptoms of aphids.
1. Stunted Growth
When aphids feed on petunias they suck the sap which makes the leaves curl and turn yellow this will alter the plant growth rate.
They also release a sticky material known as honeydew that lures the mould fungus which will prevent the petunias plant from developing well leading to stunted growth.
2. Curling Of Leaves
This Is often caused by a lack of liquid in the leaves especially when aphids suck the sap. Curling can also be caused when leaves stick on the honeydew produced by aphids. Curling of leaves will lead to stunted growth of petunias.
3. Yellowing Of Leaves
Aphids suck on the sap of the petunias leaves, when there is a lack of moisture the leaves will start to yellow. Aphids also damage the stems which makes it difficult for the plants to transport nutrients up to the leaves. When the plants lack nutrients, they begin to yellow and lose strength.
4. Mould Fungus
When aphids consume excess sap from the petunias, they are not able to preserve it in their bodies so they excrete it in the form of honeydew.
Excess honeydew forms a black mold fungus on the plant’s surface making it difficult for the petunias to photosynthesise.
How to Get Rid of Aphids on Petunias
A. Chemical Control
This chemical control includes two ways:
- Oil insecticides include Neem and horticultural oil. To make use of this, mix either the horticultural oil or neem oil with a gallon of water and emulsifier and spray directly on the plants. Ensure that the spray does not run off and make sure to repeat the process weekly.
- Systemic insecticides like Azadirachtin kill the aphids in cases of a massive infestation. This though is not a recommended type of control because it might end up killing the insects that are beneficial to plants.
- Insecticidal soap is very beneficial because not only does it remove aphids but it also washes off fungus from the plant. To use insecticidal soap, mix liquid soap with water and spray on the petunias
B. Mechanical Control
Mechanical control has two ways of efficiently controlling aphids and eliminating them
- Using high water pressure from the hose to knock out the pests is also effective, when the pests fall to the ground, it is difficult for them to climb up again.
As the rest of the plants will starve which will eventually lead to the death of the pests, take caution not to put the plants in excess water as this will damage the plants themselves.
- When the population of aphids is still small, we can use cotton wool to rub off the aphids or use neat clothes to pick them up.
C. Biological Control
The use of natural enemies is an efficient way of getting rid of aphids.
These natural predators may include soldier beetles, green lacewing, lady beetles, big-eyed bugs, and parasitic wasps.
They feed on the aphids and start drinking their number drastically. Using these beneficial enemies helps keep the aphids population in check.
Prevention of Aphids
- Eggshells make cuts on the bodies of aphids making aphids starve and eventually causing the aphids to die.
- Avoid overwatering, it makes a conducive environment for aphids to thrive and infects pests.
- Always plant your petunias under the sun because aphids cannot survive the harsh hot environment
- Grow other plants that repel aphids such as catnip.
- Avoid using excess fertilizer; when there is excess nitrogen in the soil, it attracts aphids to these plants. Limiting the use of fertilizers only when needed is beneficial in storing aphids from attacking the plants.
What To Spray On Petunias For Aphids?
Insecticidal soap spray is a very effective way of getting rid of pests on petunias. To make use of insecticidal spray; mix liquid soap dish and one gallon of water and spray on the plant.
This will kill the aphids and prevent these pests from growing.
Can Petunias Recover From Aphids?
If any of the natural methods are used to get rid of the pests, the plant will recover from aphids infection. However, if the infestation is extreme, the plants might not survive the aphids.
What Are The Tiny Green Bugs On My Flowers?
The tiny green bugs on your flowers may be referred to as aphids. This type of aphid has a light green colour to identify them, other colours of aphids may include red, pink, yellow, brown and black.
How Do You Get Rid Of Green Bugs On Petunias?
Aphids may come in white or green. Depending on the plants it attacks. To get rid of green bugs on petunias we must make use of insecticides such as horticultural oil or Neem oil, natural enemies, and in serious cases make use of chemicals.
Finally, getting rid of pests and diseases such as aphids is not always easy especially if there is an infestation.
But if the right methods that are convenient for your area and varieties of petunias are used, it will be easy to get rid of these pests on your plants.