My dear Purple Passion vine has been attacked by aphids! I believe it was a kick-down Sage that brought it upon us. When the Sage died, whom was inconspicuous with its infestation, the aphids needed somewhere to go. And since they didn’t care for, or at least missed, my other darling plants, it is Purple Passion who must be strong and defend them. Which on its own wasn’t having any luck, and its far too cold outside to just let it chill on the porch and work it out. So instead of trashing the Passion I am attempting to control and eliminate the Aphids, which seems to be going well thus far.
Here’s what I’ve done:
The first week we rinsed the plant clean by pouring lots of water over the leaves and stems, without drenching the soil. Twice. And the aphids returned. Presumably hatched babies. So the next step was to squish, yes! with my fingers, all of the aphids I could see. Taking the leaves and gently pressing the aphids into it kills them without causing too much harm to the plant, the more careful you are the better. I actually ripped a couple of leaves in the process. And, as before, the babies hatched and returned, but a couple less this time. Purple Passion is now confined to the rim of the bath-tub, far from any other house plants.
Now here’s the Experiment:
Ever heard of Neem oil? It is pressed from the seeds of the Neem Tree, native to India. (Azadirachta indica) This oil, which also works wonders on humans, is an effective insecticide proven to take down bugs and not plants. And I read that it works exceptionally well on aphids. So we’re trying it out!
Recipe & Application:
I am trying out 1/2 dropper to ~6oz of ‘warmish’ water. Shake well and pour over leaves, making sure to somehow get the top and bottom surface of each leaf. I’ve also ran it down the stem and the tiniest bit over the top of the soil, to get anyone who’s hiding. The ratio was determined by the ever so positive Purple Passion, who winced when I asked if it’d like a whole dropper of oil. After five days I gave Purple Passion its second Neem shower. The pictures posted below of the Purple Passion are after the first Neem treatment. Any visible aphids are immobile, but hard to say whether they are dead or just strange egg sacks. The tincture bottle in the picture is the Neem Oil, made by NeemAura Naturals. 100% Neem Oil with no additives. Neem is one of Ayurveda’s favorite plants.
I will report back with my findings on
‘Neem’s effectiveness in an Aphid situation’
in two weeks.