The Root

One gardener’s quest to get to the bottom of it all.

Indoor Aphid control! February 22, 2008

I have a Coleus in the condo that has been plagued by aphids. Since I also have a new baby in the house, I have to handle it organically, while averting the ultimate organic solution of ditching the plant. So, I found a recipe — a large one — and cut it down to size for a standard one-liter spray bottle:

  • Quarter gallon water
  • 1 tsp liquid Ivory dish detergent
  • Half tsp vegetable oil

Spray the plant, rubbing the leaves carefully and thoroughly and trying to avoid getting too much in the soil, and rinse off. I had to try it twice, not having been thorough enough the first time around. Now maybe I could have accomplished the same with water alone, simply by knocking the buggers off, but it sure felt satisfying to give the Coleus a good scrub, and to think that the soap and/or veggie oil breaks down the aphids’ devious little exoskeletons, ridding my Coleus of any remnant of them for good.

Victory! My Coleus survived the perfumey deluge and is officially free of aphids.

Dark Heart Coleus


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