The Q&A Archives: Nasturtiums

Question: Last year I had a plague of little black bugs that ate eveyr leaf off all the Nasturtiums. Even ones that were not planted anywhere near each other. What is the bug? What do I use on them? And how can I prevent them from returning this year. I love filling my west facing flower boxes with these gems.

Answer: Nasturtiums seem to draw black bean aphids like magnets. The aphids can be sprayed off with plain water, or you can use an Insecticidal Soap on them. Aphids bear live young, and their offspring are capable of bearing live young within a few days. So, to stay ahead of this population explosion you'll need to hose the creatures off regularly. You might also try planting other flowers to attract beneficial ladybugs. They love to dine on aphids! Try growing disk or ray-type flowers such as daisies to attract ladybugs to your garden. Better luck with your Nasturtiums this season!

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