The Q&A Archives: Whiteflies on African Violets

Question: Is it possible to rid African Violets of the Whiteflies and save the plants since violets don't like to be sprayed? Will repotting into new soil help?

Answer: Whiteflies are extremely difficult to control because they are so mobile. They can easily fly to other plants, or fly up and out of harm's way if you spray your plants with an insecticide. However, a Neem-based spray will work, if you make direct contact with the pests. This insecticide can burn the foliage of African Violets, but I've found that if I spray my plants thoroughly, including the undersides of the leaves, allow it to work for 10-15 minutes, then rinse it off, the leaves of my African Violets do not become scorched. You might try this with your African Violets. Yellow sticky traps can also be effective when placed at foliage level. The bright color attracts the pests and the sticky card will trap them. Repotting may reduce the whitefly population, but not to any great degree. I'd rely on the insecticide to control the pests. Best wishes with your plants!

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