The Q&A Archives: Forest Pansy Redbud with aphids.

Question: Hi. My Forest Pansy Redbud is my favorite tree/growing thing around my house. It got serious aphids (Rogers Gardens in Newport Beach told me so). Really impaired those beautiful leaves from appearing. We have been spraying it. There is some new leaf growth/appearance. Soon it will drop it leaves. Do I spray all winter as well? How often? With what? Anything systemic to do? Thank you.

Answer: Sadly, aphids can do some real damage to newly emerging leaves. Insecticidal Soap works well against these soft-bodied insects, and it won't hurt beneficial insects like ladybugs. In fact, if you keep your chemical spraying to a minimum, ladybugs will eventually discover the aphid colonies and will help control the pests by feasting on them. You can't spray to keep aphids from arriving, but you can spray them as soon as you notice they have arrived. Insecticidal soap is a good defense, or you can try simply hosing the leaves off - be sure to direct a strong spray of water on both the upper and lower surfaces of the leaves. Aphids are typically in the spring and summer months, not in the winter months so I don't think you'll need to spray through the winter months. But, do monitor your tree and hose the pests off whenever you see them. Best wishes with your garden!

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