Root aphids marigold Help! - Knowledgebase Question

Name: Pepper Grass
California (Zone 10a)
Question by pepergrass
August 24, 2017
Hey! I am a newbie gardener and I am facing what I believe is a root aphid infestation. Please advice me a cheap, homemade, organic solution to deal with this
Back story:
I had set up two cucumbers in a 5 gallon container and added a marigold to the mix. I have read that marigold is a great companion. All my plants are from seed or cuttings except the marigold which I bought from the local Trader Joe's. I noticed ants a couple of months back followed by tiny bugs in the roots. The cuckes look okay as of now and one of the plants have borne fruit.
Do you think I could still salvage this if I removed the marigold from the pot?
I tried diatomaceous earth a couple of times and I am thinking of doing a neem oil soil cleanse. Will neem oil harm the roots?
Here are pics of my setting and the roots of the marigold that have started popping up into the surface with a tiny amount of fuzziness

Thank you!

Thumb of 2017-08-25/pepergrass/d0864e

Name: Rose Athenry

Answer from thanrose
August 26, 2017


Those little white things are rootlets, or just the little branching of roots that will occur whenever the soil surface is covered with something like mulch or dead leaves or sometimes even a rock or shell. The only reason you are seeing them is you just removed some of the dead leaves or whatever else was covering the surface. They will dry up and don't actually harm the plant. Your marigold looks good. Cuke is not that clear in the photo, but seems okay. I'd leave them both be and avoid treating for bugs that don't seem to exist.

Name: Sue
Ontario, Canada (Zone 4a)
Answer from sooby
August 25, 2017


It's a little hard to see in the picture but are those definitely roots, it's rather strange that roots would come out of the potting mix like that. Also root aphids would typically be under the soil surface where you wouldn't see them, are you sure that's what the tiny bugs are?

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