MEYER LEMON TREE - APHID PROBLEM - Knowledgebase Question

Los Angeles, CA
Avatar for prenticediem
Question by prenticediem
May 26, 2006
I received a Monrovia Meyer Lemon Tree as a gift a few weeks ago. A friend ordered it from a Napa Style Catalog, and it was sent by Clifton's Flower and Garden Center in Porterville, CA.

Yesterday, I noticed that some of the leaves were sticky. Upon further inspection, I found green and black aphids on the undersides of many of the leaves and in some of the blossoms. I removed as many aphids as possible and am spraying the tree with a mild soap solution.

My local nursery said the mild soap solution treatment is appropriate. Is there anything else I can do to ensure that the tree is not damaged by the aphids? Thank you for your assistance.


Answer from NGA
May 26, 2006
Insecticidal Soap is the treatment of choice for aphid infestations and I would recommend going one step further - spray the leaves to the point of saturation, leave for 5 minutes, then thoroughly rinse the pesticide from the leaves with plain water. This step will ensure the aphids are killed but will also prevent burning of the foliage of your lemon tree. The fatty acids in the Insecticidal Soap can build up and clog the natural openings in the leaves, so rinsing it off will keep everything clean. Aphids love tender new leaves and since they can fly, they can appear on the most unlikely garden plants. I'm sure the aphids hitched a ride while your tree and other plants were being transported. Controlling the population while it is still small should keep your other plants from becoming victims of this pest. Best wishes with your new tree.

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