Ask a Question forum→Something is killing our plants

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Manchester
esmarques
Jun 2, 2020 11:36 PM CST
Hello,

We have a garden with some roses, fruit trees and those that climb the fence(not sure the exact name sorry), all outside
They start growing nicely every season, but then they just die ou look very ill and I noticed loads of bugs/mice on the plants.
I have attached some photos.

And also, inside the house, we had some lettuce planted on small pots, again, they were growing nicely but then loads of light green bugs/insects appeared and make them ill, my wife threw them away scared before I could take some pictures.

Could anyone please advise what should we do? Thank you

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Name: Sue Taylor
Northumberland, UK
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kniphofia
Jun 2, 2020 11:55 PM CST
Your roses have greenfly or aphids which is normal for this time of year. Resist the urge to spray or poison, ladybird larvae and nesting birds are looking for food at the moment and will clear the aphids.

Have you been watering your plants during the dry spell?
Name: Lynda Horn
Arkansas (Zone 7b)
Eat more tomatoes!
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gardenfish
Jun 3, 2020 2:12 AM CST
I'm sorry, I disagree. This is clearly a huge infestation and any beneficial bugs can simply not take care of this. These are aphids, and they will multiply exponentially, until you get control of them or you're plants are affected to the point that they might weaken or die. Please spray with an approved insecticide that is specific for aphids. It's too late at this point to worry about any beneficials that might be killed during the spraying process. And trying to wash aphids off with plain water is seldom, if ever successful.
Yesterday is gone. Tomorrow has not yet come. We have only today. Let us begin.
Mother Teresa
Bryan, TX
WAMcCormick
Jun 3, 2020 8:32 AM CST
I totally agree with Lynda. Either use an appropriate insecticide, or give up.
If it takes a long time to grow, remember that if nobody plants it, nobody has it.
Name: stone
near Macon Georgia (USA) (Zone 8a)
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stone
Jun 3, 2020 8:39 AM CST
kniphofia said:Your roses have greenfly or aphids which is normal for this time of year. Resist the urge to spray or poison, ladybird larvae and nesting birds are looking for food at the moment and will clear the aphids.

It is shocking how quickly the aphids are gone when the ladybugs find them.
The problem with using sprays is they set the beneficials back, and give the problem species a leg up.

Going from a garden using chemicals to a natural garden where nature is given a chance to balance out... is hard... The good bugs take time to build their populations back up, and many of us are wicked impatient.

Once we go organic for long enough, the gardening gets easy.
Name: Sue Taylor
Northumberland, UK
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kniphofia
Jun 3, 2020 8:41 AM CST
Well I disagree. I have had plants covered like this and resisted the temptation to spray and they were cleared by ladybirds and birds. If you spray to get rid of one insect you are killing them all.
You can remove them by hand if you wish.
Name: stone
near Macon Georgia (USA) (Zone 8a)
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stone
Jun 3, 2020 9:05 AM CST
Hand pick aphids....

I'd rather not....

The important thing to remember about aphids... they are self-limiting.

The population always crashes after spiking.

Some people suggest giving that crash a hand by knocking some aphids in a blender... blend them up... spray the rest with that mixture... the idea is to hurry a population crash by spreading aphid equivalent 'covid'.
Name: Lynda Horn
Arkansas (Zone 7b)
Eat more tomatoes!
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gardenfish
Jun 3, 2020 9:31 AM CST
I'm not so sure that gardening organically for a period of time makes it easier. I'm thinking that that is strictly a personal experience. Yes it was easy when I started out. I already had a pretty good population of beneficial insects present when I started. For 5 years I had few, if any insect pests. The ones I did have, such as tomato hornworms, I picked by hand. Perhaps the real reason my garden was invaded by the tremendous population of aphids last summer will never be known. I did try all the more gentle methods of removal, starting with plain water and working my way up. I had to resort to using chemicals, because the risk to losing my plants was too great. I'm retired and on a fixed income, and I can't afford to replace mature, expensive plants. Using s short term insecticide will kill the aphids. It will kill some beneficials, but if you're garden is already healthily populated with them, they will rebound nicely. This argument can go on and on and on. It's like trying to determine how many angels can dance on the head of a pin. I think it's best to let esmarques make his/ her own personal decision now on how to handle the situation. There have been sufficient pros and cons to both sides of this posted.
Yesterday is gone. Tomorrow has not yet come. We have only today. Let us begin.
Mother Teresa
Name: stone
near Macon Georgia (USA) (Zone 8a)
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stone
Jun 3, 2020 9:45 AM CST
Hmmm...

I don't want poison (of any kind) in my garden.

A population of aphids inside the greenhouse, or plant room... I could see that as problematic...

I had them on my pepper plants last winter... Luckily the ladybugs showed up when I set the pots outside.

If I had garden plants that were in such poor shape that I thought the aphids were going to kill them?

Probably remove the affected plants.

Retired or not... there are plenty of ways to replace unhealthy plants cheaply, or free.... like cuttings from a friend's garden, or seeds.

A population of bugs that seem likely to kill the garden... is usually an indication of a deeper problem.

Find the cause of the sickly plants, fix that, and let the bugs take care of themselves

[Last edited by stone - Jun 3, 2020 9:48 AM (+)]
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Manchester
esmarques
Jun 3, 2020 12:40 PM CST
Thank you all very much, are the bugs shown in in the fruit trees also aphids?
Also what would may be the light green ones on our lettuce?
Thanks a lot.
Name: Lynda Horn
Arkansas (Zone 7b)
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gardenfish
Jun 3, 2020 12:51 PM CST
FYI, I consulted with a retired horticulturist from the U of A about my aphid problem. He was also mystified as to why it occurred. He specifically told me that it was not due to sick plants or any other garden issues that I might have, which I did NOT. To suggest that it was is pure hog wash.
Yesterday is gone. Tomorrow has not yet come. We have only today. Let us begin.
Mother Teresa
Name: stone
near Macon Georgia (USA) (Zone 8a)
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stone
Jun 5, 2020 6:06 AM CST
gardenfish said: He specifically told me that it was not due to sick plants or any other garden issues that I might have


Maybe we'll have to agree to disagree here.

At my house, a plant that is unable to shrug off an aphid infestation.... is the definition of a sickly plant.

Now... there are some cultural mistakes that can cause plants to be likely to succumb to aphids, like over-fertilizing, and over-watering...

Organic sometimes means losing some plants... but... tougher plants means a tougher garden, overall... And future generations of those plants will benefit from the winnowing.

This is actually a valuable discussion, worthy of being bookmarked for future people suffering from aphids to know that there are alternative philosophies re: IPM.



Name: Lynda Horn
Arkansas (Zone 7b)
Eat more tomatoes!
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gardenfish
Jun 5, 2020 4:29 PM CST
Ok, Stone, you are right about it being valuable. And I can say you certainly dispense excellent advise on a variety of garden subjects. So we can certainly agree to disagree. And this is the way we do it. Politely. I tip my hat to you.
Yesterday is gone. Tomorrow has not yet come. We have only today. Let us begin.
Mother Teresa
Name: Holly
Baltimore, MD (Zone 7b)
GardenDreaming
Jun 6, 2020 6:38 AM CST
I am struggling with the same problems in my rooftop garden. Most of my plants look healthy, but recently a few of my plants, especially my roses, seem to be hit with thrips, aphids and perhaps something else. The leaves have been yellowing, falling off and growing-in misshapen. I am heartbroken because it looks like I am about to lose the two baby rose plants I just bought from Northland Rosarium. If the plant has lost many leaves, is there anything I can do to save it without using insecticide? I already tried a mixture of soap, water and veg oil, and that doesn't seem to have slowed the bugs down for more than a day.

Thanks,

-H
Name: Lynda Horn
Arkansas (Zone 7b)
Eat more tomatoes!
Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge) Container Gardener Lilies Cat Lover Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Zinnias
Organic Gardener Heirlooms Bee Lover Hummingbirder Echinacea Tomato Heads
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gardenfish
Jun 6, 2020 9:31 AM CST
Well, without using anything stronger, you may have to try to remove them by hand. This is pretty easy with aphids, harder with thrips.
Yesterday is gone. Tomorrow has not yet come. We have only today. Let us begin.
Mother Teresa
Name: stone
near Macon Georgia (USA) (Zone 8a)
Plant Identifier Garden Sages Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
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stone
Jun 7, 2020 6:27 AM CST
GardenDreaming said:I am struggling with the same problems in my rooftop garden. Most of my plants look healthy, but recently a few of my plants, especially my roses, seem to be hit with thrips, aphids and perhaps something else. The leaves have been yellowing, falling off and growing-in misshapen. I am heartbroken because it looks like I am about to lose the two baby rose plants I just bought from Northland Rosarium. If the plant has lost many leaves, is there anything I can do to save it without using insecticide? I already tried a mixture of soap, water and veg oil, and that doesn't seem to have slowed the bugs down for more than a day.


The thing slowing down responses...

most of us don't have experience with rooftop gardens, and there's no pictures provided.

Nor do you tell us specifically what types of roses you have.

At my house... I had mockingbirds nesting in a 2 year old cherokee rose that I grew from a cutting... Reckon they made the best insect deterrent I could ask for.

My number one best control for insect over-population is diversity.
No such thing as a weed in my garden... I thin plants to feed the chickens, and provide necessary air flow, but the more we know about the plants that show up... the more we recognize value in plants that other gardeners dump hazardous chemicals on.

And... good bugs and birds gain tremendously from having those other plants... It's fun watching birds harvest caterpillars from the beans and tomatoes while ignoring the fruit...

Basically, I'd look around and see if I could encourage some wildlife up there.
Like even a fountain... and some other plants besides roses...

Name: Holly
Baltimore, MD (Zone 7b)
GardenDreaming
Mar 30, 2021 6:29 PM CST
stone said:Hand pick aphids....

I'd rather not....

The important thing to remember about aphids... they are self-limiting.

The population always crashes after spiking.

Some people suggest giving that crash a hand by knocking some aphids in a blender... blend them up... spray the rest with that mixture... the idea is to hurry a population crash by spreading aphid equivalent 'covid'.


I don't know if I could stomach using my blender after liquifying aphids in it!!
Name: Tiffany purpleinopp
Opp, AL 🌵🌷⚘🌹🌻 (Zone 8b)
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purpleinopp
Mar 31, 2021 10:55 AM CST
When aphids cluster onto new growth, trimming off the affected area can remove most of them, give the plant a breather & chance to recover.
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