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May 2, 2018 1:16 PM CST
Los Angeles
So today I went on a bloom amputation mission because I found black aphids on some of my succulents recently. While doing so, I found one plant's blooms devoid of black aphids, but home to these green pests. What are they and how do I rid my plants of them? I'm obviously chopping off these blooms and spraying with insecticidal soap but why is this happening to me?!


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May 2, 2018 1:28 PM CST
Name: Stefan
SE europe(balkans) (Zone 6b)
Cactus and Succulents Adeniums Foliage Fan Bromeliad Container Gardener Tropicals
Sempervivums Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Sedums Orchids Garden Procrastinator Bulbs
I see meallybugs....and i see actual bugs. The big green ones might be eating the meallybugs(ladybugs cant be their only predator). Or they could be actual aphids .That being said...... id get a flamethrower because bugs are that creepy.
On the serious side, id use a lot of insecticide. Amputation and insecticide is how i saved my sedums.
Last edited by skopjecollection May 2, 2018 1:32 PM Icon for preview
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May 2, 2018 1:43 PM CST
Name: Daisy I
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
Not all who wander are lost
Garden Sages Plant Identifier
I don't see any mealybugs but I do see some big juicy green aphids. Lucky you! Two types of aphids on one plant. Your best defense is insecticidal soap. Keep at it until they are gone. If your plants are outside, once the temperatures get higher, the aphids will be gone for another year.
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and proclaiming...."WOW What a Ride!!" -Mark Frost

President: Orchid Society of Northern Nevada
Webmaster: osnnv.org
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May 2, 2018 1:47 PM CST
Los Angeles
Aphids! Ugh! I've never dealt with aphids before but I'm doing surgery and cleaning thoroughly. Unfortunately for me, so many of my succulents are close together so I have many affected plants. Saturday will be 85 degrees so hopefully that takes care of these jerks?? Fortunately many of the affected plants have lots of new growth, so I think everyone will survive.
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May 2, 2018 1:49 PM CST
Name: Stefan
SE europe(balkans) (Zone 6b)
Cactus and Succulents Adeniums Foliage Fan Bromeliad Container Gardener Tropicals
Sempervivums Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Sedums Orchids Garden Procrastinator Bulbs
Aphids are attracted to new growth im afraid. They pop up in the spring, and are hard to get rid off on some plants.
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May 2, 2018 1:53 PM CST
Name: Daisy I
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
Not all who wander are lost
Garden Sages Plant Identifier
Aphids are a lot easier to deal with than mealybugs. Use your insecticidal soap - its a contact poison so drench all sides, up and down.
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and proclaiming...."WOW What a Ride!!" -Mark Frost

President: Orchid Society of Northern Nevada
Webmaster: osnnv.org
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May 2, 2018 2:20 PM CST
Los Angeles
Oh I have thoroughly drenched!!!
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May 2, 2018 2:27 PM CST
Name: Karen
New Mexico (Zone 8a)
Region: New Mexico Region: Arizona Region: Ukraine Cactus and Succulents Plant Identifier Plays in the sandbox
Greenhouse Bromeliad Adeniums Morning Glories Avid Green Pages Reviewer Brugmansias
I agree that aphids can be taken care of fairly easily. Mealybugs are the worst!
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May 2, 2018 3:03 PM CST
Name: Daisy I
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
Not all who wander are lost
Garden Sages Plant Identifier
Are you using a commercially made insecticidal soap or making your own? The commercial stuff works by causing the outer 'shell' of the insect to break down. Because of the way it works, Insects don't build up an immunity to it. Home made is just soap - the bugs will be cleaner when you get done but that's about it. Smiling
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and proclaiming...."WOW What a Ride!!" -Mark Frost

President: Orchid Society of Northern Nevada
Webmaster: osnnv.org
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May 2, 2018 4:08 PM CST
Los Angeles
Yes, I'm using a commercially-made spray. And I have not been stingy with it's application lol.
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May 3, 2018 6:36 AM CST
Name: Jai or Jack
WV (Zone 6b)
Om shanti om.
Region: West Virginia Container Gardener Multi-Region Gardener Garden Photography Amaryllis Zinnias
Gardens in Buckets Annuals Houseplants Plant and/or Seed Trader Birds Garden Ideas: Level 1
Aphids are amazing. Many species are born pregnant, ready to pop out babies within a matter of hours or days. They're resilient and resistant little creatures. Of course they're also possessed by the devil, but there's that.

With this many bugs, I would personally skip the soap and neem oil and go straight to a wide-spectrum insecticide like malathion, especially since it's early in the year and you can do it outside (although you're in Los Angeles so you may be able to do it outside all year)...
Keep going!
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May 3, 2018 10:50 AM CST
Los Angeles
I will look into that, thanks! And, yes, these plant live outside in pots year round.
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May 3, 2018 10:52 AM CST
Name: Jai or Jack
WV (Zone 6b)
Om shanti om.
Region: West Virginia Container Gardener Multi-Region Gardener Garden Photography Amaryllis Zinnias
Gardens in Buckets Annuals Houseplants Plant and/or Seed Trader Birds Garden Ideas: Level 1
If you do apply it, get one of those cheap pressurized spray bottles that people use for weed killer. Mark it clearly so you don't make mistakes (lol) and use that to apply the insecticide. It's so much more precise and when I started using one I noticed that results were much better (faster, more complete, and needing repeated much less often).
Keep going!
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May 3, 2018 10:56 AM CST
Los Angeles
Great, thank you!
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May 3, 2018 5:05 PM CST
Moderator
Name: Baja
Baja California (Zone 11b)
Cactus and Succulents Seed Starter Xeriscape Container Gardener Hummingbirder Native Plants and Wildflowers
Garden Photography Region: Mexico Plant Identifier Forum moderator Plant Database Moderator Garden Ideas: Level 1
I don't see any great cause for alarm in the first appearance of these bugs, especially if they are are limited to (budding) inflorescences. Certainly no cause for chemical intervention beyond insecticidal soap. If they come back after you have cut off the inflorescences and soaped up the zone, maybe think about other solutions. But honestly I have a couple of plants that seem to randomly attract bugs and I will come back twice a week with the soap (spraying at the bugs, not so much the plant) until they stay away after a while. It works great. Twice a week. My eyesight is terrible so I have to remember my glasses or I will have no clue whether I'm actually hitting the bugs or not. Smiling
Last edited by Baja_Costero May 3, 2018 7:40 PM Icon for preview
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May 3, 2018 7:38 PM CST
Los Angeles
Unfortunately one of my non-blooming succulents appeared fully inundated with the black aphids, and I sprayed it to high heavens. It shares a pot with several other succs that appear uninfected, but I assume it's only a matter of time, so I sprayed them down, too, in hopes of prevention. One of my baby agaves was thoroughly overwhelmed on numerous leaves with the green aphids, and I had to remove the leaves and spray the only remaining uninfected and healthy appearing leaves. It's a shame, too, because it was showing signs of struggling in several leaves for at least a few weeks, and I assumed it had gotten too much water in the recent rains and never inspected the leaves. I probably could have mitigated the damage earlier if I had just looked Sad
Last edited by krystenr1 May 3, 2018 7:40 PM Icon for preview
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May 3, 2018 7:43 PM CST
Moderator
Name: Baja
Baja California (Zone 11b)
Cactus and Succulents Seed Starter Xeriscape Container Gardener Hummingbirder Native Plants and Wildflowers
Garden Photography Region: Mexico Plant Identifier Forum moderator Plant Database Moderator Garden Ideas: Level 1
I've been there, Krysten. Smiling I like to use my weekly watering circuit (for most plants) as an opportunity to look for bugs in the usual places. I like doing it that way because the schedule is about right to keep them from really getting out of control.
Last edited by Baja_Costero May 3, 2018 7:43 PM Icon for preview
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May 3, 2018 8:42 PM CST
Los Angeles
Great tip! I'm definitely implementing that into my routine going forward.

I have tomato and onion seedlings I was going to bring outside in the next month and now I'm paranoid to do so with all of these creepy crawlies running rampant in my yard!!
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