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To Do About Aphids

What do you do when you spot aphids on your plants?

Do you reach for the nearest bottle of insecticide? Spray them off with a hose or remove them with your fingers?  

Believe it or not, sometimes the best thing is to do nothing.

So, is this something I learned in school? No. I figured it out by observing the plants in my first garden.

To Do About Aphids

I remembered this early lesson when I passed by a severely pruned oleander shrub in front of my favorite bagel shop.  

To Do About Aphids

The oleanders were growing back nicely. However, there were yellow aphids on the young leaves.

Years ago, my oleander shrubs had an infestation of yellow aphids like this, and I was anxious to get rid of them. Really, this is our first reaction when we see bugs on our plants – we want them gone.

I had several methods at my disposal – insecticidal soap, a strong jet of water or my fingers – all of which, would help get rid of most of the aphids. But, life got in the way, and I didn’t have a chance to get out to treat my shrubs until about ten days later.  

Can you guess what I found?  Not a single aphid.  I didn’t have to do a thing, and the aphids were gone, and my shrubs look great.

So, what happened to the aphids?

When harmful insect pests first appear, it can take a week or two before their natural predators follow. In the case of aphids, lacewing and ladybugs showed up and ate the aphids.  

To Do About Aphids

Plants are tougher than we give them credit for and can handle a certain amount of insect pests without any adverse effects.  

So, when I come back in a couple of weeks to the same bagel shop, I expect to see no aphids in sight and a healthy oleander shrub.

The lesson here is that you don’t need to freak out when you see aphids as the normal cycle of nature will take care of them. However, you can step in to get rid of them if you see adverse effects on plants such as wilting, smaller blooms, or discoloration.

Fall Gardening , Gaillardia

Fall Gardening , Gaillardia

Fall has arrived in the desert southwest, despite what the thermometer says.

Days are still warm, but the nights are getting longer and cooler.

Plants are beginning to show signs of fall by putting an extra flush of bloom.

Fall Gardening , Salvia chamaedryoides

Fall Gardening , Salvia chamaedryoides

This is by far, my favorite time of year and you’ll often find me in the garden adding new plants as well as tending to my vegetable garden.

Not surprisingly, fall is the busiest time in the garden, and there is a lot to do. ย I’ve made a new ‘AZ Plant Lady Garden Video‘ to help you with what needs to be done in the garden right now.

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*What are you doing in your fall garden?

Fall Planting: How to Select Plants

I realize that it is hard to think of doing anything in the garden, much less step outside with the heat wave that we have been experiencing in the Southwest.

Southwest Garden in July

Southwest Garden in July

The good news is that you can most likely wait to step out into your garden this weekend, once the heat wave breaks.

Check out my latest monthly “To Do” list that I wrote for Houzz.com

 

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I hope you are doing your best staying cool ๐Ÿ™‚

Garden in May

Do you ever wonder what you should be doing in your garden in a particular month?

As a freelance writer, I write a few monthly gardening articles and newsletters.

So, instead of writing an entirely new blog post, here is my latest “What To Do In The Garden” article for the Southwest that I wrote for Houzz.com

(I hope you don’t think I am lazy, but I would rather not write the same thing twice ๐Ÿ˜‰

Southwest Gardener’s May Checklist