Aphids are one of the more common pests you may run into when hydroponic gardening. Once established they can quickly take over. Luckily with some early action and a little work you can rid your garden of sap-sucking aphids.
Here’s to identify them and rid them from your indoor garden!
What Are Aphids?
Aphids are a tiny hydroponic pest reaching only about 1/8th of an inch full grown. They come in a variety of colors, green, white, yellow, red, brown and black.
Aphids can be found in colonies, typically on the stem and underneath the leaves. They prefer the new growth, so they would rather hang out at the top of the plants and branches.
How Aphids Affect Your Hydroponic Garden
Aphids are sapsuckers, so they are there to go in buffet mode on your hydroponic garden. Their feeding can cause leaves to discolor, wilt, and curl. New shoots will look deformed and the plant will be stunted.
Aphids also harm your garden in less indirect ways. Their bite leaves an open wound on the plant, giving an open door Aphids leave behind a sugary waste called “honeydew” that attracts other pests like ants.
Here’s an interesting fact… Ants will actually protect and “farm” aphids for their honeydew. Crazy.
How To Save Your Hydroponic Garden From Aphids
With small infestations, sometimes a soapy spray is all you need to rid your garden of aphids. You can mix up a batch or purchase some insect killing soap already mixed up.
Neem oil is a plant safe organic option to ridding your hydroponic garden of aphids. Just mix with water in a spray bottle and use as a foliar spray.
If you have a heavy infestation you may want to step it up a notch with Azamax. The active ingredient in Azamax is a single compound that is also derived from the neem tree. It’s been found to work even better when used along with neem oil. It’s also foliar spray that is mixed with water.
Adding Lady Bugs Your Garden
Adding ladybugs to your hydroponic garden is probably the easiest and coolest way to rid your garden of aphids. Ladybugs and their larva love eating aphids and would be more than happy to do the work for you.
How To Prevent Aphids In Your Indoor Hydroponic Garden
When aphids show up, it’s usually from outside plants introduced to the garden. Before adding any plants from the outside, make sure to check them over for signs aphids or any other hydroponics pests. You can reduce the need for new plants by germinating seeds or cloning from within your garden.
Using a grow tent for your hydroponic garden creates a barrier keeping unwanted pests like aphids from visiting.
While aphids could ruin your hydroponic garden, with a little work you can save your plants. Due to how fast they reproduce, it’s really important to take action quickly.
By checking over your hydroponic garden regularly, you can spot aphids and other pest problems while they are easier to treat.