Why is aphid on petunia dangerous and how to effectively deal with it

Petunia is an unpretentious and hardy plant. Differs in long flowering, resistance to cold snaps. The flower grows quickly and, with proper wintering, can live for several years. However, diseases and pests can destroy a crop in less than a month. The most dangerous insect for petunias is aphid.

It is a small but dangerous pest. Insects settle on a plant in whole colonies and quickly lead to its death. Often, along with the pest, the flower is also affected by diseases. You can save the affected flower garden if you recognize the signs of damage in a timely manner and begin to deal with the problem. How to get rid of aphids on petunias - read on.

What is aphid

Why is aphid on petunia dangerous and how to effectively deal with it

Aphids are an insect of the Hemiptera order, with a piercing-sucking mouth apparatus. It gnaws through the thin shell of young leaves and shoots of plants and drinks juice from them.

The pest is easily recognizable by its soft (without chitinous membrane) body, oval or ovoid. Despite the presence of long legs, the aphid moves extremely slowly.

In most cases, the size of aphids varies between 0.5-2 mm. Some species reach a length of 7 mm.

The color of insects depends on their species. On the petunias usually green, gray or black aphids live.

It is interesting! More than 1000 species of aphids live in Europe. Most of them are capable of infecting petunia. Ways to combat a pest do not depend on its type.

In spring and early summer, the aphid has no wings. In mid-July, some individuals develop wings, with the help of which they spread throughout the entire plot or greenhouse.

Aphids multiply extremely quickly. After one fertilization, the wingless female lays up to 20 times, 150 eggs every 2 weeks.

The insect settles on petunias in colonies. It affects shoots, leaves, buds and flowers. Often, the pest affects young plants.

Most types of pests lay eggs, from which harmful individuals then hatch. Some aphids are viviparous insects.

Reference. Sometimes aphids are born immediately with wings. Recent research suggests that this phenomenon occurs when the colony is endangered (for example, when there are many ladybirds in the garden). The purpose of the birth of winged individuals is the migration of pests to a safer place.

What is the danger of the pest

Why is aphid on petunia dangerous and how to effectively deal with it

Aphids are among the most dangerous pests of cultivated plants. Most often, the insect infects young flowers and not only spoils their appearance, but also becomes the cause of death.

Why aphids are dangerous:

  1. Dehydration. The pest feeds on the sap of the leaves and shoots of the plant. Sucking out moisture, the pest leads to drying out of the affected parts of the petunia.
  2. Decreased immunity. Due to the loss of sap along with nutrients and a violation of photosynthesis, petunia becomes more susceptible to negative environmental factors and infection, and the immunity of plants decreases.
  3. Infection with viruses. Insect saliva often contains viruses that are dangerous to petunias and other plants. Such diseases are considered the most dangerous, since they cannot be treated.
  4. Fungus. Sweet aphid secretions (honeydew or honeydew) are an excellent substrate for the development of fungal infections. Most often, a sooty fungus develops on a sticky plaque.
  5. Deterioration of cellular respiration. The fall penetrates the pores of the leaves, interfering with cellular respiration. This leads to wilting of leaves and shedding of inflorescences before insects suck the juice out of them.

Aphid-infested petunia often does not survive the winter, even at home. Some types of pests are capable of infecting flowers not only in the open field, but also in the apartment.

It is interesting! Sticky secretions of aphids attract ants to the site, as well as omnivorous insects that are dangerous not only for her, but also for plants, for example, locusts.

Causes and ways of infection

To understand the causes and ways of petunia infection with aphids, it is worth familiarizing yourself with the process of reproduction and wintering of the pest in order to timely carry out prevention.

Aphids breed throughout the warm season. In spring and summer, the insect lays eggs directly on the leaves of the plant (usually on the seamy side of the leaf plate). In autumn, females descend as low as possible and lay their eggs in plant debris or on the ground near the stem. This is done so that the eggs are covered with snow in winter and do not die.

In the spring, young individuals hatch. Most often they do not have wings. Some of them will climb petunias on their own, although with their weak legs this is problematic.

Ants help aphids in spreading through plants, dragging eggs and young individuals onto leaves and grow them literally as pets for sweet milk (pest secretions).

Note! Even a few aphids are dangerous to the plant. 2-3 individuals are enough for the colonies of the breeding pest to cover the entire petunia.

In the middle of summer, some individuals develop wings. With their help, the pest spreads through the garden. It affects not only petunia, but other plants as well. At this time, ants continue to help insects.

Thus, the reasons for the defeat of petunia aphids are:

  • ants;
  • plant residues not harvested in autumn;
  • other infected plants in the garden.

Even with getting rid of all negative factors, it is not always possible to avoid infection of the flower garden, since the pest arrives from other areas.

Signs of petunia affection by aphids

Why is aphid on petunia dangerous and how to effectively deal with it

It is not difficult to find aphids on petunias. Insect colonies are clearly visible on young shoots and on the seamy side of plant leaves. The photo attached to the description will help to identify the pest.

In addition to the insects themselves, a number of indirect signs indicate the defeat of petunia by aphids:

  1. Deformation of the stems. They acquire uneven thickening and thinning over the entire area, becoming crooked, drooping.
  2. Stopping development. The growth of petunia first slows down and then stops. New shoots and inflorescences are not formed. Flowers and buds fall off.
  3. Waste products of aphids. On the seamy side of the leaves and on the shoots, white skins appear - the empty shells of the eggs from which the aphid hatched. The plant becomes covered with sticky sugar drops (honeydew).
  4. Ants. The stalks of a sick petunia are often covered with ants, which are attracted by the sweet substance secreted by aphids.
  5. Change in plant color. The leaves and shoots of petunia infected with the pest turn pale, lose turgor. Over time, they begin to dry out from the edges to the center.
  6. Chlorosis. Aphid infestation is a common cause of iron deficiency, which leads to chlorosis. In this case, the leaf plates turn pale and bright green veins stand out on them.

Ways to combat aphids

It is quite simple to fight aphids at any stage of the lesion, but it is problematic to treat plants damaged by it. The sooner the treatment of the infected petunia is carried out, the more likely it is to save it.

They fight the pest in different ways. Often, gardeners prefer to use chemicals that are safe for humans and plants, folk remedies or mechanical methods for solving the problem. Each of the options has its own advantages and disadvantages.

Read also:

A guide to carrying out cuttings of petunias in the summer for novice florists.

How to grow tulips by March 8.

Mechanical methods

This method of controlling insects is considered the safest.The owner of the flower garden, who has chosen the mechanical method of destroying pests, will not have to process the plant with anything. In this case, the aphids are removed from the bush by hand.

To remove insects from petunias, the affected parts of the plant are wiped with a dry or damp cloth, discarding all insects. It is recommended to lay captivity or cloth under the flowers so that the aphids fall on it, and not on the ground. The collected insects are destroyed.

Another option is to remove the most affected leaves and stems from the bush, and then wash off the remaining pests with water from a hose.

These methods do not guarantee that the insects will not come back after a few weeks. Pests that have fallen to the ground can move back to the bush.


Attracting predatory insects will help with pest control. However, it will take a long time to wait for the results. The biological method is recommended for the prevention of aphids or for growing in large greenhouses.

Predators to help get rid of aphids:

  • ladybug;
  • lacewing;
  • sand wasps;
  • spiders.

To attract beneficial insects, cumin, daisies, tansy, mint, sweet clover, and yarrow are planted on the site. If there is little food for predatory insects on the site, they migrate to a new site. In order for the predators to stay in the garden, they scatter top dressing or spray the plants with pheromones.


Chemicals are considered the most effective. They allow you to quickly destroy pests and for some time and prevent re-infection.

Chemicals are harmful to humans and the environment. They are absorbed into plant cells, making it poisonous to insects. Petunia has no edible fruit, so it can be sprayed any time of the year.

How to process petunia:

  • "Commander";
  • Corado;
  • "Spark";
  • "Aktra";
  • "Funanon";
  • "Conidor".

The preparations are not washed off by rain and work for 2-3 days after treatment. They are absorbed into leaves and shoots, making them poisonous to aphids and other pests. There are three groups of drugs, and they work in different ways:

  1. Contact. They penetrate directly into the organism of pests, destroying them.
  2. Systemic. They penetrate into plant cells, making them poisonous to insects.
  3. Intestinal. They penetrate the intestinal tract of the pest, causing paralysis.

These drugs are called insecticides. They are dangerous not only for aphids, but also for other insects.

Note! If you use the same drug many times in a row, then it becomes ineffective.


Processing with folk remedies is the safest method of struggle. Such preparations are prepared from products and other substances that are safe for the environment and humans. They are not highly effective, but they are quite capable of dealing with aphids.

There are many recipes for aphid control. The list contains the most popular ones:

  1. Laundry soap. A piece of grated dark laundry soap is dissolved in a bucket of warm water. The resulting product needs to be sprayed with petunia when the sun is inactive.
  2. Iodine with milk. Add 2 liters of milk to a bucket of water (whey or kefir is suitable) and 30 drops of iodine.
  3. Soda. In 10 liters of water, 0.5 kg of baking soda is diluted.
  4. Coca Cola. The drink is diluted with water in a 1: 1 ratio. The product is used for spraying.
  5. Mustard. In 10 liters of warm water, dilute 100 g of mustard powder. The product is allowed to brew for 2 days. Shake it before use.
  6. Vinegar. In 10 liters of water, 200 ml of table vinegar are diluted.
  7. Vegetable oil with soap. On a bucket of water, take 0.5 liters of vegetable oil and 0.5 piece of grated laundry soap.
  8. Soap and tobacco. 0.5 bar of laundry soap and 0.5 kg of tobacco are poured into 10 liters of boiling water. The product is allowed to cool and brew for a day.
  9. Potato or tomato tops. 0.5 kg of tops is poured into 10 liters of boiling water and let it brew for a day. Then the infusion is filtered and 1 tbsp is added to it. liquid soap.
  10. Onion and garlic.3 heads of chopped onions and the same amount of crushed garlic, along with the husk, are added to a bucket of water. The mixture is allowed to brew for 2 days.
  11. Hot pepper soap. 6 hot pepper pods are boiled for an hour in a liter of water. Grind the pepper and add back to the broth. After a day, the tincture is filtered into a bucket of water. 50 g of liquid soap is added to the mixture.
  12. Decoction of bitter herbs. Dandelion, wormwood or yarrow (0.5 kg) are poured into 2 liters of water and boiled for 30 minutes. The broth is allowed to brew for a day, then filtered into a bucket of water.
  13. Ammonia. Add 2 tbsp to 10 liters of water. l ammonia and 0.5 bar of liquid soap.

Folk remedies are easily washed off by rain, so they are used in dry weather. In order for the drug to be effective, they need not only to spray the petunia, but to cover the entire ground part of the bush and the soil around with the composition.

Rules for processing flowers from pests

For the processing to be effective, it is important to know some of the nuances and follow the rules. They are listed:

  1. Plants need to be processed at least a day before precipitation. If purchased chemicals are used, spraying after rain is not required. Folk remedies are washed off with water, therefore, after precipitation, they are re-treated.
  2. It is necessary to work with chemicals in a protective mask and gloves.
  3. In order to finally get rid of pests, you need to spray the plant at least 3 times. For chemicals, the interval between treatments is 2-3 weeks, and for folk remedies - 5-7 days.
  4. Before you spray all the plantings with the new means, it is worth trying it only on 6 several petunia branches. If the plant does not deteriorate for the worse in a day, then the drug is safe.
  5. For processing, you cannot use ice or warm liquid, the temperature of the solution should be as close as possible to the temperature outside. Otherwise, burns or frostbite will remain on the petunia.
  6. Processing is carried out in the morning or evening when the sun is not active. If you spray petunia during the day, it will die.
  7. Particular attention is paid to the tops of the stems and the seamy side of the leaf plates. It is there that the bulk of aphids accumulate. It is necessary to process not only the ground part of the bushes, but also the soil around them.
  8. If, after two treatments, the aphid has not disappeared, then the remedy is considered ineffective.

Prevention of the appearance

The consequences of the defeat of petunia by aphids are worse than the pest itself. It is much more effective to take preventive measures than to deal with an already existing problem:

  1. Autumn cleaning. In autumn, all plant residues are removed from the site and burned.
  2. Treatment soil... Before planting petunias in the garden, the soil is watered with a hot solution of copper sulfate.
  3. Weeding. Often, aphids attack weeds first, and only then cultivated plants.
  4. Weekly site inspections. Aphids spread to petunia from other plants. Therefore, you need to regularly inspect the site and, if a pest is found, destroy it.
  5. Planting useful plants. There are plants that repel aphids. These include tansy, marigolds, garlic, onions, etc. It is recommended to plant them near a petunia flower garden.
  6. Preventive treatments. It is recommended to treat petunia with insecticides in the spring and in the middle of summer, when the pest is especially active.
  7. Destruction of anthills on the site. Ants are one of the main causes of aphids in petunias.


Aphids are a dangerous pest that infects cultivated plants, including petunias. The pest sucks juices from leaves and stems, leading to their drying out, disruption of photosynthesis and reduced endurance. In addition, the pest carries viruses that are dangerous for petunias, and the products of its vital activity are a favorable environment for the development of the fungus.

Dealing with aphids is easy. It can be easily removed with the help of chemical and folk remedies.The main thing is to timely detect signs of the presence of a pest and get rid of it before it causes significant damage to the plant.

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