Have been out in the garden and thinking about aphid attacks. One thing we always recommend in keeping plants healthy. Mine get frequent additions of compost around the base and then covered with a layer of mulch. At this time of year there are usually some great leaves to collect up in our neighbouring park… I’m waiting for after a storm (wind) when there will be lots, and will take some sacks and collect them up. I don’t care what other people think of me… the crazy lady.
But getting back to the swan plants… if you don’t have time or the area to manage a compost heap, this is what I have done in the past. I collect up my compostibles: fruit and vegetable peelings, dog hair, waste paper, toothpicks etc for a day or two – not so long that they’ll get smelly.
When I have a brown paper box (bring your groceries home in one) or some waste paper, I put the organic waste around the base of my plant. With some water I can recycle (dishwashing water… or catch a bucketful in the shower) I wet the paper thoroughly so it’s a slush and then “hide” the compostibles with that extra layer. You could also add grass clippings or leaves so that it’s virtually invisible. No smell, no flies.
This will give your swan plant a new lease on life as the nutrients soak back into the soil and a healthier swan plant will be able to outgrow the aphids.
Another tip, if you have caterpillars and lots of aphids, try nipping off the new tips off the swan plant, the ones that are covered with aphids. Wash them well to remove aphids, then feed them back to the caterpillars in a container.
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