Lemon trees are popular in home gardens for their brilliant green leaves, fresh blossoms and tart fruit. Like any fruit tree, though, lemon trees can be prone to insect infestations. Aphids are small insects that dine on the trees' leaves and stems. They can cause massive damage to plants by sucking out their juice, and leave holey and damaged leaves in their wake. If your lemon tree has an aphid infestation, take some immediate organic steps to get rid of them.
- Skill level:
Things you need
- Ladybirds or lacewings
- Neem oil
- Pruning shears
Confirm that your lemon tree has aphids. Look for them on the undersides of leaves, where they build their colonies. Confirming that you have aphids will ensure that you're treating the right problem.
Prune off any obvious colonies to immediately rid your lemon tree of at least some of the insects.
Spray the lemon tree with water from the hose. Aphids will wash off the tree, and won't be able to find their way back.
Use natural oils to prevent and kill aphids. Neem oil will not harm the tree or other animals, but infects and kills aphids. Spray the entire tree with a generous coat of the oil.
Buy and release aphid predators to keep down future aphid populations. Ladybirds, lacewing moths and wasps eat aphid larvae and adult aphids, to disrupt the life cycle of the insects.
Tips and warnings
- Lemon trees are the hardiest of the citrus trees.
- Lemon trees can also be grow in pots and kept as houseplants.
- Mix your own homemade anti-aphid spray with half water and half dishwashing detergent.
- Traditional pesticides can harm plants and animals.
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