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Aphids hardly despise a plant. Whether it thrives as a houseplant or outside in the open air. Under favorable conditions, the pests spread explosively and suck the valuable lifeblood out of the plants. Now a control agent is required that effectively ends the plague and at the same time protects the plant and the environment. Vinegar is a natural resource that provides us with many services in the home. Does it also help against aphids, as is often claimed?

Vinegar against aphids

Vinegar does not have a direct, proven effect against aphids. Lice do not die immediately or with a delay when they come into contact with the acid. It is therefore not comparable to a chemical agent. There is another reason why acetic acid still helps us to combat aphids: these sucking pests don't seem to like the acid. An "acidic" environment prevents further multiplication and the acute infestation decreases.

Make vinegar solution

The vinegar is allowed never in pure, undiluted form used to control aphids. Even if the acid is of natural origin, it is far too highly concentrated in commercially available vinegars for this purpose. Make a vinegar solution from the vinegar by diluting it with water. The optimal mixing ratio is 9:1. This means that one part vinegar is added to nine parts water. For example, a 5 liter vinegar solution requires 4.5 liters of water and 0.5 liters of vinegar. Add a splash of dishwashing liquid to increase effectiveness. The amount you need to make depends on the number of infested plants.

Suitable types of vinegar

Since each type of vinegar contains acid, each type is equally effective against aphids. That's why the price can decide at this point. The more expensive balsamic vinegar can remain in the kitchen cupboard and only continue to delight our own palate. It is quite sufficient if cheap brandy vinegar is bought for this purpose. You can get it for less than one euro per liter.

This is how the vinegar solution is used

If the vinegar solution is to be effective in controlling aphids, it must be placed wherever aphids roam.

  • Wet the leaves and shoots thoroughly
  • Soak the soil with it (repot if necessary)

Wet leaves favor the spread of all kinds of fungal diseases. It is therefore important that all parts of the plant can dry off quickly after spraying. In greenhouses it is important that there is good ventilation.

tip: A spray bottle is ideal for spreading the vinegar solution finely and all over the plant.

identify aphids

Even the use of acid, as natural as it is, is no picnic for the plants. It changes the soil environment and has a corrosive effect on the leaves. Therefore, spraying should never only be done on suspicion. Examine your plants closely so you can positively identify an aphid infestation.

  • there are different types of aphids
  • Lice are about 1-2 mm in size
  • white, yellow, green, brown and black aphids
  • some varieties even with wings
  • come in droves
  • sit close together

tip: Regularly check healthy-looking plants for lice. The earlier the infestation is discovered, the more effectively aphids can be combated with natural remedies such as vinegar.

damage picture

It is usually recognizable changes in our plants that arouse our first suspicion. On closer inspection, the small pests are also discovered. These signs indicate a lice infestation:

  • leaf discolouration
  • careless growth
  • curled or dried leaves
  • leaf fall

Favorite plants

Hardly any plant is safe from aphids. But there are some varieties that are struggling with it. You should keep an eye on these.

  • roses
  • orchids
  • Palm trees
  • petunias
  • tomatoes
  • chillies
  • chard
  • basil

severity of infestation

The severity of the infestation is decisive for the use of vinegar against aphids. The earlier the infestation is discovered, the better this home remedy will help. If the infestation is severe, the application must be repeated several times at intervals of a few days. If the infestation has remained undiscovered for a long time and it is swarming with aphids, not much valuable time should be wasted in combating it. Here, another means may have to be used. It is also advisable to cut off and discard heavily infested shoots.

tip: Isolate infested houseplants from healthy specimens during the control period to prevent infestation from spreading to them.

Sensitive plants

It must be mentioned that some plants are sensitive to the acid. In the worst case, not only are the lice gone, but the life of the plant is ruined. It is therefore essential to observe the recommended mixing ratio when applying. For spraying young shoots, for example roses, use only half the recommended amount of vinegar. With plants that are particularly dear to you, you are on the safe side by not using this remedy. Of course, only if you fight the lice in some other way.

Unpleasant smell

Before using the vinegar solution, keep in mind that it gives off a sour odor that can also be clearly perceived by humans. If you find this rather off-putting, you should only use this home remedy for outdoor plants or in the greenhouse. An alternative means must then be used for indoor plants. Or you can place these plants outdoors for the duration of the treatment, e.g. B. on the balcony.

alternative means

If the vinegar fails with an excess of aphids or you don't like the smell, you still don't have to resort to chemicals. Here is a list of other natural home remedies that have proven effective in controlling aphids.

  • Garlic/garlic broth
  • Mixture of milk and water
  • soapy water
  • oregano brew
  • onion broth
  • Black tea
  • nettle brew
  • rapeseed oil mixture
  • potato water
  • predators like ladybugs

You can also crush a few specimens by hand and flush a light infestation from the plant with a jet of water. After that, however, be sure to keep monitoring the plant to make sure the infestation doesn't come back.

notice: A nicotine decoction is also often recommended. However, nicotine is one of the strongest plant toxins and is by no means harmless. For this reason, its use as a plant protection agent is now also not permitted.

protection after use

A plant that you have successfully rid of aphids with vinegar is still not healthy afterwards. The lice sucked a lot of their lifeblood and thus weakened their vitality. To fully recover, the plant needs time and good care. As long as it is not full of juice again, it remains susceptible to lice and other pests and diseases.

  • Choose the best location
  • avoid too dense planting
  • prefer mixed cultures in the bed
  • Fertilize as needed
  • Increase humidity, e.g. B. Spray orchids regularly
  • Use horsetail extract as a tonic

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