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Aphids on lovage are more than annoying, because the plant, also known as maggi herb, can suffer greatly from it. We reveal here which means are suitable for prevention and control.
In a nutshell
- Aphids can severely damage Maggi herb
- the herb is more difficult to clean before consumption by the pests
- a wrong location and insufficient care can favor aphids
- chemical pesticides should not be used prior to consumption
- natural predators can be used both to prevent and to combat
Because of their size and color, aphids can be relatively inconspicuous. However, they can be recognized by the following characteristics:
- green, brown to black-brown color
- often sit on the underside of the leaf
- leave a sticky film on the leaves and stems
- attract ants
- can leave spots on the leaves
Aphids are among the most common pests in Germany. At first they seem inconspicuous and not very dangerous, but they can have numerous negative consequences and not only weaken the lovage. The dangers include, among others:
- increase the risk of sooty mold
- increase the risk of viral diseases, also in other plants
- can limit growth
The risk of an infestation with aphids on the lovage increases if the maggi herb was planted in the wrong location or is not adequately or incorrectly cared for. The undemanding lovage requires:
- a sunny to partially shaded location
- a pH of 6 to 7
- Fertilize with comfrey manure, compost or herbal fertilizer in spring
- Pile up compost in the fall when plant parts have died
- water if necessary
Proper care and the right location are already crucial preventive measures. In addition, the following points should also be considered:
regular checks: Check the leaf top, leaf underside and stems. Best weekly in summer. As a result, you will notice an infestation very early on and you can prevent the pests from spreading further.
Attract beneficial insects: Predators such as ladybirds and the larvae of hoverflies, lacewings and parasitic wasps. But also caterpillars, assassin bugs, ground beetles, wart beetles, spiders and some bird species feed on the aphids. If they are attracted, for example by plants they like, a bird bath and shelters, and if pesticides are also avoided, a good balance between beneficial insects and pests can be achieved and maintained.
Mixed culture and close to nature: A natural garden is always a mixed culture. Larger accumulations of the same plants and plant species favor the infestation and spread of aphids.
If there is already a severe infestation of aphids on the lovage, you should intervene as early as possible and fight the aphids. This can be realized in the following ways:
- Remove and destroy affected plant parts
- release suitable predators
- increase the nitrogen content of the soil
- Spray the plant with black tea
- a neem oil solution for spraying but also use neem sticks in the soil
- Mix milk and water in a ratio of 1:2 and use as a spray
- Put a clove of garlic in the ground or spray the plant with garlic broth
- Use nettle brew as a natural pesticide
- Rinse the plant with water and place a tarpaulin under the plants or then lift off the top layer of soil.
Above all, the targeted release of beneficial insects or predators is a very simple and quick way to get rid of the lice. Bring ladybugs, parasitic wasps and the like to the affected plants and they will eat the pests. If there are no more parasites, the beneficial insects move on and look for other food sources. They do not damage the plants themselves.
The effort is low and the application usually does not have to be repeated. The beneficial insects or their larvae are available in specialist shops, but also online in some hardware stores with a plant department.
Frequently Asked QuestionsCan chemical pesticides be used?
If the lovage is to be used for consumption, it is better to avoid chemical agents. Because even if the leaves are thoroughly rinsed afterwards, residues of the pesticide can still be on them. The substances also go into the soil and can even get into the plant.Can plants infested with aphids be composted?
From here, the insects could spread again in the garden and infest plants again. It is better to dispose of them with household waste.Can lice also be removed from plants manually?
If the infestation is still small, the pests can also be removed manually from the leaves and stems. Alternatively, they can be scraped off the maggi herb with the blunt side of a knife blade or similar narrow but not sharp edge. In most cases, however, it is easier to completely remove and dispose of the affected parts of the plant.