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Once lice have settled in, it is difficult to get rid of the plague. Since the chemical club is not for everyone, home remedies such as black tea are often used against the aphids.
In a nutshell
- Black tea is a popular home remedy for aphids
- does not harm the affected plants
- is easy to make
- Application possible in different ways
Around 5,000 aphid species are known worldwide. About 800 species live in Central Europe. Since all aphids feed on plant sap, it does not matter what color the plant aphids are. Far more important is that the insects, once individual specimens have settled in, multiply explosively. Therefore, it is imperative to contain the infestation before colonization occurs.
Although the arthropods are often difficult to detect, they leave behind a sticky layer of excretion on leaves, shoots, etc. This is what is known as honeydew, which other insects like to eat. Therefore, there are unmistakable signs of an infestation with plant lice:
- ants walking up and down
- Approach of wasps and/or wasp-like insects (appearance)
Black tea as a home remedy
The effect black tea has on plant lice is described in different ways. On the one hand, the essential oils contained are said to have a deterrent effect on the lice, on the other hand, it is the tannins in the tea that lead to the death of the plant lice. However, there is no need to worry about the affected plants, as the tea will not harm them. Therefore, you can also use it on sensitive plants.
It is up to you which type of black tea (Assam, Darjeeling etc.) you use. You can also use old or expired tea that has already lost its taste for the preparation.
The recipe for the home remedy is simple:
- Pour a liter of boiling water over two tea bags (5 grams).
- leave for at least 15 minutes
- Pour the cooled tea into a spray bottle
Tip: For a stronger tea, you can reduce the amount of water to half a liter, use three tea bags and/or steep the black tea for half an hour.
For the application of the home remedy, different variants are recommended by hobby gardeners. All methods described must be used several times in order for black tea to achieve the desired effect against aphids.
Spraying the affected plant with black tea is the most common method. Proceed as follows:
- Spray infected plant parts
- alternatively: spray the entire plant from all sides with the household remedy until dripping wet
- In any case: Don't forget the underside of the leaves
- Repeat the process every three to four days
- at least once a week
Pour over leaves
With this variant, you pour the black tea carefully over the leaves. However, you should be aware that black tea can leave stubborn stains. You should therefore protect the floor, window sill, etc. In addition, it is advisable to only use this method when the plant needs water to prevent the formation of waterlogging in the substrate.
If you don't want to "water" or spray, you can also wipe the leaves with a cloth soaked in tea. It is also recommended to wipe leaf stalks and shoots, as there may also be specimens of the plague there. A downside to this method is that you can't treat leaf axils and other tight spots on the plant as effectively.
Tip: Hobby gardeners recommend watering roses with black tea in particular. In addition, the tea leaves have proven themselves as a fertilizer.
- Black tea against aphids rated differently by amateur gardeners
- basically positive
- Efficacy dependent on infestation pressure
- more suitable for less severe infestations
- in the case of advanced infestation, tougher measures, e.g. pruning the plant, are recommended
- Canola oil or soapy water are just as effective, if not more so
frequently asked QuestionsCan I also use loose black tea against aphids?
With regard to the application, nothing speaks against loose tea. However, you must strain the black tea after the brewing time.What time of day should I infuse the tea?
Since you wet the leaves with moisture when spraying, you should use the home remedy in the morning or evening. In no case should you spray when the leaves are exposed to the sun's rays, as this usually causes burns.When can I exit the application?
Since aphids often hide well, you should continue treatment for a week or two as a precaution, even if you no longer see aphids.