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Horrid infestation on my Philadelphus

ElizaRoseElizaRose East AngliaPosts: 121
They have covered all the leaves and damaged them. I noticed around after Easter. I should have tried to blast them away with the hose, I didn't. Why would they attack the Philiadephus? This didn't happen in the past. There is a giant cypress blocking out the light on the other side (neighbour's garden).


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  • ElizaRoseElizaRose East AngliaPosts: 121

  • Jess is in the GardenJess is in the Garden Posts: 1,022
    edited May 2019
    Now that is a lot of aphids!!
    Do not despair though - I has something similar happen to a large sambucus elder, which was literally smothered in them. Gross.
    I bought some online ladybird larvae (didn't have many ladybirds in my old garden, at that point) and hung the bag they came in, on my elder, thinking it wouldn't be much help.
    I couldn't have been more wrong! A week later all the aphids were gone.
    One word of warning though - my attack was so bad that there were also black ants swarming around the elder, as they like to 'milk' the aphids for their juices...nice...so first I bought something called Antstop (small plastic container with an ant trap killer inside, that blitzed the ants in 3 days) and then I applied the ladybird larvae.
    If you have ants, then do this first, or you run the risk of the ants eating your ladybird larvae!
    How old is your philadelphus? Perhaps it isn't at its happiest because of being shaded too much? 
    When any plant is more stressed, it is more likely to be attacked, usually.
    By the way, after my experience, the ladybird larvae hatched and the new ladybirds laid their legs on the elder, so more larvae were born to take over. 
    And three years in, there was a nice balance in the garden, with ladybirds and lacewings returning to lay eggs around.

  • ElizaRoseElizaRose East AngliaPosts: 121
    Thanks for this advice! It is an old plant and pruned after flowering. It was attacked last year too, but not in the distant passed. I'll have to see about the ladybirds. I haven't seen any ants, but I'll double check. 
  • ElizaRoseElizaRose East AngliaPosts: 121
    I got the hose out and tried to blast them off. I did get some off, which helps I guess, but they are all over the plant.
  • hogweedhogweed Central ScotlandPosts: 4,037
    My Philadelphus used to get covered in aphids every year. Didn't interfere with its flowering so I just used to let it get on with it. 
    'Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement' - Helen Keller
  • B3B3 Posts: 21,487
    That's why i stopped growing philadelphus. It's not worth the aggravation.
    In London. Keen but lazy.
  • HelixHelix 704m altitude...Posts: 631
    There are problems with buying ladybird larvae as it can permanently disrupt local populations, as generally they are not the same species.  Unlike other biological control they don’t just die off once they’ve eaten all your aphids. 

    A spray bottle with soapy water (a very small amount of a pure soap like savon noir) that you blast every time you wander past will work. Not as dramatically, but after a week or two you’ll get your philadelphus back.
  • RubytooRubytoo On the sofa, Southerly aspect.Posts: 1,287
    edited May 2019
    B3 said:
    That's why i stopped growing philadelphus. It's not worth the aggravation.
    Snap! There was one here when we moved in, it was nice but those black things gave me the creeps, they were HUGE with boots on.
    I used to rub them off, (as I am sure they clung on tighter if I hosed or sprayed them). It was really icky, but you knew you had got a lot of them if they were squashed all over your hand. And they stained.
    I gave up and also disposed of the poor philadelphus.
    Disposable gloves are quite useful these days for the squeamish :D

    Sorry , Hope you find a solution Elizarose.
    I think that you have to be very vigilant early on at the first signs, which I think we often miss despite best efforts.


  • debs64debs64 West Midlands, on the edge of the Black Country Posts: 4,218
    Had the same problem and it took 3 years of no insecticides and trying to encourage predators but it worked eventually and the scent of those flowers is worth it! 
  • debs64 said:
    Had the same problem and it took 3 years of no insecticides and trying to encourage predators but it worked eventually and the scent of those flowers is worth it! 
    agreed!
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