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Grey aphids destroying my honeysuckle

sharideesharidee ScotlandPosts: 7
Hi everyone, long time lurker but I took the plunge and joined in, to ask for some help. 

I have a honeysuckle growing over the roof of my garden shed. I planted it 3 years ago and it's really flourished but last summer I noticed the blooms were shriveled and covered in grey aphids. I cut it back and have been treating it with horticultural soap mixed with neem oil but I checked the new growth today and its covered in new aphids 😫 they are nestled within the leaves covering the new flower buds so I don't think the spray can reach them. 

Any advice on what to do to get rid of them? Thanks 😊
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  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 77,269
    Hello @sharidowds ... welcome to the forum :)

    We find the bluetits eat most of ours ... but if you've not got many bluetits about yet (and it's really worth attracting them to your garden 'cos they love aphids).  In the meantime, until enough bluetits come along, you can do what we did in the early days here ... we turned the hose on them with a pretty strong jet ... that blasts most of them off without damaging the honeysuckle ... it might need repeating a few times early in the, but if you resist using stuff that'll damage the insects that feed on the aphids, the number of ladybirds and lacewings etc will also build up ... we've got four large honeysuckles and we've not had to do anything about aphids for four or five years now.  

    Hope that helps.  
    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh







  • WonkyWombleWonkyWomble Posts: 4,016
    edited 7 April
    I'd hang bird feeders from it and hope that they browse the meat menu while eating the seeds!
    Both blue tits and sparrows do this in my garden I never need to spray or squash anything.
  • FireFire LondonPosts: 13,892
    Welcome. Can your hose reach to try and spray the aphids off? Honeysuckle can be bad for aphids. Mine were infested and crusted by aphids and the birds not interested - they went for the bird feeders hanging of it.
  • sharideesharidee ScotlandPosts: 7
    Hello @sharidowds ... welcome to the forum :)

    We find the bluetits eat most of ours ... but if you've not got many bluetits about yet (and it's really worth attracting them to your garden 'cos they love aphids).  In the meantime, until enough bluetits come along, you can do what we did in the early days here ... we turned the hose on them with a pretty strong jet ... that blasts most of them off without damaging the honeysuckle ... it might need repeating a few times early in the, but if you resist using stuff that'll damage the insects that feed on the aphids, the number of ladybirds and lacewings etc will also build up ... we've got four large honeysuckles and we've not had to do anything about aphids for four or five years now.  

    Hope that helps.  
    Hi Dovefromabove, thank you for the welcome 😊 yes I could do that with the hose, great idea, thank you! We do get Bluetits in the garden although I worry for their safety because of our two cats 🤔 I will think about how to encourage them safely to that corner of the garden 👍🏻
  • sharideesharidee ScotlandPosts: 7
    I'd hang bird feeders from it and hope that they browse the meat menu while eating the seeds!
    Both blue tits and sparrows do this in my garden I never need to spray or squash anything.

    I could definitely do that and see of the Bluetits can help. I wish pigeons and magpies would eat the aphids, we have loads of those coming to visit although our cats help deter them.
  • sharideesharidee ScotlandPosts: 7
    Fire said:
    Welcome. Can your hose reach to try and spray the aphids off? Honeysuckle can be bad for aphids. Mine were infested and crusted by aphids and the birds not interested - they went for the bird feeders hanging of it.
    Yes I'll give that a go. It's so annoying as I have masses on honeysuckle all over the garden (planted when I just started out in the garden and overdid it with my favourite plants 😂) but it's only this one that is bothered by it. I'll try the hose and bird feeders 👍🏻
  • FireFire LondonPosts: 13,892
    Just know that it might not be anything you are doing wrong or not doing. Some types can be very bad affected.
  • nick615nick615 SW IrelandPosts: 982
    This is perhaps a case of 'prevention being better than cure'.  The moment you see a neighbour with a healthy crop of rhubarb, ask them for some of the leaves when they crop it.  Boil them in water.  Drain of the liquid.  Put it in a normal household spray, once empty, and use the contents to kill off your aphids.  THEN, make sure you keep enough stored away in the shed for the remainder of this year, plus some for next year before rhubarb is available.  That will safeguard your honeysuckle next year.
  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 77,269
    Lots of info here … especially how to identify and encourage the natural predators … but don’t forget, if you wipe out all the aphids this year there’ll be no good for all those beneficial insects that you need to stay around. The aim is to achieve a balance …
    https://magazine.scienceconnected.org/2021/04/ladybirds-and-other-natural-pesticides/ 

    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh







  • sharideesharidee ScotlandPosts: 7
    Fire said:
    Just know that it might not be anything you are doing wrong or not doing. Some types can be very bad affected.
    That's good to know 👍🏻
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