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Rhododendron infestation 😳

Hello fellow green fingers,

Please help my Rhody. It has become infested with green fly and white flies. The leaves have dropped and the flowers are gone. In the same area of the garden are my Lupins. They have become  inundated with aphids. Maybe they travelled to the Rhody. 
My task tomorrow is to clean them up as best I can. I have read about insecticide (big no), spraying with white vinegar and picking or wiping them off. Not sure which method would best. Lupin and Rhododendron would be most happy as I would. I’ve avoided these plants in the past but finally gave in as the flowers are beautiful but have had the aphids eat the Lupin.

I look forward to your thoughts…


  • Hi Shadypm

    I use a soapy water solution in a hand spray. It has to be soapy water made with the green washing up liquid. I did my roses and runner beans last night and has done the trick

  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 52,124
    A hosing would help, but lupins are very prone to aphid attack, and there is a lupin aphid which is much bigger than the usual ones.
    Remember vinegar is just another chemical, and water is just as effective if you don't have enough birds visiting to eat them. 
    I wouldn't normally have those two plants growing together though, so you may need to address the site the rhodo's in. Some shade and more moisture retentive soil than lupins would want. If it's dropping a lot of foliage, as opposed to just a few leaves, which would be perfectly normal, then you need to look at how and where you're growing it.  :)
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

    I live in west central Scotland - not where that photo is...
  • shadypmshadypm Posts: 68
    Thank you to both of you for your advice. I squished many bugs off the Lupins. The ones that fell to the ground were squashed by the trowel. I have cut the really infested leaves off, the bugs were on both sides. I sprayed a washing liquid solution on, lightly. Not sure what it does. Then a bit later I hosed it down.
    I visited the Lupin a little later to find the aphids that fell off, climbing back to the top.
    It will be a daily thing, check and pop. 
    I have also bought some Marigolds to plant near/under. This is tomorrow’s jobby.

    The Rhododendron perked up after a good hose down. The light shower also removed most of the whitefly. This one has more whitefly than greenfly’s and aphids. I will be moving to a very large pot in a shaded area. Here are some improved pics.

    Thank you again :)

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