Lupins destroyed by greenfly
Hi - I have got several lupins in my garden, which have had a terrible year presumably because of the lack of sun. For the last 6 to 8 weeks, they have been absolutely smothered in green/whitefly - often two or three deep. I have gone around many times wiping them all off with kitchen towel (and squashing a lot of them!), but the next day, there they all are again. I have also sprayed with organic pesticide - I think that it is fish oils - which washes them all of, but again, there they are again the next day. I bought a load of ladybirds, which all promptly flew away (home I guess ), and now my lupins are all dead looking, with grey/black foliage and very floppy. Any greens bits are still smothered with greenfly. Do you think that they will come back again next year, or have the flies sucked all of the nutrients out of them? If they are doomed, I might take them out now and put new ones in next Spring. Thanks as ever for all your helpful advice!
Oh - that's spooky Christopher, as I was thinking to myself that they were a lot bigger than I had seen before, and also that it was strange that they were only on the lupins and not the roses. Boo to the lupin aphid! I've just looked them up and you are right - they are exactly what I have got. And, horribly, they kill ladybirds too, so perhaps mine didn't fly away after all.... No insecticides for me I'm afraid - 100% organic. I think I will get them out of the ground now, as from the articles I've read the lupins are pretty much doomed anyway and these horrible aphids can spread viruses too. Thanks so much for the heads up
I use a high pressure hose to remove aphids organically, the lupins have flowered quite happily, but it does need doing every day to get on top of it.
Being organic obviously restricts your weaponry somewhat-but I wouldn't give up yet-why not cut most of the foliage off-dig up and divide a few roots and plant in a different place?
As for the aphids eating ladybirds I somehow doubt it-where did you read that?
Have you got these super-lupin-aphids kate? Because I have tried the hose quite a few times but they just climb straight back up. Here's a quote from the article sotongeoff - although I didn't read the word 'larvae' before, which is a relief as they didn't kill the adult ladybirds:
"larvae of the ladybirdCoccinella septempunctata fed on lupin aphids from bitter cultivars (L. albus, L. angustifolius and L. mutabilis) died after around three days. However, hoverfly and lacewing larvae appeared less sensitive and some developed to adulthood".
Thanks for the advice about digging up and dividing - I will try that, although it will be interesting trying to find a new spot - I have got a small garden and lot of plants
That does surprise me and still have my doubts
I did get an attack of the aphids in the front garden and nearly gave up on lupins because of it-but divided the plant and replanted in the back -no aphids but might just be lucky
Did I read that right-you bought some ladybirds??
It does sound crazy doesn't it But yes, you can buy ladybirds and lacewings and nemotode worms and all sorts of natural predators. When you buy ladybirds they come in the post and they are in a little pot full of cheerios, which they seem to like. Aparenty the trick is to let them out in the evening as then they tend to stay put for the night and go foraging in your own garden the next morning - unlike what I did which was to let them all out in the morning and never see them again!
Lunarz I do not know if they were super powerful aphids but after 3 weeks of knocking them off they just gave up.
Not that easy if you are organic-in my rage- as even garden sprays were ineffective I used a household spray in desperation-Lunarz and others will shudder at this bit it did wipe them out-that is when the plant got moved.
Without being unkind, still find it amusing about ladybirds flying away-they had been cooped up with just cheerios for company-they must have looked at each other- thought over looks nice-looked down at the wings and whispered lets make a break for it while she not looking and ....................