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African violets are incredibly pretty plants that many people are drawn to. They add color to your home, and you want to take care of them to the best of your ability so that they’ll continue to look fantastic for as long as possible.
These plants are popularly grown indoors, but not everyone wants to care for them since they can be a bit picky. If you’re not intimidated by houseplants that have a reputation for being somewhat finicky, then you’ll love African violets.
However, you do need to be careful to protect the plant from pests. These plants can be bothered by certain types of bugs, and you’re going to want to get rid of them quickly.
Read on to learn how to get rid of bugs on African violets. This information will help you to keep your plant in good condition so that you can continue enjoying it.
Aphids Are the Most Common Pests
The most common pests that you’ll have to worry about will be aphids. Aphids can be rather annoying because they can harm your plant quite a bit.
These aphids are going to suck the juices right out of the plant and this will leave it in a weakened state. Sometimes this will prevent or stunt new growth.
It isn’t always easy to spot aphids because of how tiny they are. They can be black, brown, dark green, or light green.
Most people wind up noticing the problem with aphids once honeydew starts to appear on the plant. Aphids secrete honeydew, and this is going to attract the attention of ants.
Sadly, you might wind up having ants crawling all over your plant because of the presence of the honeydew. This is just another reason why it’s important to take care of aphid issues.
Getting Rid of Aphids
Removing aphids from your plant won’t be too tough when you know what you’re doing. One of the best methods is to use a bit of soap and warm water to get rid of the pests.
It’s best to use dish soap for this process. Gently wipe the leaves of your plants so that you can get rid of all of the aphids.
If you don’t think that just washing the plant will do the trick, then you might need to try something more powerful. Many people will make use of chemical pesticides to kill aphids because of how simple it is to do so.
However, it might not be good to use chemicals since they can be a bit too harsh. You also might want to avoid killing potentially beneficial insects.
Controlling pest issues will be simple if you use neem oil. Neem oil is a natural product that you can apply to your plants to keep insects from wanting to go near them.
Other Bug Problems
Other bug problems can pop up when you’re caring for African violets. Some plant owners have had to deal with mealybugs and fungus gnats.
Mealybugs suck the juices out of your plant just like aphids do. Luckily, they’re just as easy to get rid of as aphids, too.
You can remove mealybugs by simply spraying warm water on them. Some people get rid of them by wiping the plant with a cotton swab that has been dipped in alcohol.
Fungus gnats can be a nuisance, and they’ll resemble small black flies. They tend to hang out near the soil, but you might find them flying around the plant randomly as well.
These gnats produce larvae that will appear to be tiny worms. They’ll spin webs on the surface of the soil.
The larvae will feed on the roots of your plant if you don’t take care of them. Controlling issues with fungus gnats will be easier if you’re careful about how much water you give to your African violet.
Try to reduce the amount of water that you give to the plant. This should make it so that you’ll see far fewer fungus gnats moving forward.
Root-knot nematodes are pests that you should be aware of as well. These bugs can actually kill African violets if things get too bad.
They’re microscopic parasites that can damage your plants significantly. This means that many people never even realize that these pests are there until it’s too late.
You can buy different types of chemical control products to try to get rid of them. Hopefully, you won’t have any issues with these pests because of how dangerous they can be for your plants.
It’s also good to try to protect against root-knot nematodes by adding things to your soil. You can place oyster shell flour, crab meal, or seed meal in the soil to act as soil builders.
Doing so will help to fertilize the soil while also protecting it against these deadly pests. If you’re at all concerned, then it’d be worth it to fertilize the soil to give your plants extra protection.
Getting rid of pests will be simple in most cases. You’re likely only going to have to deal with common pests such as aphids and mealybugs.
Aphids can be washed off of the plant by using warm water and dish soap. Mealybugs should also be able to be sprayed away with warm water, but you might also choose to use alcohol.
If you want to protect the plants from pests in the future, then it’d be a good idea to buy neem oil. Neem oil is a natural way to protect plants from pests such as aphids, mealybugs, and thrips.
If you’re experiencing problems with fungus gnats, then you’ll need to be more careful about how you’re watering your plants. You might be watering the plants too much, and this is giving the fungus gnats a chance to thrive.
Cut down on how much you’re watering so that the fungus gnat population will drop. This should be enough to gradually get things back to normal.
It’s also worthwhile to fertilize the soil with something such as crab meal to protect against root-knot nematodes. It’s better to be safe than sorry, after all.