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Pest Problem

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As some folks know I used to grow Auriculas, given up on them now because of the root aphids.
However, I did sow the last lot of seed which I had as an experiment. The plants were potted up in brand new peat free compost in brand new sterile pots and put on the concrete patio in the shade of the house, well away from any of the Auriculas which I planted out in the garden.
So how come they are all now infested with root aphids?  Where did they come from? No other plants get them and there were no other plants in any case anywhere near the seedlings.
The only thing we can think of is that the aphids come in with the compost or they may have been lurking on the seed trays.
Anybody got any suggestions as to how to get rid of them? At the moment all the plants are soaking in a vile mixture of Neem oil, Provado and Washing up liquid. Not bothered if it kills the plants as they are destined for the bin in any case.

Hi Palustris,

Root aphids have a winged phase, so it's likely that even if you eradicated them, they recolonise this way.

In general I find that stressed plants (in primula this is most often too hot or dry) are more susceptible.

For more info there is a good article here:


Thanks. Still would like to know why they only seem to go on the Auriculas and nothing else. The plants were not stressed in any way that I could see though.
Bin here they come!

David Nicholson:
When I was a Primula grower I used Methylated Spirits as drench and painted it through the root ball. Sometimes it worked, sometimes it didnít.

Tried that, it killed the plants!
Even odder is that I have just been looking through some P. siebodlii divisions. they were in a seed tray next to the Auriculas, not a single sign of root aphids on them.
The stuff recommended for controlling the blighters is £70 for 4 fluid ounces. Sheesh!


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