Diablo Ninebark infested with....

anicee(5a)June 23, 2007

My beautiful Diablo Ninebark are infested with tiny green insects all along their stems, the infestation is impressive. I have had the problem last year for the first time and used my garden hose to remove them but this year, it is worst than ever.

What are they called? If I leave them on the shrubs will it damage the shrubs? It does not seem right now to be eating the leaves or the flowers buds but they sure are not attractive.

Thank you!


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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

Even though you've only given us just a smidgen of information, I think we can pretty much guess that your plant is probably infested with aphids. A bad infestation can certainly weaken your plant. Aphids will multiply out of control if the population is not managed in some way.

Aphids don't chew plant tissue, but suck juices from the plants. So, they are busy doing damage all of the time.

Spraying them with strong streams of water can be a help, but you need to do it often. Insecticidal soap applications can help, as can Neem oil. In the winter, you can apply horticultural oil to the stems.

In most cases, my option for aphids is the hose and my fingers. There are lots of predators and parasites of aphids, and the use of some of the other products may hinder their efforts. It's up to you to decide if the population on your plants warrant a little 'extra' help. I keep neem and commercial insecticidal soaps in my cupboard just in case.

    Bookmark   June 23, 2007 at 2:35PM
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I'm not the slightest bit squeamish about hand crushing a heavy aphid infestation and it works, but if the situation really is overwhelming you can get some help from ladybugs if you have a source for a lot of them. However, insecticidal soap is probably the fastest way to get rid of the largest number most rapidly. I've also read that you can fill a panty hose foot with flour and then bring that out to the plant and tap it vigorously enough that the flour fills the air near them. It will cling to them and ruin their ability to stay hydrated (just as insecticidal soap does). Techniques like these are almost certainly the next fastest way to kill a large number of aphids at once without subjecting yourself or your garden to more toxic insecticides.

What you need to do is reduce the population explosion. It's not unusual for a plant to have aphids, but as long as they are in fairly small numbers they usually don't do such harm as to be a real issue. Once in a while they explode in numbers and then they're a problem until the predators get them back under control.

    Bookmark   June 23, 2007 at 5:52PM
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Thank you for your information.

I used strong streams of water and I was able to dislodge a huge quantity. I suppose if I keep at it for a few days, it might make a huge difference.


    Bookmark   June 24, 2007 at 8:34PM
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evonline(Zone 4b Missoula, Montana)

I have found water works wonders on aphids. I used to use insecticidal soap but water seems to get the same results. The only time I use soap now is if the ground is rain soaked and I think more water could harm the plant.

I spray the water on the growing tips where leaves are just developing. The aphids especially like the soft new growth. I also spray under the leaves where aphids also cluster.

I have viburnums that have terrible infestations of aphids. The leaves just curl up into balls if I don't "treat" them regularly. I have found that it helps to spray them with water even when I am not seeing the mature aphids. I spray them with water on the growing tips and under the leaves. I think I must be knocking off very tiny young aphids because once I knock off the first visible aphids of the season they I pretty much don't see any again unless I stop spraying them about every five days. Lots of luck to you.

    Bookmark   June 25, 2007 at 12:53AM
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I can't see aphids on mine, but I have a ton of black ants on several of my Diabolo's stems. I've hosed them off, & they're back again in a couple of days. Should I stick to the hose routine, or go for the insecticidal soap?

    Bookmark   June 26, 2007 at 9:29AM
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entling, that you are seeing ants on the succulent new growth makes me suspect that if you look very closely you will see very small aphids. Some ant species "herd" aphids. The aphids manage just fine on their own, but the ants "help them out", and in return get to eat the honeydew the aphids secrete. Honeydew is mostly plant sap, but it's been through the aphid's gut, so it's modified somewhat. Even so, it's mostly water & sugar, both of which are often eagerly sought after by ants. In exchange the ants put baby aphids on the parts of a shrub where the new growth is pushing out. That's the part of the plant an aphid most wants to be on. It's the best place for them to feed.

Aphids have prodigious reproductive rates. The pest aphids often are born already pregnant. That's how strongly geared to rapid baby making they are.

    Bookmark   June 26, 2007 at 9:56PM
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Thanks york rose, that's what I suspected. There hasn't been any damage yet, as I keep blasting them with the hose, but I am getting tired of doing it.

    Bookmark   June 27, 2007 at 1:16PM
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I have also used the neem oil products from safer on aphids. But water is cheaper if it works, use it.

    Bookmark   June 28, 2007 at 11:29AM
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I was looking for a reason why my Diablo Ninebark had soooo many ants on it last year & wanted to address the problem before spring kicks into high gear. Thanks york_rose for pointing out the issue. I've never really seen the aphids because I didn't even want to get too close to the shrub from all the ants (we have a huge ant infestation in our entire neighborhood for years & years). The ants seemed more attracted to this bush than anything else in our yard. Now I know how to deal with them. I think I'll try the flour method first, since I have other perennials in very close proximity, and then if that fails, then move onto other options as mentioned.

    Bookmark   March 29, 2014 at 4:43PM
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I am pretty much fed up with my Diablo Ninebark... It is perpetually infested with mites, aphids, and fungal problems that I'm just about done with the tree now. Forget organic solutions - I've tried spraying it with permethrin, copper, sulphur, etc., but the infestations just come back. Shoot maintenance is endless as well. I'm on the verge of chopping it down and replacing with another lower maintenance tree. Anyone else feel/felt that way?

    Bookmark   May 15, 2014 at 11:58AM
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Get yourself an infestation of lady bugs. You can buy lady bugs by the pound over the internet. Put them on your aphid infested plants and the lady bugs will eat the aphids. Otherwise a an indoor/outdoor broad use insecticide, such as what the company Fertilome makes works very well. Here are a couple of links.



    Bookmark   May 15, 2014 at 1:38PM
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I discovered aphids on my calibrachoa hanging baskets a few weeks ago and am using Sayers 3 in 1 spray. I have now noticed them on one of my ninebark. I used the hose and gave them a good spray. This is the first time I have had a problem with aphids. It is very dry here as I have to water everything weekly.

    Bookmark   August 14, 2014 at 4:33PM
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