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16/05/2012 at 08:31
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I inspect my small garden almost daily and so was staggered yesterday to find my lupins in a dreadful state and thickly encrusted from just under the leaves to about halfway down each stem with grey-blue and some pinkish pests I presume are aphids. I used an extremely noxious bug killer on them to get rid of them immediately and save the plant – especially as last year it had a rather sweet peppery fragrance, but I really do not like to use such strong pesticides especially if there is any danger to ladybirds, bees, birds or other desirable creatures.

Can someone recommend kinder pesticides? I’m also interested in companion planting, so if there is anything that will attract insects that will east these nasties I should like to know about that too. 

16/05/2012 at 09:07

Sounds like you have Lupin Aphid, horrible things.  Most insecticides will work but I find it very satisfying to rub them off each stem using my fingers, squashing them as I go

16/05/2012 at 09:57

I have had this too, plastic gloves and a little washing up liquid on your fingers and you can rub them off. If you are in a non hosepipe area you could blast them off but I agree with Muddyfork squishing is better.

16/05/2012 at 10:21

These aphids are disgusting, even the hungriest of birds won't eat them.  I  have stopped with all forms of lupins because of them, I really have better things to do than squashing aphids.  Enough time spent dealing with liuly beetle on the plants I want to grow.  I did try tree lupins, just in case, as day lilies are not lilies, they were different, but no, the aphids loved them just as much.  As I hated the aphids, the lupins had to go, luckily - so far - none of the other related legumes are affected, that could be a disaster as one who adores fresh peas!!

16/05/2012 at 15:42

The insect killer has worked!  The aphids - very fat and juicy ones - are all dead, just in time, becasue the lupins have begun to bud!
Are there aphids that particularly like lupins then?

16/05/2012 at 15:54

Yes, these large, juicy, somewhat greyish disgusting ones are specific for lupins only,  if you want to grow them you will have to consistently resort to chemicals as far as I know.  As I said, I'm afraid I just gave up & grew something else, those aphids just disgusted me!!  Hope your lupins are gorgeous, you can share them with a picture maybe ?

16/05/2012 at 16:08

They are Russell hybrid lupins, which were not in very good condition when I purchased them last year but which provided me with months or lovely blooms. I shall post some of last year's pciture, thise year the plants are large, but we are yet to see the blooms

16/05/2012 at 16:09

16/05/2012 at 16:14

16/05/2012 at 16:16

16/05/2012 at 16:17

these blue ones had a lovely fragrance along with the pink ones

16/05/2012 at 18:00

If the lupin aphids return (and they may well do so) you might like to try this spray. I got the "recipe" from another forum and have used it myself:

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16/05/2012 at 18:05

AAHRRGH! Sorry, I pasted that in from a Word document where I'd saved it. I think this is plain text but I'm not sure:

This is cheap to make up, safe and you can use it on a variety of insects like scale, aphids and smooth skinned caterpillars. It works well on citrus fruit, since it is so cheap spraying a small tree is no problem.

Here’s how it’s done:
1. In a blender, combine 2 cups of vegetable oil with ½ cup of dishwashing liquid. Blend it up until well mixed.
This is your concentrate and can be stored in a jar. Be sure to label it and include the dilution rate on the label.

2. To prepare the concentrate for use, dilute 1 tablespoon in a litre of water, mix it well and spray the pest as well as both sides of the foliage thoroughly.

3. Always follow this dilution rate, because you can burn the foliage if it’s too strong and there are a few other rules; don’t apply it in hot sunny weather and avoid using it on plants with hairy foliage as well as ferns as this can also cause leaf burn.

16/05/2012 at 19:59

Greenmagpie- thanks for that tip.

10/04/2014 at 20:54

I had them last year. Completly destroyed my lupin. I hit them with the hose in the morning and evening. Soapy water was applied evry other day it was that bad, but it didn't even dent them. These are not ordinary aphids! Some were probably about 3-4 times the size of normal ones. They breed like crazy too.

 I refuse to use chemicals ( i'm trying to give our wildlife a helping hand)I have been looking for natural ways of controlling them but apparently our natural predators (ladybirds, lacewings, bluetits etc.) Don't seem to bother with them. I seem to recall that they are a North American species. Companion planting with garlic, onions , chives and nastursiums was also mentioned but no idea if any of it works.

I've  Never not had a lupin but I think I will give it a miss this year, shame they are my favourite plants

08/06/2014 at 15:24

I find slugs a problem with lupins too as they seem to love the leaves. I don't want to use slug pellets so does anyone have suggestions?

08/06/2014 at 15:45

These aphids are large voracious beasts.  Mine have not been affected this year....fimgers crossed.....but at first signs spray them.  Too late if the spikes have already formed and about to flower.  

14/05/2015 at 05:35

(Scotts EcoSense Bug be Gone) This is a chrysanthemum liquid that you mix with water in a spray bottle..lasts a long time and it is made from Garden Mums so it is considered very like a after a rain or every 3 to 4 days for serious infestation ..or for plants being attacked by beetles or grasshoppers...

Once you get Lupin Aphids they are hard to get rid of as the egg life cycle is actually in the ground...Big Ugly Suckers..however I have never seen this particular aphid go to any other plant and they might be a good thing...keeping them away from other plants...a sacrficial offering so to speak...(ie: many gardeners grow certain vegies to attract aphids away from other vegies..)  

14/05/2015 at 05:54

Oh Yes...I haven't noticed that these aphids actually harm the plant very much..although I do keep them under control..they come back every year..but they never spread to the other plants...(Apparently they are a lupin aphid) and unless I get close I can't see them so I figure heck whats the problem! and then I just use the Garden Mum  spray to knock off a few of the beasts...OK so maybe a few means hundreds but it takes a few minutes and all is well...

14/05/2015 at 07:13

Are you here in the UK?  I can't find any stockists here - it seems to be mainly available in Canada.

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