Why using Natural insect repellent for plants is better than the chemical one?
Well it is a quite obvious reason, but to clarify again. When you have plants at home where you use chemicals on, you breath the chemicals as well. Chemical repellent are a bit like antibiotics, you know they are bad for you and your liver, and if you don’t take them till the end, the sickness can become worse. If the chemicals used on them don’t really work or you you use only chemical repellent, the insects become immune to it. This means you ned to use even heavier chemicals which are even worse for you, your lungs or even kids and animals around.
The nice thing about using natural repellents is that you can try one kind, if that does not work, mother nature has blessed us with so many possibilities. Its the same when someone is allergic to a natural product, there is mostly another natural option. Its not harm-full for you and for kids and animals around you. Also chemical repellent come often in hard plastic containers, which are hard to recycle or degrade. Love nature as it loves you.
Personal story from childhood on the hibiscus
In India when i was about 9 or 10 years old, i remember these girls that i used to hang out with. One time i went to their house, and i was mesmerized of their house.
You know when you are suddenly in a jungle book, because its so tropical? I had the same feeling years later when i went to Sri Lanka for my India Visa. Sri Lanka is so beautiful and has this juicy green tropical nature.
I remember the house was dusty yellow, had a big veranda , a beautiful big garden. The veranda had sitting cushions on the floor, semi precious stones and brass statues of Indian gods. On the lil wall separating the garden and the veranda, there was a glass terrarium for a snake. I don’t remember much the snake species, i think it was brown. Im always very fascinated about snakes, maybe because in my Chinese sign im a snake too? Who knows, but I’m fascinated!
The garden trees were so nice and big, they were giving the veranda a lot of shade, which was great in the hot Goan weather. The trees were Frangipani (plumeria), tiny Indian cucumber tree (Averrhoa bilimbi), money plant(aureum), Monstera, Jasmines tree and so many more. The Hibiscus was one of the most common one they had, they had about 5-6 big plants. The Hibiscus plant made it tropical and typical India to me.
Many years after, i moved in that very same house, i think i was 20.
The big trees were still there and all the beautiful rad, pink, white Hibiscuses as well. Beautiful Frangipanis, Jasmines and Hibiscuses are blooming throughout the summer.
My landlords brothers live right next to the house and they come every morning at 6 or 7am to pick the fresh flower for their morning praying rituals. My landlord and his family are Hindus, they have many flower ceremonies.
Personally i love the flowers in India, they remind me of home and of my naming. My name is Malini which means the lady who makes the flower garland that they use in their ceremonies.
Today my step dad lives in the house with the beautiful garden and enjoys the breeze and trees.
My Hibiscus Plants got aphids, what to do?
The genus is quite large, comprising several hundred species that are native to warm temperate, subtropical and tropical regions throughout the world. Member species are renowned for their large, showy flowers and those species are commonly known as “hibiscus”.
I bought one Hibiscus plant from the tools shop in Germany (Baumarkt). It was quit big so i separated it and made 2 plants out of it. At the beginning i thought they would not survive the separation, but then after a while they were fine. They always gave me a few flower a year, but sadly the flowers only bloom one day. This Summer they gave me nearly everyday, for 4-5 months lots of flowers. Its breath taking to see how such small plants have so much power.
At the end of the summer they had lil white dots, so small i could not see if they are eggs of some king or were actual aphids. So i researched the Internet and found out that aphids really like hibiscuses. Then i had to rush and do something about it, because they are my beloved plants from home.
I had to search for repellents, and of course the internet sent me to all them chemical products. So i searched for natural ones, there is really a lot you can do, even non vegan, hihi. There are insects and larva that actually eat them. But I’m not going that far, I’m just going to the kitchen.
One natural repellent was garlic so i decided to go for it.
Why is Garlic good as an Insect repellent
The sulfurs contained within the garlic extract have been shown to be effective against a wide range of insects, including mosquitoes and aphids. I can go on why garlic is good for you too, but this another time.
A typical life cycle involves flightless females giving live birth to female nymphs, who may also be already pregnantwithout the involvement of males. So no eggs which is also quite amazing for an insect. This means they clone them selves, at least 7-8 times a day. At some point of their evolution, they clone a aphid with wings so that they colonize different plants or more plants.
Many aphid species are monophagous (that is, they feed on only one plant species). Others, like the green peach aphid, feed on hundreds of plant species across many families. About 10% of species feed on different plants at different times of the year.
What do aphids eat?
Aphids are herbivores. They suck plant juices out of the leaves, stems, or roots of plants. The juices they drink often have much more sugar than protein. Aphids have to drink so much sugary juice to get enough protein that they excrete a lot of the sugar. They don’t need it. The sugary fluid they excrete is called “honeydew”, and many other insects feed on it.
Who eats Aphids?
(Also a natural repellent)
Aphids are eaten by many bird and insect predators.Insects that attack aphids include the adults and larvae of predatory ladybirds, hoverfly larvae, parasitic wasps, aphid midge larvae, “aphid lions” (the larvae of green lacewings), and arachnids such as spiders and ladybirds.
Recipe for making natural repellent against Aphids with garlic
- Take about 7-8 big garlic cloves and pressed them in a garlic press.
- Measure 500ml of water and add to a boiler, let it boil.
- Add the two ingredients in a pot and let it sit for an hour or till the water cools off completely.
- Sieve it in a strainer and add to a spray bottle.
- Spray the entire plant with it, on the leaf and under. Repeat this 2-3 times and let it sit for about an hour.
- After put the plants in the shower or use your rinsed spray bottle to shower off the garlic.
Garlic tends to be very sticky, so make sure at the leave are properly cleaned off from the garlic.
In case a few aphids survive, repeat this again, but shortly after. So keep an eye on the plant.
I also noticed that the aphids did not like the Monstera and Jade plant. These Aphids that i had were liking only small and juicy leafs like my hibiscus.
Other Natural repellents against aphids
- Kernal soap spray (i dont like this too much, because soap is a bit harmful to the roots of the plant)
- Neem Oil Spray
- Tabacco spray
- Vinegar Spray
- Fresh tomato leaf spray
Hope you enjoyed the story and the recepie was as usueful to you as it was to me.
Some Sources :