Daylilies are bright and colorful flowering plants that often attract pests like aphids. Unfortunately, aphids can cause a lot of damage to these plants, so it’s essential to control and prevent them if you want to keep your garden healthy. So, how can you get rid of aphids on daylilies?
To get rid of aphids on daylilies, you can use chemicals, including an insecticidal soap spray or dish soap spray. You can also wipe the pests away using a cloth, wash them away using a hose, make a DIY spray out of onion or garlic, use plants that deter aphids, or use biological predators.
Different methods of getting rid of aphids on daylilies will have different outcomes. To learn which practices are best for your plants, keep reading this detailed guide.
1. Use Chemicals
Some chemicals effectively kill and control aphid colonies, so they’re generally a good option if the issue is particularly bad. According to the Clemson Cooperative Extension, things like insecticidal soap, bifenthrin, and permethrin are good chemicals to get rid of aphids.
So, look at each one in more detail below to see how they work.
Insecticidal soaps are generally less toxic than other pesticides (both to pests and plants), so they’re an excellent alternative. They kill by suffocating the insects on the plant and are highly effective at killing aphids.
You can buy insecticidal soap in garden stores or online, so they’re easy to find. Generally, you must spray them directly onto the affected leaves to catch the aphids and kill them as soon as possible. Since insecticidal soap doesn’t leave much residue, it’s good to reapply it frequently.
It might also work best if you wet the plants before using, but check the product’s instructions first.
An example of a beneficial insecticidal soap is the Garden Safe Insecticidal Soap, available on Amazon. This spray contains fatty acid salts that can kill many small insects, including aphids. It’s ready to use, so you don’t need to dilute it with water or waste any time–simply spray it directly onto your daylilies and wait for it to work!
Bifenthrin is an insecticide designed for indoor and outdoor use to control various pests, including aphids on daylilies. You can use bifenthrin as a spray solution or paint it onto surfaces. It’s good to apply this solution to areas around the plants.
When applied correctly, it can effectively kill aphids, so follow the manufacturer’s instructions. An example of a bifenthrin solution for killing aphids is the Compare-N-Save Bifenthrin Concentrate, available on Amazon. It can control aphid colonies on your daylilies without causing harm to your plants.
Another chemical recommended by the Clemson Cooperative Extension is permethrin. This will also work by killing insects within minutes (or even seconds) after application, so it’s another good choice if you have a significant infestation of your daylilies.
It also kills other pests that may be an annoyance in your garden, like mealybugs and grasshoppers. Again, you must follow the manufacturer’s instructions when using permethrin as a solution.
Dish Soap and Water
Another chemical to consider is dish soap. However, avoid using dish soap undiluted because it will likely be too strong and may damage your daylilies. You can mix dish soap with water and use a spray bottle to kill aphids.
Dish soap is more damaging than insecticidal soap, so you must ensure you’re diluting it with enough water. Mixing three tablespoons of soap per gallon (3.8 liters) of water is best. Adding too much soap to the water may kill the aphids, but it may also kill your daylilies, so be careful!
Rubbing Alcohol Spray
You can also use rubbing alcohol to control an aphid infestation on your daylilies. Like with the dish soap and water method, you can also use a spray bottle for this method. Again, ensure the rubbing alcohol concentration isn’t too high because it could damage the daylilies.
Mix around ⅓ or ½ a cup of rubbing alcohol with a quart of water. That way, you can kill the aphids without causing damage to your plants.
2. Wipe the Pests Away
Consider a less severe method if you don’t want to try chemicals immediately. An example would be wiping the pests away using a damp cloth. You can also use soap on the fabric, but ensure it’s highly diluted to prevent damaging the plants.
When wiping aphids away, you must wipe each leaf individually, ensuring you get rid of each insect. This method is best if you don’t have a significant infestation, as it may be difficult to wipe away every insect if there are hundreds.
If you leave some aphids behind after wiping, they will likely multiply, and the problem won’t disappear. That’s why it’s vital that you carefully wipe each daylily leaf.
After wiping them away, you could go in with a spray to ensure any aphids that remain are killed.
3. Wash Them Away With Water
It’s also helpful to use a heavy stream of water to eliminate aphids from daylilies. You can do this by using a hose–watering the plant as normal won’t be enough, so make sure you have a hose for this method.
Additionally, the daylilies should be able to handle a high amount of water, and the soil should be well draining to ensure the excess water that runs down the ground doesn’t get trapped and cause further issues.
Once you’re ready, you must aim the hose at your daylilies and start spraying water. The aphids should wash away instantly, and if you get each part of the plant, there should be no remaining insects once you’re finished.
You may need to repeat this process every few days to ensure the aphids remain away from your plants.
Avoid Hosing Your Daylilies Late in the Day
If you choose this method, the best time to do it is in the morning because it will give the plants enough time throughout the day to dry. The worst time to do it is when the sun is going down because the plants won’t dry as quickly throughout the night when it’s dark.
As a result, you could be left with soggy soil and fungal disease like root rot. It’s also best to do it at least a few days after you watered the plants. Otherwise, they might not have enough time to dry.
4. Make a DIY Spray
I discussed using chemicals earlier to get rid of aphids on daylilies, but now, I want to talk about DIY sprays that you can make at home without using harsh chemicals like soaps and rubbing alcohol.
When making a DIY spray, think about what aphids don’t like. For example, they hate the smell of onions and garlic, so making sprays out of these ingredients is an excellent idea. It will not only get rid of them but also act as a deterrent.
Onion Skin Spray
To make a decent aphid-repellent spray, you’ll need onion skin, water, and a spray bottle. It’s easy to make, and the aphids are sure to stay away from plants sprayed with this solution because they can’t stand the smell.
Here is how you can make onion skin spray to deter aphids from your daylilies:
- Peel 2-3 onions and place the skins in a pot
- Pour four cups (1 liter) of water into the pot and boil for a few minutes
- Drain the liquid and put it in a container
- Mix your desired amount of drained liquid in a spray bottle with water to dilute it
- Spray the solution onto your daylilies to get rid of aphids and keep them away
You can also make a spray using the actual onion rather than onion skins, but you’ll need to dilute it with more water because it will be stronger.
Another spray you can attempt to make is garlic spray. You could make a garlic and onion spray, but a garlic-only spray is also effective at getting rid of and preventing aphids.
Here is how to make it:
- Gather two or three garlic heads
- Separate some of the cloves without peeling them
- Bring a pot of water to the boil
- Place the garlic and skins in the pot and simmer for 30 minutes to an hour
- Strain the garlic water and dilute with more water
- Use the diluted solution as a spray for your daylilies
It’s good to dilute the strained liquid before using it to ensure it’s not too strong–the last thing you want to do is damage your daylilies!
5. Use Other Plants To Keep Aphids Away From Your Daylilies
Getting rid of aphids doesn’t always mean you have to treat the affected plants. Sometimes, it might be helpful to use other plants that deter aphids. For example, you might plant marigolds beside your daylilies to keep pests away. Doing this could work well and doesn’t require you to put your plant at risk by using chemicals and other solutions.
There are plenty of plants that deter aphids, so let’s look at some of them below.
Aphids and other insects like to stay away from marigolds due to the smell, so placing some of these plants near your daylilies could keep them far away. You can place marigolds in different parts of your garden, but you must focus some of them near your affected daylilies.
After planting marigolds, you should eventually notice fewer aphids in your garden. If you plan to plant marigolds, be aware they require plenty of sunlight and well-draining soil.
Due to a lavender plant’s strong scent, it is likely to deter aphids from the area. However, aphids can sometimes be found on lavender plants, so it’s not always the most viable option. Still, it’s worth a try and could be effective at keeping the pests away from your daylilies.
Like marigolds, it’d be best to plant lavender plants near your daylilies to force aphids away. You can also plant them around the garden.
Wormwood is another strong-smelling plant that can deter aphids. The scent will repel them, so place this one close to your daylilies for the best results.
If you have an aphid problem in your daylilies, planting wormwood herbs should make them disperse and move away over time, especially as the wormwood grows. There must be enough sunlight to grow this herb, and the soil should be fertile and well-draining.
Allium plants are beautiful and vibrant and can help get rid of and deter aphids due to their smells. So not only will they help your daylilies, but they’ll also make your garden look fresher and more appealing.
Placing allium plants next to daylilies should be effective at getting rid of insects. These plants like different soil types but do best if it’s well-draining. Once your garden has the appropriate conditions for this flowering plant, you shouldn’t have any issues, and it should last a few years.
6. Use Biological Predators
Using plants to deter aphids is one option, but using biological predators is another. Thankfully, aphids are pretty low on the food chain and have many dangerous predators, so it’s easy to control them using other bugs and insects. Such predators include lacewings and hoverflies.
Check out the sections below to learn more about using biological predators to get rid of aphids.
Lacewings are usually green, and their name is based on the fact that their wings look like lace material. Since they eat so many aphids daily (some can eat 1,000 a day), they’re nicknamed “aphid lions.” You can certainly count on these tiny green insects to kill and eat those pesky aphids, so it might be worth placing some around your plants to handle the issue.
Although lacewings may sit on plants and cause minor damage, they generally don’t affect plant health. So, it’s usually worth it to place them in your garden to control more annoying pests, like aphids.
You can buy lacewings and lacewing larvae online or in many garden stores.
Hoverflies are often mistaken as bees due to their black and yellow stripes, but these insects don’t have stingers. They generally like to hover around plants, but they like to eat small insects like aphids, especially in the larva state. When they’re adults, they prefer to feed on pollen.
So, if you want to control the aphids on your daylilies, consider placing some hoverfly larvae around your plants. They are highly likely to feast on the aphids, meaning you don’t have to do any more work.
Thankfully, hoverflies won’t cause damage to crops and plants, so they’re safe and helpful to have in the garden. The most they’ll do is eat the annoying pests, which is precisely what you want.
Like lacewings, you can buy hoverflies online or possibly in some garden stores around the country.
Midges are another example of an aphid predator, so they also work well at killing and eating pesky insects. However, many midges can be an annoyance to humans, primarily due to their biting, so you must consider that before buying any and placing them near your plants.
Still, they’re a good choice if you want to eliminate aphids without using too many chemicals and other materials.
7. Set Yellow Sticky Traps
Yellow sticky traps attract aphids and other insects due to their color. Once the insects make contact with the yellow sticky tape, they get stuck and can no longer move. You can catch plenty of aphids using these traps if you set up enough of them. So, they’re a highly effective solution.
You can buy yellow sticky tape online. For example, this Gideal Dual-Sided Yellow Sticky Tape is available on Amazon and works well at trapping aphids and many other insects around the garden. Plus, it’s eco-friendly and contains no pesticides, so you don’t have to worry about placing harmful chemicals around your daylilies.
You could also make your own yellow sticky trap by painting some paper or plastic yellow and putting glue on it.
Use yellow sticky traps with other methods (like wiping the leaves regularly) for the best results.
What Is the Best Way To Get Rid of Aphids on Daylilies?
The best way to get rid of aphids on daylilies is to use a water hose to spray them away (in most cases). This method usually works well whether you have a small or large infestation, so it’s highly appropriate. Plus, it doesn’t involve using chemicals that may harm your plants or other animals.
However, using chemicals is the best choice in some instances. For example, if the aphids are stubborn and you’ve tried other options, using chemicals might be the best choice. The best chemicals include insecticidal soap (which isn’t harmful to plants) and bifenthrin.
After reading this guide, you should have a better idea of how to get rid of aphids on daylilies. Some of the best solutions include:
- Using chemicals like insecticidal soap
- Using DIY sprays, like an onion skin spray
- Using predators, like hoverflies
- Spraying the daylilies with a water hose
- Wiping the aphids away using a damp cloth
If you try one solution that doesn’t work well, try another (or multiple).