Asked September 27, 2020, 9:04 AM EDT

I have a plant that was recently gifted to me. It doesn’t winter well outside and I need to bring it in. But it has these bugs on the leaves, mainly concentrated on the underside. I was wondering what they are and if it would be safe for my other houseplants to bring it in after washing it with soap and water and wiping all the bugs off?

Jackson County Oregon

1 Response

Yes, the insects are aphids.

Because it is normally an indoor plant, I suggest you begin without using a pesticide.

Consider getting ahead of the game by starting by physically dispatching as many of the aphids as possible. Don some gloves and squish as many as you can, then was both the tops and the bottoms of the leaves, as well as the stems, with only water.

Although insecticidal soap, used according to directions, is safe for most plants, it's always wise to check the label before applying it. Don't use a homemade soapy concoction because they often damage plants.

After the plant is indoors, isolate it from your other plants for at least a month, perhaps in bright room by itself. During isolation, check every several days for aphids because any that were missed will continue to give live birth to an already-pregnant aphid every 20 days!

Consider an aphid-free interval of 4 weeks a requirement before you integrate the plant among your others.

Good luck.