Houseplants and Root Aphid Update

Hello everyone,

I am about ready to admit defeat to these root aphids. I have tried and tried and done so many things to try to combat them to no avail. They are winning as they take more and more casualties. I have decided to do something drastic which is to toss all the ones I don’t think can be saved, attempt to save the rest and throw everything away! I am going to start over from nothing and from snippings. Of course I will document everything for you but before I go ahead and do all that I wanted to have one last look at the plants that I am working with here.


In the photo above you can see the leaning avocado plant. This is exactly what was happening to the other one before I pulled it out and realized it had no roots. I tried to rescue it but it died several days later. To see that post click here. Anyway this Avocado tree is the next casualty taken by the root aphids. It is the oldest out of my avocados being the first successful pit to sprout out of them all. It is sad to see it looking so pathetic as it can’t even hold itself up stick and all. You can see in the bottom right another avocado which I presume is very much just as close to death as the other and the last of my avocado trees.


Above is one of my lemon trees I also had three of these and this one is not even one year yet and already it is facing it’s end.You can see that the stem of the plant is almost translucent as the tree has probably got an infection from the root aphid secretions and is not capable of obtaining the nutrients it needs from the soil. I’m going to go ahead and call it and say it is not savable.


You may or may not recognize this guy as being my lemon yearling from a recent post here. I have tried a few times to rescue this one but I’m not having a whole bunch of luck. It had previously lost a few leaves and was drying out at the top so I snipped it and re-potted and it was doing well for a little while grew two branches from where I had snipped but now it seems to have stopped growing and judging from it’s nieghbours health it is not doing so good. I will try to save this one again possibly by snipping it off and propagating it that way. I don’t know if a lemon tree will grow from a snipping but I am going to lose it anyway so might as well give it go!


The ivy doesn’t seem too affected it hasn’t really been growing as fast though I know that I can save it from a sniping so I will just trim it off place it in water and keep the plant. The way these things grow I am not worried it won’t be long before the clippings grow to the same impressive size.


This one the split leaf has such an intense root system I remember transplanting it root bound and wild. It is large about 4 feet tall and 5 feet wide at the widest part. It was shooting out some baby plants which I pulled and they didn’t have roots so I know they are in there. I clipped off the damaged part and put it in some water. It has sprouted roots in the cup but it is so small being less than a foot tall so it will take a long time before it looks full again and may never be the same. I will try to clip some larger pieces and see if I can make a new plant. It is a shame I barely had this plant for very long and I know the root aphids were happy to see this all you can eat buffet.


The plant in the photo above and below are the first two plants we acquired and I have had them about 4-5 years now. I am going to cut these down as close to the soil line as I can and put them in water to hope they can bounce back that way I don’t know if they will. I have to do something as everything I tried so far has not worked I know this sounds invasive but better than bringing in harmful chemicals that may poison my pets. I realize I didn’t include the other dragon plant that I rescued already I have no idea if I can save that one I am not sure but you can check it out here.


Also in the photo above on the left is my arrowhead and I have already rescued this one several times once from root rot I know that it can propagate quite nicely from cuttings and have no doubt I can make this plant survive the big root cull. To the right is the Hoya and I got this one from a clipping as well so same thing I think it will be fine and it can be saved.


The top is the lipstick which has been through the ringer with all this the aphids have almost taken this one several times. I will try to save it once again though there is not much left of it so I don’t know I might have to ask my friend who gave me the initial clipping if she can give me another. The aloe I am not going to bother with trying to save it. I did a bit of research into the way in which African violets are propagated and I might give that a try with new clean soil. By the way any soil I purchase from now on and any plant I purchase from now on gets a major quarantine lock down and thorough inspection before it will be allowed to enter the general population of this ladies house plants. I have no interest in battling root aphids ever again!


The Thanksgiving Cactus above propagates much the same way as African Violets so it will need clean soil and quarantine as well. Since the garden outside is still doing so well I am thinking the root aphids came in on a plant and not the soil but I am not taking any chances and all my soil is getting tossed. All my gardening tools and containers are getting bleached I might get fancier looking ones just to cheer me up it’s going to be a big job to get trough all this but my spouse has said he will help me so that is good.


8 thoughts on “Houseplants and Root Aphid Update

  1. Oh no! I’m so sorry you’re going through this! I’ve been battling some spider mites, myself. I think they may all be gone now. I’m not positive. I bought some spray to battle them, but I had little to no effect. I think they came in on the palm tree I had bought because that was the most affected and the only one affected it first. I’m hoping that now that I have tossed the affected plants, that I will not have to deal with this any further. I hope you are able to solve your problem! Losing houseplants he worked so hard on is always a sad thing.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It really is hard to watch them die after spending so much time on them. I am missing them and their green spaces reserved throughout the home. I will feel a lot happier once I have them back. I am hopeful it’s looking like a lot of them may make it through this drastic method. Palm trees are deadly for attracting Spider mites. I remember growing up my mother bought a plant with spider mites and she lost all her houseplants at the time from it. I can’t stress enough that quarantine for a new plant is a must as you can never be sure what hidden little creature is in there. Something that no one tells you though.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yeah, I want a larger tree, but I’m going to avoid palm trees after that incident. I believe I’ve managed to kill off the spider mites now, but I’m not positive. I haven’t see them since at least! Do you have any recommendation for some nice 4 foot indoor trees?

        Liked by 1 person

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