Gransnet forums


Lupins and aphids

(28 Posts)
Lizbethann55 Wed 18-May-22 22:50:22

Last year I had a spectacular display of lupins right through the summer, but the plants were covered in aphids. I chopped the plants right down at the very bottom and hoped that when they reappeared this year they would be aphid free.
Sadly it was not to be and four of my plants were so badly absolutely smothered in the nasty little green things that they have actually wilted.
Today I have completely dug them up and thrown them out, but I am left with four big gaps.
Can anyone suggest any similar sized and shaped perrenials that I can plant in their place? Preferably something that is aphid resistant! Thank you.

SpringyChicken Wed 18-May-22 23:01:11

I too gave up on lupins and planted acanthus instead.

Whitewavemark2 Thu 19-May-22 06:32:10

Oh! If I cut down plants with aphids I’d have an empty garden😄

Be vigilant and squash them by running your fingers up the stems. They are a fact of life and vital for baby birds.

Jaxjacky Thu 19-May-22 07:29:56

I just spray with soapy water at the first sight of aphids, I’d be loathe to dig up a plant because of them.

nanna8 Thu 19-May-22 08:17:41

I want some, haven't seen a lupin since we were in Norway a few years back. I wonder if they would grow in Australia?

Elless Thu 19-May-22 09:15:15

When I was walking the dog last year I saw some wild lupins dying off so I took two dead stems and just left them at the bottom of the garden, happy to say I've got lots of little lupins growing now, can't wait for them to flower.

merlotgran Thu 19-May-22 09:23:17

I do the same as Jaxjacky. The spray bottle is always kept handy at this time of year.

henetha Thu 19-May-22 10:05:54

How lovely to see lupins are still popular. Bloomin' aphids.
They are just greedy!
I went slug hunting last night and found 19 .

Lizbethann55 Thu 19-May-22 10:12:21

Thanks springy chicken.
I have aphids on lots of my plants, but these lupins were something else. They were literally covered from top to bottom with the blighters. In fact they were having to crawl over each other as there was no space. I have never seen anything like it and the lupins I dug up were actually virtually dead. I wish I had taken a photo! In fact after digging them up, I realised that I had loads on me so i had to change my clothes. The tragedy is that I love lupins and last year was the first year I had had any success.

Germanshepherdsmum Thu 19-May-22 10:23:03

My lupins were wonderful last year. This spring all but one failed to appear again. No aphids, a mild winter. Much as I love the flowers, I don’t love the messy foliage when they have finished blooming so I’m not replacing them. If you’re looking for something perennial that will flower around the same time as lupins, what about delphiniums? The Magic Fountains variety aren’t too tall. Followed by Michaelmas daisies - I love Aster Frikartii Monch which starts flowering in July.

BigBertha1 Thu 19-May-22 10:34:27

We have never managed to grow lupins without pests that all but destroy the plant. We plant for Foxgloves now they seem very tolerant of us and are so lovely.

MaizieD Thu 19-May-22 10:38:32

If the aphids don't get them in the summer the slugs do when their tender new shoots are coming through in the spring! I have two out of three of last year's plants which have come though unscathed (we had weeks without rain when they were starting into growth, I think it was just too dry for the slugs & snails) and are about to flower. I keep persisting with them because I like them so much. I have the same problem with keeping delphiniums going from one year to the next.

I'd say squash the aphids, too. Put gloves on to do it if you feel a bit squeamish about touching their squashed bodies.

I'd also say slug pellets in the spring. (In all the years that I've had dogs, cats and gardens I have never known any of the animals to eat a slug pellet, before anyone objects)

Whitewavemark2 Thu 19-May-22 10:52:38

I adore lupins and their peppery smell, but we garden on chalk and they really don’t like it so I’ve given up. I did grow some in pots one year, but that is a lot of bother watering etc, and they don’t die very gracefully either so something needs to go in front of them for later on in summer.

Whitewavemark2 Thu 19-May-22 10:53:34

Yes I use slug pellets😬. We wouldn’t get a thing to eat if we didn’t. I do feel very 😬 about it though.

Lizbethann55 Thu 19-May-22 11:08:56

Haven't slug pellets just been made illegal? They are horrible things as birds and particularly hedgehogs eat them.
Will try foxglove and small delphiniums

Jaxjacky Thu 19-May-22 11:11:38

Slug pellets with metaldehyde are the ones not advised, there are others which work well.

Mapleleaf Thu 19-May-22 11:18:23

There seem to be a lot more of those pesky lupin aphids this year. I was away for a week recently and when I returned the lupine were absolutely covered in them - the birds don’t seem to touch these particular type of aphids. I’m afraid I had to resort to a spray to get rid, which appears to have worked. I see the odd one now, but it’s more manageable to remove these by hand (I try to avoid the spray, even the organic stuff, as much as possible, but it was needs must on this occasion - soapy water doesn’t deter them, just spoils the plant, I find). If left, though, they multiply at an alarming rate, as I found out. Luckily, the lupins appear to have recovered and there are some lovely buds developing, so fingers crossed.

Septimia Thu 19-May-22 11:30:11

Aphids haven't been a problem on my lupins but I have had to protect them because the rabbits eat them. My list of plants that rabbits dislike includes lupins but, clearly, the rabbits haven't read it!

Chewbacca Thu 19-May-22 11:32:42

A squirt of washing up liquid, in a spray bottle of warm water. Spray liberally all over the plant, paying particular attention to underneath the leaves and where leaves join the stem. A couple of days of doing this should resolve the problem.

Esmay Thu 19-May-22 12:38:13

Hi Lisbethann ,

Great advice from other gransnetters .

I add a tiny bit of tobacco to hot soapy water and let it cool down before using .
I usually allow the mixture to mature overnight .
Tobacco is expensive.
So it's cigarette butts .
Revolting I know !
People are used to my eccentric behaviour !

I lost the very old original recipe ,which was in imperial.
Modern recipes suggest one cup of tobacco to one gallon of water .
That's a lot .
I've never made up such huge quantities .

Good luck with the aphids .

Lizbethann55 Thu 19-May-22 14:36:57

Thank you all. I have sprayed the surviving lupins ( the ones that weren't totally devastated) with Aldi best detergent and water. My DH , who isn't keen on gardening at all, said " why are you doing that?". That was when I realised that the only answer I had was " because the Gransnetters told me to!" . So,
What did I do it for? Will the little horrors die? Will they just slide down the slippy stems and land in a heap at the bottom? Or will they get upset and cry " I've got soap in my eye" and go somewhere else? And what do I do now? Do I just leave it or rinse it all off? Thank you. 🌻🌻

SpringyChicken Sat 21-May-22 07:27:50

Aphids don’t have lungs, I believe they have spiracles instead. The detergent blocks the spiracles causing the aphids to die. The plant isn’t affected by the detergent so no need to rinse it off.
You will need to repeat the spraying if (when) the lupins are reinfected.

Esspee Sat 21-May-22 07:36:41

I’ve given up on lupins as I have loads of slugs and the young growth never survives. Foxgloves do well in my clay soil.

Allsorts Sun 29-May-22 07:55:51

Would never use slug pellets, so bad for other garden visitors. I grow what my garden likes. This year for some reason, most likely the birds, I have lupins, magnificent, several hawthorns starting, they might have to go and a Mahonia, none of which I planted. My lovely Weigela has gone big and woody and I dread it going it takes such a big space and was always lovely, so I hang on. The Camelia is five foot high and feel I should take reduce it a bit, but will I kill it.

J52 Sun 29-May-22 08:33:43

Weigela and Camelia respond well to pruning. They both flower next year on the growth made this year, so are usually pruned right after flowering. So do the Camelia now and the Weigela as soon as it’s finished flowering.
If I’m being cautious, I prune out about a third of the growth and do another third the following year. Then finish the task the next year, rather than do a drastic chop.