Aphids are not usually fussy about the plants they occupy. They occupy flowers, such as rose bushes, and fruit trees, such as pear trees. But concerning the fruit plants they inhabit, let’s have a look at their relationship with the tomato plant.
Unfortunately, aphids do like tomato plants. There are very few plants that aphids do not like. There are two main aphid varieties that you’re most likely to find on tomato plants. These are potato aphids and green peach aphids.
Will Aphids Live on Tomato Plants?
You can often find aphids occupying the space on tomato plants, they quite like them. There are certain species of aphids that particularly love tomato plants, but it is possible for you to find almost any species of aphid living on your tomato plant.
Can Aphids Damage Tomatoes?
Aphids do not feed on the tomato fruit itself, so if you have fully grown tomatoes you don’t need to worry about them being eaten.
However, they do consume the sap from the tomato plant, primarily from its leaves. Tomato plants are usually quite hardy and will not suffer any major damage unless a very large infestation of aphids is covering your plant.
After consuming the sap, aphids will excrete a sticky substance called honeydew which sticks to the plant’s leaves. This substance can cause mould to develop on the plant leaves.
The presence of mould is very bad for plants, it blocks and lowers the surface area of the leaves meaning that they can photosynthesise less. The less photosynthesis, the lower yield of flowers or in this case, fruit.
So, aphids do not eat the tomatoes and damage them directly. However, their natural habits mean they can damage the plant and the fruit indirectly. They should be removed from your tomato plants.
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Which Aphids Can Be Found on Tomato Plants?
Most species of aphids will make their home on any plant that they can, so you can see any type of aphid on your tomatoes.
However, there are certain species of aphids that are fonder of tomato plants therefore, you are more likely to see them.
These aphids are brown in colour and are very fond of, as you may have guessed, potatoes. As well as this, they are very commonly found of tomato plants, with it being one of their favourite habitats.
Green Peach Aphid
This aphid is very closely related to the potato aphid. Much like their name suggests, they are green in colour and most often found in peach trees. But, being a fan of fruit trees, you are also likely to see them on your tomato plants.
There are over 60 different species in the UK, so there are likely to be many more species of aphid that you may see on your tomato plant. But these are the two species with a particular preference for this fruit.
How Can You Remove Aphids From Tomato Plants?
There are many ways to remove aphids. If there are only a couple on your plant, then it may be worth simply removing them by hand. But if there is a much larger group, try one of these methods below.
Aphids dislike the smell of bananas and oranges, putting the peels of these fruits around the base of your plant can help drive away aphids as well as giving your soil extra nutrients.
Diluting a solution of pure, natural essential oils with water and spraying it onto your plant is also very effective. Be sure to do a test to make sure your solution doesn’t harm your plant.
Blasting the aphids with water from a hose or a spray bottle will knock them off of the plant. However, you will need to do this every few days as it will not prevent aphids from returning or reinhabiting your plant.
Similar to the water, soapy water will knock aphids away. But natural soaps contain vegetable oils that will smother and kill some of the inhabitants thus making sure the aphids do not return.
There are other ways to get rid of aphids, but gardeners have found these natural methods to be the most effective. When removing aphids from your plants, make sure to check the underside of the leaves as they like to hide there as well as lay their eggs there.
In conclusion, aphids like tomato plants and will inhabit them.
The potato aphid and the green peach aphid are particularly big fans of tomato plants. They will not eat the fruit but will damage your plant and decrease your tomato yield.
You can easily remove aphids from your plant by hand or using fruit peels, essential oils or water sprays.
Ryan is a keen gardener from the UK who’s spent years dealing with countless, common pests over the years so knows the ins and outs of how to deal with pests in the garden