Banana peels are a natural resource and have been used to help the growth of plants by gardeners. But do banana peels keep aphids away too?
Yes, banana peels can keep aphids away from your garden. The strong smell of a banana peel is often enough to deter aphids. Surround the base of your affected plants with strips of banana peel.
How to Use Banana Peels to Deter Aphids
Whilst the smell of a banana peel is strong enough to deter most aphids, there is a way to make the most of your banana peels. The good news is that you can use any banana peel, so just keep the skin off of any banana you eat.
Chop the peel finely, into slim and small pieces. Then, place the peel at the base of the plant affected by aphids. The aphids will have gotten the hint and vacated the plant in a few days.
You can also put it around any plants you would like to protect from aphids, as a preventative measure, before any aphids even take hold.
Is It Guaranteed to Work?
Some people on gardening forums have cited this method as ineffective.
That being said, scientific journals have discussed the use of bananas in gardening and have also suggested this is an effective method of deterring aphids.
Like many deterrents, it will be a case of trial and error. The good news is that bananas won’t set you back much of an investment, so it’s worth trying to see if it does help get rid of aphids in your garden.
Do Bananas Get Rid of Aphids Too?
The main reason for bananas being an aphid deterrent is the smell. Through that logic, it is fair to assume that the actual banana fruit would have the same effect.
Placing a banana at the base of an affected plant will make aphids want to leave because of the smell.
However, it’s worth noting that a banana will rot much quicker and lose its smell sooner than banana peels. It’s also something you can enjoy eating whereas a banana peel was likely to end up in the bin.
So, yes, in theory, you can use a banana rather than the peel, but it will be less effective, and it also runs the risk of attracting ant colonies to your plants who might end up protecting your aphids.
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Do Other Fruit Peels Deter Aphids?
A lot of fruits will actually attract aphids, so make sure to be careful about what fruits you use. But there are some fruits that work as well as bananas. You can also use citrus peels to get rid of aphids.
Much like banana peels, citrus peels have a very strong smell, and it is one that aphids appear to dislike:
Orange peels are very sweet smelling which, surprisingly, will drive aphids away from your plants. As well as aphids, they will actually deter mosquitos from your plants, so they provide defence from multiple insect species.
They also improve the quality of your soil by providing extra nutrients.
Lemon peels do not appear to be as good at getting rid of aphids as oranges and bananas, but they still work.
You can also add more nutrients to your soil using lemon peels by drying them out, chopping them finely into pieces and burying them around the base of the plant.
This will help your plant to be healthier and free of aphids.
Do Fruits Attract Aphids?
Although some fruits can work to deter aphids, there are others that will have the complete opposite effect, unfortunately.
Aphids are commonly found on fruit trees and bushes. There are certain fruits that will therefore attract more aphids to your garden, and you should not place them around your plants, lest you bring more aphids.
Cherry trees are victims of aphids, particularly black cherry aphids. Many aphids are named after the fruit plants which they inhabit. It is more difficult to use fruit peels when removing aphids from trees as they are much bigger.
Plants that grow stone fruits, nectarines and peaches, also attract aphids. They are mostly infested by black peach aphids.
Pear trees attract different types of aphids, specifically the green peach aphids, cotton aphids and bean aphids.
There are a couple of aphid species that make their homes in plum trees. They include leaf curl plum aphids and mealy plum aphids.
If you have any of these fruits growing in your garden, you may wish to place banana or citrus peels around the base of your plants to prevent them from becoming homes to many different species of aphids.
Do you still have questions about aphids and how they react to banana peels? Then check these out:
Some other insects are known to be repelled by the smell of banana peels including thrips and weevils, along with greenflies and blackflies.
Banana peels might deter some pests, but they will also attract others including fruit flies, wasps and ants.
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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