There are many plants with strong and distinct odours that aphids dislike and are repelled by. Let’s explore if lavender if one of these plants.
The Quick Answer
Does Lavender Repel Aphids?
Lavender does often repel aphids. This is due to the strong odour that puts aphids off. There are a few species of aphid, however, that will not be deterred so it’s not a fail-safe repellent, unfortunately.
Do Aphids Dislike Lavender?
Aphids appear to dislike lavender and are deterred by its presence. This is likely due to their strong smell and adding lavender near to affected plants appears to stop the females from laying any future eggs.
That being said, there are hundreds of aphid species in the UK alone, so it is no surprise that there have been sightings of aphids that live on lavender and are not bothered by its strong odour.
Will Aphids Live on Lavender?
People have reported aphids living on their lavender, but this appears to be very rare. It is usually misidentification of other lavender pests such as whitefly.
Some aphids will live on lavender in dire circumstances if they have no other place. However, because they do not like lavender, they will not feed on its sap meaning that it causes less damage to the lavender and they will also not lay their eggs there.
But you should still try to get rid of any aphids on your lavender as they may cause the plant indirect damage.
Can Aphids Harm Lavender?
Aphids will not feed on lavender sap or lay their eggs on lavender, meaning that the plant can photosynthesise as normal. It does not suffer the same damage as other plants do due to aphids, but aphids can bring a lot of damage to your lavender.
Aphids can carry a plant disease called Alfalfa Mosaic virus. Whilst this virus is rarely fatal to plants, it can be transmitted easily and cause a lot of damage. This virus can be identified by the patches of bright yellow it produces on the leaves and shoots of infected plants.
It is better to prevent this disease than treat it, as treating it usually requires the full removal of the infected plant. The best way to prevent this virus is to make sure you clean and sterilise your gardening tools and also control any aphid populations on or around your lavender.
What Other Plants Deter Aphids?
Lavender is not the only plant to repel aphids. There are many plants which aphids dislike because of their smell and they have been highly praised as deterrents by avid gardeners. Let’s have a look at the most popular choices below.
This bulbous herb is very strong smelling and highly effective at getting rid of aphids. It appears to be particularly effective at getting rid of rose aphids if it is planted around the base of an affected rose bush.
Whilst these flowers have an unscented strand that attracts aphids, their natural scent is a strong deterrent. It can be very helpful at reducing populations but make sure you grow scented ones.
This aromatic herb not only deters aphids and keeps your plants safe, but it also helps to attract beneficial insects to your garden. These insects include butterflies and bees which help to pollinate your plants and keep them healthy.
There are many other choices, almost all of which are strong-smelling, and this natural systematic method of gardening can prevent you from needed to resort to stronger methods of aphid control.
Is Lavender a Trap Plant?
You may have heard of people talking about aphid trap plants, but lavender does not fall into this category.
Trap plants are plants that aphids love that are sturdy and can withstand the aphids. Using a trap plant drives aphids away from more vulnerable plants. A prime example of a trap plant is a sunflower as it is sturdy, and aphids are attracted to the bright yellow petals of the flower.
In conclusion, there are a few main points to take away from this article. Aphids dislike the smell of lavender and are usually repelled by it. Some aphids will live on lavender if they have no choice but do not seem to lay eggs there.
Aphids do not cause the same kind of damage to lavender as they do to other plants. But they do carry a disease called Alfalfa Mosaic virus which can cause a lot of damage to lavender.
Other plants that deter aphids include garlic, marigolds and rosemary.
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