I had been anticipating my huge white clematis to put on a show this year when I noticed it was covered with nasty little green aphids. Those pale pear shaped bugs can wreak havoc on your plants if you don’t get rid of them. They can make leaves curl and become mottled, ruin blooms and hurt the overall health of your plant. One year we had an aphid infestation on our Crepe Myrtle, and before we knew it, the whole thing was covered in black sooty mold from the sticky slime these bugs secrete.
As you can see from the pictures, they get underneath the flowers and the backside of the leaves. Ladybugs feed on aphids, but unless you have a whole slew of them, the aphids will take over.
I started treating my plant with a combination of dish soap and water, but this didn’t faze the bugs. I found Dr. Earth Yard and Garden Insect Killer at Home Depot and after two applications they were gone. To get the best results try to spray under the leaves and flowers as well as on top.
Although the leaves on my plant are still a bit damaged, my Clematis rewarded me with an awesome display of lovely white flowers.