18 Replies Latest reply on Jan 18, 2018 8:15 AM by dperrone



      Just want to share this simple solution with anyone out there fighting aphids...


      No matter how hard I tried - from sealing all windows to NOT opening the windows at all anywhere close to my Tower Garden - I still had an invasion of aphids this Spring.

      I recently got into Essential Oils, and had read how there are oils or combo's of oils that kill and/or repel aphids, gnats and other creepy crawlies.


      After trying a variety of complicated 'recipes,' I tried a simple mixture of Lemon Essential Oil and water in a inexpensive spray bottle. I use 5-8 drops of Lemon Oil in about 4-6 ozs. of water. I mist the plants once a day, (twice for a while because the 'invasion' got heavier). My plants look lovely; the denser leaves like those on the pepper plants have a lovely shine. I am careful around the tender, thin-leaf varieties like gourmet lettuces.


      And, just an 'aside' but you can also use the mixture on the tower, counter tops and more ... Lemon Essential oil is an excellent cleaning solution, smells lovely and kills some mold and mildew.




      Update: There has been lots of discussion about the essential oils, the spray bottles, etc. and since I just did several blog posts on my Travel-To-Wellness blog- and this is fresh in my mind- I decided to add this update.


      I use essential oils daily; I use them for many things from health to household. I am NOT selling them, nor am I involved with any company that does. So here is some practical advice:

      If you are going to be spraying your Tower Garden or any decent size home garden, you could possibly find yourself using a lot of essential oils; Amazon has high quality, 100% pure, therapeutic grade oils that are fabulous, in NOT 5 ML or 10 ML, but in 4 oz. bottles for around $15.00 or less per bottle with droppers. Affordable and excellent quality and won't 'break the bank.'

      Small glass sprayers may be fine for personal cosmetic use, etc. but if you are going to be spraying your garden - trust me- you'll hate them! I did! Here is some practical advice-You can find inexpensive plastic spray bottles - and in a variety of colors which is helpful when you have different spray combinations for household use - at stores like Walmart or Dollar Store. I LOVE mine; they are cheap and work beautifully - and they put out a nice fine mist or they can stream.


      P.S. The Lemon Oil recipe above also kills spiders; if Lemon doesn't work on tougher household pests, substitute Peppermint Essential Oil. ( but don't use it ON your plants.)


      Message was edited by: Darlene Perrone

        • Re: Aphids

          Thank you so much. I have some one with the same problem.  Where do you get your oils from?  Thanks,   Bob Brady 

          • Re: Aphids

            Et Al,


            You may find the following doc helpful:


            Got Aphids?



            -- [please mark this post as "Correct Answer" (under Actions menu) and/or "Helpful" when appropriate] -- Happy Growing! -JoeD towergarden level2concepts tgtech TG Tech

            • Re: Aphids


              • Re: Aphids

                Lady bugs eat aphids and are called "Beneficials" as they do not harm the plants.  Many nurseries will sell lady bugs.  You release them on your plants and your problem should be resolved.

                • Re: Aphids

                  Did the lemon essential oils/water recipe work?

                  • Re: Aphids

                    I can't recommend Floracopeia oils highly enough.  What I love is that they are sourced ethically and in a way that's protects the integrity of the environment.  They also post exactly where and how each oil is sourced and their customer service is fantastic and so knowledgeable.  They are the purest I've been able to find and I've researched many!  With each equinox and solstice they usually offer 20% off.  You can also get small glass spray bottles on Amazon which I recommend over the plastic as it can compromise the integrity of the oils and therefore their effectiveness.  Good luck with those aphids!

                    • Re: Aphids

                      A while back I recommended Lemon Essential Oil for the control of aphids on indoor TG.


                      I need to update that for several reasons.


                      Although lemon oil DOES kill aphids on contact, it does require regular treatment several times a week because they keep hatching new ones!

                      Because aphids are targeting a few of my plants in particular, I decided to finally give Neem Oil a try.


                      I did NOT want the commercially manufactured 'bug spray' Neem Oil, because most are 70% Neem - and commercial companies are using a low grade (the sludge) Neem after the original first run cold press of the oil. So I purchased 100% pure, USDA certified organic, cold pressed, unrefined, premium quality Neem on Amazon. I mixed up a batch  (1/4 teaspoon to 8 oz. of water) and with a cheap plastic sprayer, sprayed the afflicted plants. The next day I spotted only a few! So I repeated the process, making sure to thoroughly spray all the leaves - even backs, when possible.

                      Today - third day - aphids are gone!


                      There are a few things to be aware of with Neem Oil.

                      1. Do be aware it doesn't have a pleasant odor. I don't find it overly unpleasant smelling, so no worries there.
                      2. Some recipes call for adding soap or detergent to the mixture because Neem IS an oil and doesn't 'mix' with the water. I did NOT want to be spraying my plants with SOAP, so I did not use any - I simply shook the bottle well so the oil was well-dispersed.
                      3. In addition to aphids, Neem Oil kills: whiteflies, snails, mealybugs, cabbage worms, gnats, moths, cockroaches, flies, termites, mosquitoes, and scale.
                      4. AND THIS IS A BONUS! Organic Neem Oil is great for skin and hair! It helps keep your skin hydrated, youthful and healthy-looking. It helps treat old acne scars and prevents new scars from forming. It is full of carotenoids and antioxidants that helps protect your skin against the ravages of free radicals, which cause signs of aging such as wrinkles and age spots. Using lavender or other sweet smelling essential oil will help mask the odor.


                      Hope this is helpful for anyone battling bugs with their indoor TG.