How to Get Rid of the Garden’s Pet Peeve: Aphids on Succulents

The succulent has become a popular plant choice among many gardening experts and enthusiasts. While succulent plants may appeal to the eyes, their leaves also attract tiny little insects called aphids.

Are you worried that those tiny little pests might ruin your garden? Then you’ve come to the right place.

We will give you everything you need to know about aphids and the necessary steps to get rid of such pests.

Different Methods for Getting Rid of Aphids on Succulents

As you can see, there are many ways to get rid of aphids and prevent a significant infestation from taking place.

Here are some resources and cost-efficient methods you can do to reduce the aphid population growth all across the garden.

Each solution delivers instant results and does the job of getting rid of aphids and other infectious insects on succulents.

Dishwashing Liquid, Vegetable Oil, and Water

This is one of the most convenient methods for protecting your succulent plant leaves from aphids. All you need is one teaspoon of dishwashing liquid, two cups of water, and one teaspoon of vegetable oil.

You can even include a tiny ounce of cayenne pepper for an additional punch.

Make sure the amounts are exact to get the results you want. Pour these components into a handheld water spray bottle for light shaking.

After mixing the ingredients, gently spray the homemade soapy water solution on the affected plants and foliage.

Doing so will smother the aphids, thus forcing them to flee from the succulents.

Don’t forget to remove the leftover soap residue by wiping your plant with a rag or thin tissue.

Stay patient because you won’t get immediate results. Usually, it takes around three days to determine whether the home remedy virtually eliminates aphids on succulents.

Dish Soap and Alcohol Aphid Solution

Who would have thought that your secrets weapons against aphids can be found in your comfort room? You heard that right.

Bathroom essentials such as soap and rubbing alcohol are two of aphids’ worst nightmares.  Here’s how the two ingredients make the magic happen in your garden.

Combine equal amounts of water and alcohol on a water spray bottle. Shake these along with the dish soap. 

Apply the homemade soapy water solution by spraying it all over your plants and other affected areas.

After three hours of rest, wipe off the soapy water and rubbing alcohol residue left on every affected plant with a damp cloth.

Insecticidal Soap

Do you want a more specialized type of soap that can remove aphids on succulents?

If yes, insecticidal soap should be your go-to option when it comes to resolving your garden’s insect problem. [R]

Unlike your essential dish soap, insecticidal soap features potassium salts and alters the aphids’ cell membranes.

Besides aphids, you can apply the insect-killing soap substance on soft-body pests such as mealybugs, whiteflies, etc.

In 24 hours, the insecticidal soap would have killed all the aphids that directly contacted it.

Other Insect Infestations

Except for ants and aphids, having insects all over your garden is a good thing.

Just like your typical superhero movies, the heroes defeat the villains.

The heroic insects include ladybugs, parasitic wasps, hoverflies, etc. Indeed, you are in good hands with these little critters. [R]

If you see any of these insects hanging out on the leaves, succulents, and plants, expect a pest-free garden. 

Essential Oils

You cannot go wrong with everyone’s favorite home remedy, essential oils. In particular, horticultural oil prevents the new growth of aphid eggs.

It is understandable if you feel guilty for shortening the life cycle of aphids.

However, don’t feel too sorry for these dangerous pests because they will cause diseases, infections, and long-term repercussions all over your leaves and succulents.

The best time to apply such oils on succulent plants is during cold and moist seasons like spring.

With adequate amounts of oil and a strong stream of water, you will be able to get rid of aphids on succulents instantly.

Just be sure to do prior research to determine how much oil and water you need in the spray bottle.  

Diatomaceous Earth

Here is another alternative way to get rid of aphids on succulents and plants.

Applying rubbing alcohol or soap solutions on succulent plants can be a hassle because you have to clean up the extra residue.

If you don’t want to do extra work, try putting diatomaceous earth on the soil.

It is highly effective against aphids, ants, and some pests because the powder causes dehydration.

Insects who eat the powder will end up dying. For the best results, sprinkle it around the soil to ensure these aphids have no place to hide. 


What Are Aphids?

Aphids are little soft-bodied insects that creep towards succulent plants. [R] “What happens once they get there?”

Aphids use their sharp mouthparts to poke holes on the leaves and suck their sap, taking away the plants’ green color.

These can be problematic for most plant owners because plants losing their natural color and shape means they are damaged and weakened.

In fact, a sign of aphid infestation getting out of hand is when aphids continue to lay eggs on succulents. As a result, large clusters of winged aphids surround the leaves.

These fully-evolved insects may deliver an influx of viruses to other plants due to their high volume and density.

To make matters worse, aphids leave behind a sticky residue called honeydew.

The honeydew substance produces sooty mold, which blocks the passage of sunlight.  As a result, plant growth cannot happen due to the obstruction of photosynthesis cycles.    

How Do Ants and Aphids Share a Symbiotic Relationship?

Ants and aphids work like a formidable one-two punch when bringing damage to some succulents and plants.

Ants provide most species of aphids with much-needed protection, while aphids give ants the honeydew waste product. Indeed, both insects practice a two-sided friendship by helping each other.

Even if the succulent leaves start losing their nutrients, the ants will keep the aphids in the same plant by biting off newly-developed wings.

Ants also combat some of the aphids’ predators, such as ladybugs, flies, etc.

If you are a beginner or expert in handling plants, consider dealing with a double whammy with these two lethal insects.   

What Preemptive Measures Can You Do to Control Aphids?

Although we gave a list of things you can do to get rid of aphids on succulents, nothing beats preparation and preemptive measures.

After all, wouldn’t it be better if you don’t have to deal with aphids in the first place?

Do not expect a 100 percent removal rate on each plant. However, minimizing the chances of aphid infestation on succulents will give you an easier time managing the garden yearly.

Inspect Your Garden Every Day

If you want to get rid of aphids on succulents for good, you need to practice proper maintenance all year round.

The inspection part may be a simple task for both kids and adults alike. However, it is easier said than done. At first glance, it appears that the leaves on the plant are healthy and in one-piece. 

Little do you know that tiny bugs are harming your plants. It also does not help that some aphids are green in color, which allows them to blend with the green leaves.

Therefore, you should not take your chances if you are leaning towards avoiding major infestation from taking place. 

Make sure to do the morning rounds to see whether a new infestation has taken over a specific part of your garden.

I suggest using a magnifying glass to help you look closely at each plant. The enlarged image and extra attention to detail detect how much aphids are on the succulents.

When in doubt, you can always seek help from your neighbors and gardening experts. Extra pairs of eyes will give you a better experience overseeing the whole garden.

Get Rid of Ant Colonies Before Doing Anything Else

One other way to stop the spread of aphids of succulents is by eliminating ant colonies. 

The best time to look for an aphid infestation on plants is after you have gotten rid of all the ants.

As mentioned earlier, they protect plant pests like aphids and mealybugs. These insects are here to stay so as long as the ants are left unattended.

Fixing the water drainage is a good place to start. Ants and other predator insects love areas with low irrigation and abundant moisture.

These conditions allow them to crawl under the soil, thus attracting aphids to reside on the plants and succulents.

Be sure to coordinate with your water provider so that you have an idea of how you can improve the drainage system. 

Try Out Companion Planting

Sticking with one plant type will not be enough to get rid of aphids on succulents. Nothing beats a diversified environment.

It pays to plant multiple varieties of companion plants.

For example, aphids hate the pungent excellent sulfur scent onions and garlic cloves bring out. These two companion plants will repel aphids away from succulents.

They also provide an aesthetic appeal because they are floral in nature.

You can also plant strong scented-plants like oregano, mint, and cilantro. They also elicit strong scents that will catch aphids off-guard.

Also, surround the garden with flowers and other plant types aphid predators love.

Marigolds, sunflowers, and nasturtiums are perfect options for attracting friendly bugs and repelling dangerous pests.   


We hope you enjoyed reading our content regarding the different ways to get rid of aphids on succulents.

You can whatever method you want, so as long as you stick to the universal end-goal of keeping those pesky insects away from your entire household. 

If you want to post a question or concern regarding aphids and pest control, please contact us.