Sue Sanderson

Sue Sanderson – our horticulturist expert

Sue Says
Globe Artichokes do tend to be prone to blackfly. The most commonly used non-chemical remedy is to spray them with soapy water. You can buy insecticidal soaps but many people make up their own using a teaspoon of washing up liquid diluted in 3 litres of water. The aphids are unable to breath under a coating of soap and subsequently suffocate. If you intend to try this then be sure to spray them on a dull day as spraying in full sun is likely to scorch the foliage.

Other popular methods include squashing groups of them between your finger and thumb or blasting them with a hosepipe to knock them off of the plants. (Be careful not to damage your plants with the pressure of the water.) Growing other plants as ‘lures’ that are more attractive to the blackfly than the artichokes is another good suggestion. Just make sure that you destroy the blackfly when they appear on your ‘lure’ plants, otherwise you will just be increasing the local aphid population! You can spray the lure plants with an insecticide as you are not intending to eat them.

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