Greenfly on lupins


Lupins are a beautiful flower that you will find in many British gardens. A staple of British cottage gardens, famed for both their height and colour. While adored by gardeners they are as equally loved by aphids, and you can soon find yourself with an infestation.

Read on to find out how to spot an aphid takeover and also how to fix it!

Ladybird Eathing Greenfly
Ladybird Eating Greenfly

Greenfly on Lupins

Greenfly is a common garden pest and they just love lupins. If left alone they can cause serious damage so it is essential that you take action as soon as you spot greenflies on your lupins.

How to spot aphids

You will commonly find aphids living on the stems of lupins. Look for little grey/green bugs just sitting on the stems of your plants.

The photo above is obviously of a severe infestation so hopefully, yours don’t look this bad but this gives you a good idea of what to look out for. It is important to start treating this problem as soon as you spot any aphids on your lupins as they can quickly take over.

Lupin aphids don’t “eat” the plant per se, but this does not mean that they are not dangerous to the plant. They suck the sap out of the plant and if there is a large enough infestation they will do enough damage to cause the lupin to wilt and sometimes even die.

What to do

I like to garden organically so I will not be advocating for the use of any strong pesticides here but I can understand if it is something you are not concerned about. If you want to use a spray then I have a recommendation below and to be honest, it is probably the easiest solution but I find that organic gardening gives me a real sense of pleasure and achievement so I strongly advise you to try it too.

Commercial Bug Spray

Probably the most common option and also the most effective. You can get organic bug sprays but they are never as good as the non-organic ones.

If you just want to kill the aphids and save your lupins then I recommend the miracle grow bug spray. I have used this spray myself after being recommended it by another gardener and it really does work wonders.

I also have a post on using rose clear on lupins and it is meant to work well, so if you happen to have some then you might as well give it a try.

Kills Lupin Aphids
Miracle-Gro Bug Clear Ultra Gun 1Ltr

Kills all major insect pests, including whitefly, greenfly, black fly, red spider mite, caterpillars and lily beetle, scale insects and mealy bugs For use on flowers, fruit and vegetables.

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06/26/2022 12:03 am GMT

Homemade Sprays

There are lots of old wives’ tales when it comes to homemade aphid sprays which may be worth trying out but I must say I have not used them myself on lupins as they never seem to work for other bugs.

Garlic spray, mix some crushed garlic in a spray bottle with plenty of water, spray directly onto the aphids and wait around an hour before spraying off with regular water to rinse the flowers.

Soap spray is also meant to work well on lupin aphids. Mix some washing up soap with water before applying and rinsing off as above.


Ladybirds are the greenflies, natural predators. One reason you may have a greenfly problem is that you don’t have enough of these little hunters in your garden. But what can you do about this, I mean your not going to turn into a ladybird breeder, are you.

Well, thankfully you can purchase ladybirds online and have them delivered to your door, the wonders of modern living.

Aphid Super Predators!
Live Ladybird Larvae x 50

These native British Adalia Bipunctata ladybird larvae have a huge appetite for soft -bodied garden pests such as aphids (greenfly and blackfly), spider mite, scale, mealy-bug etc.

We earn a commission from any items purchased through this link at no charge to yourself. This helps fund what we do here!
06/26/2022 12:03 am GMT

These are live ladybirds in their larvae form. You can apply them directly to the plant where they will immediately get to work munching on aphids. When old enough they will transform into ladybirds and continue munching on aphids, win-win!

Paper Towel

The old fashioned manual method, grab some paper towel and knock those little green pests off by hand. This method works well but it’s time-consuming. As horrible as it sounds, try and squish the greenfly as you knock them off, otherwise, you may come back the next morning to find all your hard work undone as the greenfly have just climbed straight back up your lupins.

Other common lupin pests

so we know aphids love lupins but what else commonly feasts on and hurts our precious lupins? Let’s have a look.

Slugs and snails

The blight of any British gardener, the classic slugs and snails. And unfortunately for us, slugs and snails absolutely love lupins and can even go as far as destroying an entire younger plant overnight.

White flies

These tiny white flies plant their eggs on lupin leaves. The larvae then live inside the leaf and eat their way out. You can learn more in my what are the little white bugs on my lupins article.

More on lupins

Originally hailing from the Mediterranean they are a perennial that will greet you with a gorgeous display year after year. They produce a large flowering spike that is full of colour and each plant can have lots of these spikes leading to a fabulous display.

They will begin to flower around may and can last well into June. The flowers do go to seed quite quickly but your lupin will continue to produce more and more new spikes.

To get the best out of these spikes though it is essential to deadhead the old spikes to give the new ones chance to flourish. Also cutting your lupins back in autumn can help them the following spring. The seeds are edible but if not treated properly first they can be poisonous to animals and humans.




Hey, I'm Daniel. Having worked as a professional gardener for years as well as keeping a private allotment I decided to create this website to help spread my knowledge. I love gardening and hope to show you just how rewarding it can be!

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