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I have just been given a very badly aphid infested Hoya lanceolata ssp. bella plant. I was also given another wax plant too, though I am not sure of its name; could it be a Hoya australis. It looks like it is shedding.

I live in Rochester, New York and it is winter now so I am afraid of leaving the plant in my sun room while I treat them; at times it gets below 0 °F in the room.

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    I assumed the 0 means Fahrenheit since you're in the US. Please update the post if I was wrong. Also, please post some photographs of the plants as it will help with diagnosis. Thanks! – Niall C. Dec 9 '14 at 18:17
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Sometimes the best thing to do is to look your gift plant right in the aphids (or other pest problem) and set it out in the snow to die, before you spread the problem to all your other plants.

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If you spray (or saturate) your plant with water mixed with a little salt and washing up liquid then the aphids should die within a week. You don't actually need the salt, but it probably helps a little bit.

If the aphid infestation is severe enough it can cause the leaves to come off the plant and the plant to get very sickly in various ways.

Another problem is that aphids can spread diseases. Like how mosquitoes are annoying for humans, but then can also spread malaria, aphids can just be pests or worse than pests. Therefore, especially if you have another similar plant, you should probably isolate the aphid infested one for some time to check it has not caught any diseases.

The more unhappy and stressed the plant is, the more susceptible it is to pests and diseases. So if it is dealing with undesirable conditions (such as the cold) as well as aphids, this will slow its recovery.

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