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I have a row of (mini) sweet pepper plants grown from seed in a planter. The seeds are from peppers from the grocery store. They normally sit on the sill of a SE facing window.

So far they have been doing pretty well and are fruiting - but they have recently been invaded by aphids which seem especially attracted to the flowers.

I have tried covering the roots and blasting the aphids off in the shower - but that also knocks off the flowers and buds. I have also tried spraying it with a mixture of soap and water, which is not very effective.

I have also tried pruning off the most infected leaves and squashing any aphids I find.

I have considered some organic options:

  • Neem oil
  • Natria Pyrsol (pyrethrin)

Are they worth trying?

Mottling under leaf

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  • I know it's not an insecticide (but rather a nitrogen fertilizer), but you might consider doing a foliar spray with calcium nitrate the next time your peppers need nitrogen and/or calcium. The aggressive aphids on my peppers (albeit outdoors) dwindled a lot after I did that. Calcium nitrate is toxic to humans, though (I imagine it's toxic to aphids, too, since they don't like it); so, don't spray yourself with it. I recommend only doing foliar sprays with it (since it can kill soil microbes if you put it in the soil). Aug 20, 2016 at 8:26

1 Answer 1


Neem oil and/or agricultural, insecticidal soaps can work, but require diligence in repeated applications. Another, perhaps more immediately effective, option would be Pyganic(an OMRI listed organic pesticide) or another pyrethrin product. Make sure to read the labels as some pyrethrin products may contain other ingredients that would render them non-organic.

A pair of applications according to label should do the trick.


  • Natria Pyrsol is pyrethrin and rapeseed oil. Although I'm not really fond of Bayer - its whats available in scandinavia.
    – max
    Aug 18, 2016 at 12:01
  • 1
    Bonide has a pyrethrin product (bonide.com/assets/Products/Labels/l857.pdf), but as far as I know the formulation they use is NOT organic.
    – That Idiot
    Aug 18, 2016 at 12:09
  • I've always just used a teaspoon of Ultra Dawn in a gallon of water. Drenched the plant and then rinse off ten minutes later. Works great.
    – Evil Elf
    Aug 18, 2016 at 12:33
  • I don't really care that much if the product is certified organic - but would like to avoid any really nasty chemicals. @ThatIdiot
    – max
    Aug 18, 2016 at 13:44
  • The Bonide is labeled for use up to day of harvest - implying that it is "safe" by someone's measure. The active pyrethrin ingredient has a low mammalian toxicity and breaks down very quickly once applied.
    – That Idiot
    Aug 18, 2016 at 14:04

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