Tea leaves grower shares tips on how to keep aphids at bay

Rock Tea Company grows tea leaves in a greenhouse, and the grower has been dealing with aphids quite often. "This is because tea leaves are so sensitive to the sun that no horticultural oils can be used," the grower points out in the video. This makes finding the right protection quite a hassle. 

The company usually starts planting around the beginning of May. “The life cycle of an aphid is roughly seven to ten days,” the grower explains. Usually, growers wipe out at least two or three generations of aphids to fully get rid of them. In this way, you’d destroy both adult aphids and their eggs. “So, use this method every seven to ten days,” he points out.

Plants need to be treated before aphids even get into the greenhouse, so to prevent a potentially dangerous outbreak. “The usual first line of defense is to start with Azera,” says the grower. “This is a concentrated liquid and it's very brown and kind of sludgy looking.” he continues. That's the concentration that they use for tea leaves to keep aphids at bay. “The way Azera works is that it stays on the plant a little longer, so the aphid is going to ingest it and essentially, it ruptures its guts, so it takes a little time,” he points out.

At the same time, one of the main characteristics of this solution is that Azera sticks to the leaf more. So if you apply Azera, and some eggs on the leaves hatch, those babies would die as well.

Organic stuff such as neem oils don't work, the grower remarks. ”But don't be scared,” he says. ”Those two products, if you look them up - they are very close cousins to organic solutions. We only use it in the greenhouse, we don't use it in the open field.”

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