University of Maryland Extension

Aphids - Houseplants

close up of aphids on houseplant leaf

  • Aphids are small, soft-bodied insects, of various colors, some may be covered with fluffy white wax.
  • They have long, slender mouthparts, which they use to suck out plant fluids.
  • This feeding causes curling and wilting of the leaves. They may also feed on flowers.
  • They excrete honeydew, which makes the leaves and the area around the plant sticky and supports the growth of sooty mold.


  • Aphids can be washed off the plants with water.
  • If necessary, aphids may be controlled with an application of insecticidal soap for houseplants or a houseplant insecticide.
  • Check the label to make sure it is safe to use on the plant and pest.

aphids on leaf
Aphids on houseplant leaf

aphids on orchid bloom
Aphids on orchid flower

honeydew coating orchid leaf
Honeydew on orchid leaf

black sooty mold on orchid leaf
Sooty mold on orchid leaf

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