That’s my kaffir lime tree in the turquoise planter.
My wondrous kaffir lime tree, purchased about two years ago in Chinatown, has been attacked by a pest called “aphids.” The only good news here is that I originally thought the aphids — which start off as soft-bodied insects — were bed bugs, especially when a few jumped off the plant and landed in other parts of the house. They are not. *Phew.
I’ve tried numerous eco-friendly ways to rid my beloved kaffir lime tree of the aphids, everything from manually squishing the aphids to spraying the plant (over and over and over again) with diluted rubbing alcohol. Alas, the pesty varmints have not dissipated.
I broke down recently and purchased “Insect Killing Soap,” a spray made by Safer brand that claims to be organic. (My concern in using a pesticide is that my kaffir lime tree isn’t an ordinary house plant — myself and anyone for whom I am making a curry actually ingest the leaves!)
Spray in hand, I took my kaffir lime plant out to my building’s back yard, which did prompt a few interesting conversations with my neighbors (one of whom was knowledgeable about Thai cuisine and appreciated my mission.) After about a week of spraying, the aphids *seem* to have disappeared, but only time will tell.
I’ve since doused my kaffir lime in the shower (I’ve heard that the plants — native to Southeast Asia — appreciate “monsoon-like” conditions) and the leaves are starting to look healthy and glossy green again. But for the time-being, I’ll have to settle for store-bought kaffir lime leaves.