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Gardenia Florida How To Deal With Insects







Planting Gardenia Florida is not always smooth-sailing. If you're not vigilant, your poor plant will be affected by various forms of insects. Here is a sample of such insects, with helpful tips on how to handle them (courtesy of the Clemson University's agricultural extension service):

1. Aphids

Aphids appear as soft-bodied, tear-shaped insects. You'll have to check underneath the leaves to find them, since they usually cluster around in such out-of-sight areas.

Although these insects cause little damage in low populations, they do reproduce quite rapidly. They feed on plant sap, which leads to curled or distorted and stunted growth.

You need not worry too much about small populations of aphids, which can be kept under control during warm weather by their natural enemies (ladybugs, parasitic wasps and larvae). However, you can also use horticultural oil or insecticidal soap for greater artificial control.

2. Scales

Just like the aphids, scales also like hiding on the underside of leaves; although they can also be found on the stem. You'll find them looking like raised brown bumps, which might lead you to assume that they are simply part of the plant.

These insects will suck the sap from leaves, stems and branches, which inevitably weakens and kills branches. If heavily infested, your plant will end up being stunted.

Controlling light infestation is quite easy, since you can simply scrape them off or remove infested branches. You can even take advantage of their natural enemies, which include ladybugs and parasitic wasps. If you have to apply artificial means, the best application is horticultural oil.

3. Whiteflies

The award for the peskiest pest goes to the whitefly. You'll realize this once they pop on your face in an instant snowstorm full of countless dust-like particles. The tiny winged insects bear much more similarity to moths, rather than flies.

This insect feeds by sucking plant sap. Such action leads to various harmful consequences; the most visible of which is stunting on the plant. Leaves will also turn yellow and die, which is sure to affect your plant's ability to make food.

As you very well know, anything that eats is also likely to excrete. In the case of whiteflies, its honeydew excrement will make the plant leaves shiny and sticky, while encouraging further harm due to growth of sooty mold fungi. What makes this insect much worse than the rest is the fact that they don't just damage plants, but also have the potential of transmitting plant viruses.

Effective control of the harmful whitefly is possible using horticultural oil spray and insecticidal soap. However, this application is only effective if these insects come into contact with the oil or soap. Therefore, you should ensure thorough application in areas where the insects hide, particularly the underside of leaves.

Take note that foliage may be injured by the soap or oil application, if your plant is under drought stress. To avoid this, make sure that you water it well a day before spraying. The temperatures, while spraying, must also be below 90 oF, and preferably done late in the evening. Such an application should be repeated three times in intervals of 5-7 days.


About Author Keith Kelso :

These are some of the best ideas that Ben has benefited from in his gardening pursuits. You can apply them to your garden for the best results possible. Make sure to buy only the best quality plants from Nursery Online. Visit <a href="http://www.nurseryonline.com.au/gardenia-augusta-florida-200mm/" target="_blank">http://www.nurseryonline.com.au/gardenia-augusta-florida-200mm/</a> to know more.


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Article Added on Tuesday, October 7, 2014
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