The Q&A Archives: Searching For Blue-needled Shrubs.

Question: I am looking for blue-needled shrubs for a foundation planting in front of a gray stone building. The tallest shrub should be 6-10' high and 2-3' wide. My juniper seems to be a magnet for bagworms. Can you suggest a shrub that would be more resistant to insects and disease than the juniperus family? Thank you for your time.

Answer: Junipers are usually among the more pest free plants. Bagworms would be likely to attack any replacement plant (such as arborvitae, spruce, pine or other juniper), so you might want to try controlling them. Bagworms have only one generation per year so they are fairly easy to control if the timing is right. They can be hand picked, sprayed with Bt (Bacillus thuringiensis ) or treated with carbaryl. In order to be effective, however, the treatment must be done at the right time in the spring. You might wish to contact your county extension (696-3500) for help in deterimining when to spray -- in late spring after the eggs have hatched and when the larvae have finished ballooning or moving about.

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