The Q&A Archives: Pest Control For Mandevilla

Question: I have several pots of Mandevilla in my patio.(Alice du Pont, Moonlight Parfait, Red Velvet and Ruby Star) Spectacular beauty, but I lost one to pests.

What must I do to protect them from pests next spring when the growth cycle begins again?

Answer: Insect-infested plants can be doused with a forceful spray of water to dislodge the pests, or you can use insecticidal soaps. It's best to use a purchased insecticidal soap as labeled. If you choose to use 2-3 tablespoons of dishwashing soap per gallon of water, as recommended by the University of California, do so with caution. Insecticidal soaps are tested to most effectively kill insects without burning plants. Homemade concoctions will vary depending upon the brand of soap chosen, unknown formula changes to soaps, etc. Since dishwashing liquids are made to clean dishes, the manufacturers are under no obligation to tell you when they make changes to their product. This could make a difference if you're using it on plants! If you use a homemade soap mixture, make sure you test it on a small area first.

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