The Q&A Archives: poinsettias

Question: what can I do with my poinsettias? They have white flying bugs. Is there a solution I can use? I don't want to disturb the flowers that have begun to form.

Answer: Whitefly is a common pest on poinsettia and it is not an easy pest to control. If you are seeing only a few, you can begin by vaccuuming them in the early morning when they are sluggish. Catching the adults will help limit the number of eggs laid on the plant. Horticultural oil can be used for whitefly on poinsettia, but it will discolor the colorful bracts if they are contacted with the spray. The eggs are found on the undersides of the foliage so be sure to spray thoroughly. Insecticidal soap is also sometimes recommended for whitefly control however many poinsettias are sensitive to it; if you opt to try this, do a test spray on a leaf or two and wait several days to see if the cultivar you have will tolerate it or not. Good luck with your poinsettia!

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