Gardening for Butterflies, Birds and Bees forum: Be careful where you buy plants

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Name: Elfrieda
Indian Harbour Beach, Florida (Zone 10a)
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orchidgal
Apr 8, 2014 8:16 PM CST
I posted this in response to a discussion on parsley and dill, but I think it's so important that I would like to share this here.
A couple of friends have had upsetting experiences with parsley they bought. A couple of plants were bought at a big box store's nursery, and the other friend got hers from a produce vendor. In both cases, the swallowtails caterpillars that transferred over to the new plants (as they had just about eaten up the other parsley), died before the end of the day. So be careful, and buy your plants only from a reliable nursery. What is also disturbing is that parsley (and I assume all the other herbs) had obviously been sprayed, and are being sold for humans to eat. it appears that the stores have no control, or don't have any idea if the plants were sprayed. I will only buy my plants from a certain nursery as I know the plants are safe, or grow my own from seed. More than likely even the flowering plants have probably been sprayed. If this is happening all over, no wonder there is a decline in butterflies and bees.
โ€œI was just sittinโ€™ here enjoyinโ€™ the company. Plants got a lot to say, if you take the time to listenโ€
Eeyore
Name: Carole
Clarksville, TN (Zone 6b)
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SongofJoy
Apr 9, 2014 3:59 AM CST
This is very good advice, orchidgal. The decline in bees and butterflies is serious and we need to sound the alarm about spraying and locate vendors who sell plants that are safe for them (unsprayed).
The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched -- they must be felt with the heart. ~ Helen Keller
Name: Tiffany
Opp, AL (Zone 8b)
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purpleinopp
Apr 9, 2014 7:20 AM CST
Whatever was on that plant, surely not healthy for humans either. Nobody buys dill as an ornamental - it's food for something/somebody. That's horrifying!
๐Ÿ‘€๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜‚ - SMILE! -โ˜บ๐Ÿ˜Žโ˜ปโ˜ฎ๐Ÿ‘ŒโœŒโˆžโ˜ฏ๐Ÿฃ๐Ÿฆ๐Ÿ”๐Ÿ๐Ÿฏ๐Ÿพ
๐Ÿ€๐Ÿ‘’โ˜€๐Ÿ„๐Ÿ๐ŸŒฑ๐ŸŒฟ๐ŸŒด๐ŸŽ„๐Ÿ‘ฃ๐ŸŒต๐ŸŒทโš˜๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒป๐ŸŒฝ๐Ÿก๐Ÿƒ๐Ÿ‚๐ŸŒพ๐ŸŒฟ๐Ÿโฆโง ๐Ÿƒ๐Ÿ๐Ÿ‚๐ŸŒพ๐ŸŒป๐ŸŒบ๐ŸŒธ๐ŸŒผ๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒณ๐ŸŒฒ
โ˜•๐Ÿ‘“ The only way to succeed is to try.
Name: Tiffany
Opp, AL (Zone 8b)
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purpleinopp
Apr 9, 2014 11:02 AM CST
After thinking about this more, I would like to write a letter to the BBS store where these plants were bought. But after thinking about THAT more, it's obvious a letter to each of the 'big 3' is probably warranted, unless there's a 4th that should also receive some feedback? (besides WM, L's, HD.)

Many people don't wait weeks to start eating bought herb plants. Ugh!!
๐Ÿ‘€๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜‚ - SMILE! -โ˜บ๐Ÿ˜Žโ˜ปโ˜ฎ๐Ÿ‘ŒโœŒโˆžโ˜ฏ๐Ÿฃ๐Ÿฆ๐Ÿ”๐Ÿ๐Ÿฏ๐Ÿพ
๐Ÿ€๐Ÿ‘’โ˜€๐Ÿ„๐Ÿ๐ŸŒฑ๐ŸŒฟ๐ŸŒด๐ŸŽ„๐Ÿ‘ฃ๐ŸŒต๐ŸŒทโš˜๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒป๐ŸŒฝ๐Ÿก๐Ÿƒ๐Ÿ‚๐ŸŒพ๐ŸŒฟ๐Ÿโฆโง ๐Ÿƒ๐Ÿ๐Ÿ‚๐ŸŒพ๐ŸŒป๐ŸŒบ๐ŸŒธ๐ŸŒผ๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒณ๐ŸŒฒ
โ˜•๐Ÿ‘“ The only way to succeed is to try.
Name: Suzanne/Sue
Sebastopol, CA (Zone 9a)
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Calif_Sue
Apr 9, 2014 11:55 AM CST

Plants Admin

orchidgal said:If this is happening all over, no wonder there is a decline in butterflies and bees.

And human health!


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Name: Cindi
Wichita, Kansas (Zone 7a)
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CindiKS
Apr 9, 2014 1:55 PM CST
The box stores are not spraying any insecticide or even systemics. It's happening at the nursery. When nursery workers water, they zone out like you do driving on a boring highway. Everything gets watered and sprayed the same unless it's in a different greenhouse. I've seen nurseries with big signs on succulents, in English and Spanish, that say don't water, and the people water just the same. The box store doesn't have much control over this. Shipments get rejected and destroyed if they have any insects, so just to be safe, they spray everything. My guess is they figure you will let the plants grow for a few weeks before eating them, and by then the poisons have worn off. It could even be that the delivery truck was sprayed.
Your best bet is to buy organic seeds and grow the plants yourself. Even then, spray can drift in from a neighbor's yard.
Crying
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Name: Deb
Pacific Northwest (Zone 8b)
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Bonehead
Apr 9, 2014 4:23 PM CST
After observing the same color, same way-too-early blooming foxgloves at three different stores (Lowes, Haggen, and I forget where else), I am concerned that many smallish 'sidewalk nurseries' likely purchase from the same wholesale nursery(s). The stores will have no idea (or control) what is being sprayed by the wholesaler. I'll question my local nurseries (the real ones) a bit closer to find out what they know about their sources as well. This spraying thing is very worrisome for me.
I want to live in a world where the chicken can cross the road without its motives being questioned.
Name: Elfrieda
Indian Harbour Beach, Florida (Zone 10a)
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orchidgal
Apr 9, 2014 7:44 PM CST
Correct -- the box stores have no control over what plants are trucked to them, and have no idea whether the plants are sprayed, or with what. I am going to attempt to contact the headquarters of these stores. A couple of years ago I did, over something else, and was referred to the manager of the local store --who, guess what -- told me to contact headquarters!! Seriously, this spraying is worrying.
โ€œI was just sittinโ€™ here enjoyinโ€™ the company. Plants got a lot to say, if you take the time to listenโ€
Eeyore
Name: Tiffany
Opp, AL (Zone 8b)
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purpleinopp
Apr 10, 2014 9:17 AM CST
Spraying is one thing. Not saying so on some kind of label is quite another. The latter is where I start to take issue (- regarding personal purchases. As I did some research this morning, it's obvious this is a serious, critical problem for BEES!) I don't like not having necessary info to make an informed decision, and to then know how to handle plants I've purchased, should I decide to do so based on a full range of info. The two issues are too connected to separate, and obviously there's a lot of totally uninformed or misinformed boneheads in corporate offices.

Here's some interesting links I found.

This is disturbing:
http://thegoldengecko.com/blog/?p=1555

P. Allen Smith is obviously bought and paid for - again/still. If I thought he was an actual gardener, it might be interesting to estimate how many bees have been killed at his corporate HQ, I mean house.
http://www.pallensmith.com/articles/1-2-3-done-colossal-mega...

So Bonnie is putting imidacloprid on their plants, possibly among other chemicals, I'm not sure. (All plants, some? Couldn't find any info about any of their plants NOT sprayed.)

I found many government crop production manuals from various US university sites and other countries, recommending various ways to use Imidacloprid and what to use it for - in regard to tomato, pepper, and potato plants in particular. Not necessarily in regard to starter plants to sell, but for harvesting crops.

Imidacloprid is a chemical in many brands of insecticide. It is a neoniconitoid type of chemical. This family of chemicals has gained notoriety because of its toxicity to honeybees. Obviously, applying neoniconitoids to plants visited by bees is a terrible idea. More and more it seems like the universities are just shilling for the chem companies. Their advice for every problem is almost always some kind of spray.

I found this on a .pdf at CA dep't of food and ag:
Q: Can I eat fruits and vegetables from plants treated with Meritยฎ?
A: If Meritยฎ is applied to the foliage, imidacloprid may be found on the outside of fruits
and leaves of treated plants. Produce can be harvested 24 hours after treatment
and should be washed before eating. If Meritยฎ is applied to soil, imidacloprid is
taken up by the roots and distributed throughout the plant to provide long-lasting
control against insects. Imidacloprid has been detected in stems, leaves, and fruits
of treated plants.

To read the full 'fact sheet' on Merit, click below. Sorry, this is the link from google, but all I could copy to paste here, the .pdf window it opened didn't have a URL visible.
http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd...

It does go on to say that it's not known to cause heath problems for humans, but one should know that if it's not tested, it's considered safe. As long as nobody does any testing, this stuff's safe to eat by the pound! Not my policy, the EPA/FDA's.

From the searching and reading I did, I would be shocked if there are any non-sprayed starter plants in any non owner-operated stores. And that it's obvious we're eating a lot of this stuff (Imidacloprid) if buying 'regular' (non organic) produce.
๐Ÿ‘€๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜‚ - SMILE! -โ˜บ๐Ÿ˜Žโ˜ปโ˜ฎ๐Ÿ‘ŒโœŒโˆžโ˜ฏ๐Ÿฃ๐Ÿฆ๐Ÿ”๐Ÿ๐Ÿฏ๐Ÿพ
๐Ÿ€๐Ÿ‘’โ˜€๐Ÿ„๐Ÿ๐ŸŒฑ๐ŸŒฟ๐ŸŒด๐ŸŽ„๐Ÿ‘ฃ๐ŸŒต๐ŸŒทโš˜๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒป๐ŸŒฝ๐Ÿก๐Ÿƒ๐Ÿ‚๐ŸŒพ๐ŸŒฟ๐Ÿโฆโง ๐Ÿƒ๐Ÿ๐Ÿ‚๐ŸŒพ๐ŸŒป๐ŸŒบ๐ŸŒธ๐ŸŒผ๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒณ๐ŸŒฒ
โ˜•๐Ÿ‘“ The only way to succeed is to try.
[Last edited by purpleinopp - Apr 10, 2014 9:21 AM (+)]
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Name: Suzanne/Sue
Sebastopol, CA (Zone 9a)
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Calif_Sue
Apr 10, 2014 9:40 AM CST

Plants Admin

It's no wonder the bees are in trouble!
I live in an area where we have a lot of nurseries, many of them grow their own starter plants and are organic, a big thing in our area. I am so grateful for that option!
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Name: Cindi
Wichita, Kansas (Zone 7a)
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CindiKS
Apr 10, 2014 3:18 PM CST
Take a look at the connections between Monsanto and our FDA. Grumbling
There's a reason why the European nations have banned imidacloprid and GMO foods and crops. And the reason the US has not banned them? ...... Take a look at the connections between Monsanto and the FDA.
And if you really want to get scared and motivated, read GRAIN BRAIN or YOUR RIGHT TO KNOW, SEEDS OF DECEPTION, THE WORTH ACCORDING TO MONSANTO, or GENETIC ROULETTE. The last one is also available in video. Our organic gardening club watched it at a meeting and I tell you it is scary stuff.
My beekeeper was here today. My 10 acres are organic, and I have 5 bee hives. He reported that we have lost 2 of them. There's no way of telling where the bees were feeding, but I sure hope the other bees learn to stay in my yard. I have plenty of blooms and water.
Crying
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Name: Glen Ingram
Macleay Is, Qld, Australia (Zone 12a)
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Gleni
Apr 10, 2014 5:12 PM CST
Cindi, when you say you have lost 2 of them, are the bees just all died on you or have they flown away?
Name: Cindi
Wichita, Kansas (Zone 7a)
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CindiKS
Apr 10, 2014 8:39 PM CST
Glen, they were dead in the box. Crying
Remember that children, marriages, and flower gardens reflect the kind of care they get.
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Name: Glen Ingram
Macleay Is, Qld, Australia (Zone 12a)
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Gleni
Apr 11, 2014 2:39 AM CST
That's extraordinary. Blinking
Name: Carole
Clarksville, TN (Zone 6b)
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SongofJoy
Apr 11, 2014 3:20 AM CST
Oh, Cindi, that makes me heartsick. Crying
The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched -- they must be felt with the heart. ~ Helen Keller
Name: Cindi
Wichita, Kansas (Zone 7a)
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CindiKS
Apr 11, 2014 8:04 AM CST
We had an unusually cold winter here. My beekeeper wonders if they just didn't have enough food for the winter. I've been studying it a little more and I think he should have been feeding them in the fall since they were new swarms. He brought them here in late summer. They were swarming at a business, and whenever someone locally has a bee "problem", they call him, and he brings them to my yard. He says other beekeepers are reporting 50% losses this winter. We don't know how to tell if it's cold or chemicals or the bee disease. (forget the name?)
Remember that children, marriages, and flower gardens reflect the kind of care they get.
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Name: Tiffany
Opp, AL (Zone 8b)
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purpleinopp
Apr 11, 2014 8:08 AM CST
The most important thing we can do is tell the kids!

When did killing bugs become more important than human health? I guess when it became so profitable to do so, and so easy to fool the consumer who is far too distracted by such important issues as Justin Bieber and Oscar Pistorius to notice such trivial matters.

Until searching/reading for info about starter veggie/herb plants, I didn't think 'they' were allowed to put systemics on food. I don't use any chems, so don't know much about them, but was under the VERY MISTAKEN impression that if I wash or, better yet, peel fruits/veggies, what was left inside was chemical free.

'Organic' may soon become a cloudy, confusing issue (as if it's crystal clear at present.) 'They' are always trying to get the standards relaxed. 'They' are also buying the organic companies:
http://www.cornucopia.org/who-owns-organic/

California had a referendum which, if passed, would have required foods containing GMO ingredients to say so on the label. Forty-five million $$$$'s were spent to defeat this, though such labeling is required in most other countries, even China!
http://companiesthatopposegmolabeling.blog.com/2012/11/08/co...

I want to watch the CEO of Monsanto eating this crap they're peddling. I'd go all-in that he/she doesn't ever do that. Like that scene in Erin Brockovich where she says, "We brought that water in special for you folks."

As far as I can tell, the FDA and Monsanto are the same thing, with the EPA in their back pocket. Pick your source:
https://www.google.com/#q=revolving+door+between+fda+and+mon...

This brings to mind a discussion I saw on facebook about whether there should be restrictions on what people can use food stamps for. "Only healthy food" was the general consensus, but that fell apart when trying to define that. It couldn't be agreed that the produce section provided significant improvement over the cereal or chip aisle. The meat? Well, the corporate cows, chickens, and pigs are eating tons of GMO corn and soy, and (hope you have a strong stomach) their own 'scraps' among other (what should be) unthinkable stuff.
http://www.ucsusa.org/food_and_agriculture/our-failing-food-...

๐Ÿ‘€๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜‚ - SMILE! -โ˜บ๐Ÿ˜Žโ˜ปโ˜ฎ๐Ÿ‘ŒโœŒโˆžโ˜ฏ๐Ÿฃ๐Ÿฆ๐Ÿ”๐Ÿ๐Ÿฏ๐Ÿพ
๐Ÿ€๐Ÿ‘’โ˜€๐Ÿ„๐Ÿ๐ŸŒฑ๐ŸŒฟ๐ŸŒด๐ŸŽ„๐Ÿ‘ฃ๐ŸŒต๐ŸŒทโš˜๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒป๐ŸŒฝ๐Ÿก๐Ÿƒ๐Ÿ‚๐ŸŒพ๐ŸŒฟ๐Ÿโฆโง ๐Ÿƒ๐Ÿ๐Ÿ‚๐ŸŒพ๐ŸŒป๐ŸŒบ๐ŸŒธ๐ŸŒผ๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒณ๐ŸŒฒ
โ˜•๐Ÿ‘“ The only way to succeed is to try.
Name: Cindi
Wichita, Kansas (Zone 7a)
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CindiKS
Apr 11, 2014 9:00 AM CST
The show "Food, Inc." was on tv again last night. I couldn't stomach watching it again.
We have a few organic stores here, and I'm noticing more of the food has a label that says 'non-gmo.'
I even bought some popcorn at Sams that had non-gmo real big on the bag. That's one way to handle it, if companies won't label what IS gmo, then competitors can sell more by labeling NON.
I feel really bad about my middle daughter. She is overweight, and can't lose no matter what. I think it is because when she was little she had continual ear infections and we kept her on antibiotics. Her favorite food was corn and she ate a lot of it. Oh boy, if I had only known. At least my future grandkids will be raised on better food.
We buy a quarter of a beefalo each year, and a friend sells us half a hog, and they are organic. I'm trying to tear myself away from my flowers and grow veggies. We eat no grains and very little sugar. I spent two years on chemotherapy infusions trying to handle my multiple autoimmune diseases. Once I changed my diet, (and went through chelation), most of the symptoms abated. Most importantly, the brain fog lifted. My rheumatologist is in disbelief, but I am certain the gmos, grains, heavy metal exposure, and high fructose corn sugar were totally to blame.

I've become a preacher on the safe food issue. It sickens me to see how unhealthy our country is, and to think of how it happened and what the future looks like .
Drive through Kansas sometime. Look at the irrigated gmo corn fields, the feedlots, the slaughterhouse. We need to find a better source of income for a lot of people in order to change what's happening.

Remember that children, marriages, and flower gardens reflect the kind of care they get.
H. Jackson Brown, Jr.
Name: Deb
Pacific Northwest (Zone 8b)
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Bonehead
Apr 11, 2014 12:16 PM CST
I sent an email to my go-to local nursery, and received a very prompt and informative response regarding their pest/insecticide policies. It was encouraging to hear that this is something they bring up often at their employee meetings and that they practice integrated pest management (IPM). First line of defense is soap, followed by (not in order) pyrethrum, neem, B.T., and rarely nicotine sulphate. Only organics on anything edible. The owner is a former beekeeper so is very cognizant of current bee issues. They also patronize local wholesalers and, per the nursery owner, the PNW does not have as much of a problem with pests in general as warmer climes. I have long felt it was worth the extra price to buy from a reputable nursery rather than box stores, and this reinforces my thoughts.

@springcolor, this is our own Christianson's, email response was direct from John C.

I'm fairly certain a similar request to Lowe's, Home Depot, or the like would result in simply a blank stare...whah?? Last time I was at Lowe's (for building supplies) I ventured into their nursery looking for some gladioli - mistake. The garden guy basically threw his hands in the air and admitted he was totally clueless about anything having to do with plants - he was simply there to ring up sales.
I want to live in a world where the chicken can cross the road without its motives being questioned.
Name: Sheryl
Hot, hot, hot, Feenix, AZ (Zone 9b)
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sheryl
Apr 12, 2014 5:05 PM CST
Scary stuff, indeed.
In the end, only kindness matters.

Science is not the answer, it is the question.


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