Do dahlias typically have bugs on them so they aren't a good cut flower? - Knowledgebase Question

Name: Bobbie Hall
Jersey Shore PA (Zone 5a)
Question by BobbieinNEPenna
September 9, 2017
I have been growing dahlias for two yrs. I thought they would be such a nice cut flower to bring inside. But when I have I also bring in a bunch of bugs, including little green worms and a couple of different spiders. I never spray with chemicals. The harshest I use is insecticidal soap as a last resort. My question is, is this typical of dahlias? If so I am going to have to rethink planting them for something else. I never spray my flowers. Which is why I don't have many roses. And I don't need another job. Any ideas from fellow dahlia growers?

Name: Trish
North Yorkshire
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Answer from Yorkshirelass
September 9, 2017

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Dahlias do make good homes for various little insects (and earwigs). After cutting, just hold them upside down and give them a gentle shake to dislodge and bugs hiding among the petals before taking them into the house.
I don't spray anything either as I prefer to see birds come and take the insects for their offspring.

Name: Bobbie Hall
Jersey Shore PA (Zone 5a)
A comment from BobbieinNEPenna
September 9, 2017
Thanks! I never thought of that. That's what I will do. The flowers are beautiful but I never noticed all the hitchhikers last yr.

Name: greene
Savannah, GA (Sunset 28) (Zone 8b)
Dreams don't work unless you do.
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Answer from greene
September 9, 2017

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When I first went to work as a floral designer my boss grew his own Dahlias. He always complained that the flowers were troubled by thrips. I decided then and there to never grow Dahlias. I have since learned that the Dahlias are also bothered by spider mites, snails, slugs, various caterpillars, earwigs (my least favorite insect!), and grasshoppers.

You can use insecticidal soap (once every 10 days or so), Bacillius thuringenesis aka BT, diatomaceous earth. You can also encourage beneficial insects to frequent your garden and don't forget frogs, toads and birds who all do their part in keeping the pest population down.

Hope this helps.

Name: Bobbie Hall
Jersey Shore PA (Zone 5a)
A comment from BobbieinNEPenna
September 9, 2017
Now I know about all the insects attracted to them. I was never aware. We live in the country and have frogs and birds but they must be eating something else because they aren't dining on the dahlias! Thanks for your comment.

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