poinsettia plants - Knowledgebase Question

thousand oaks, Ca
Question by ashinden
November 1, 2009
my bushes of poinsettias have little white insects on them. I've tried insect sprays; i've given them systemic rose fertilizers. still see them. little flower buds are there.

Answer from NGA
November 1, 2009


Several insects may attack poinsettias: white flies, fungus gnats, mealybugs and spider mites. The adult white fly looks like a small fly covered with white powder. Fungus gnats are small, dark-colored flies about 1/8 inch long. They can be found either on the plant or soil surface. The adults are more of a nuisance than a real problem, but the larvae do feed on plant tissue. Mealybugs are serious pests of poinsettias. These insects are soft-bodied and appear as a cottony mass, usually in the axis of the leaves. Gently dabbing the pests with a Q-Tip dipped in alcohol can control mealybugs, aphids and spider mites if caught early. Other choices for control are a variety of sprays designed especially for houseplants. Read the labels carefully before using.

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