|mid summer last year my beautiful daisies developed holes in the leaves and were destroyed. this year they are starting up and the leaves are black. how can i address this?|
|It's really difficult to diagnose a plant problem without being able to inspect the plant and the growing environment. But, I'll do my best!
Shasta daisies attacked by slugs and snails suffer large ragged holes in their leaves and stems. Slugs and snails are attracted to moist, well-mulched gardens and acidic soil. They are active at night, rasping holes with their file-like tongues in leaf and stem surfaces. They hide under boards or leaf litter during the day. Trap them in either a commercial slug trap or a shallow plate baited with beer and set in the garden. The pests are attracted to the yeast in the beer, climb in, and drown. Begin trapping within the first three to four weeks after the last frost. The more you catch early, the fewer there will be to reproduce over the season. If your trap has no cover, renew the beer or yeast bait after it rains. Or you can broadcast an iron based bait such as Sluggo.
Mealybugs are 1/5 to 1/3 inch long, oval, flattened, covered with white waxy powder and adorned with short, soft spines around their margins. They suck plant sap, then the honeydew secretions from their feeding encourage mold growth on the shasta daisy leaves and attract ants. Mealybug-infested plants look unsightly and grow poorly. They may die if severely attacked. Control mealybugs by spraying them directly with insecticidal soap according to the product label.