INSECTS AND LIGULARIA - Knowledgebase Question

kalamazoo, MI
Question by dfgquilter
June 20, 2010
Maybe because we've had a lot of rain is the reason I have so many little water bugs at the base of so many plants. I dont know.
At any rate, I'm afraid they will eat the crowns of my plants and kill them.
Should I spray the base with something? Will some general insect spray work? I don't want to lose these plants.

I thought that Ligularia had to be in the shade. Is that right? I was at a home where they had gorgeous Ligularia but it was in full sun. Which is right ? What do they like? What fertilizer, soil, etc. do they need?

Thanks a lot! Dorian

Answer from NGA
June 20, 2010


Part shade and moist soil is best for ligularia. I'm surprised the one you saw in full sunshine is thriving. Must be a special plant! I'd give them morning sun but shade from hot afternoon sunshine. They like rich, well draining but moist soils and you can feed them in the spring with a 10-10-10 slow release general purpose fertilizer. As for the bugs, they generally feed only on decaying organic matter but if the population is high enough and there's competition for food, they may feed on the crowns of your plants. They're fairly easy to control, though. Just roll up a few sheets of newspaper into a tube with two open ends, get it slightly wet and set it next to your plants in the garden in the evening. The bugs will crawl in to hide and in the morning you can fold up the ends of the newspaper tube and toss it in the compost pile (or in the garbage). Repeat setting traps until you've caught all the bugs. Good luck with your garden!

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