Ask a Question forum: Trying to keep it pesticide free

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Name: Erika
San Diego (Zone 1a)
Beefriendly
Mar 15, 2016 10:52 AM CST
I have a lions tail which has been doing okay. Some of the seeds look wonky. But this morning I noticed new little bugs. How can I keep it Ecofriendly for my bees coming to the garden, but keep the bugs away?
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Name: Evan
Pioneer Valley south, MA, USA (Zone 6a)
Charter ATP Member Plant Database Moderator Forum moderator Aroids Irises Celebrating Gardening: 2015
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Tropicals Foliage Fan Bulbs Hummingbirder Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge)
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eclayne
Mar 15, 2016 11:14 AM CST

Plants Admin

It looks like aphids Erika. You can find a few ideas to combat them, from eco-friendly soaps and oils to encouraging beneficial insects, in these ideas and articles.
http://garden.org/search/index.php?q=aphids&button=
Evan
Name: Lin
Florida (Zone 9b)
Region: United States of America Morning Glories Region: Florida Houseplants Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
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plantladylin
Mar 15, 2016 11:15 AM CST
Hi Beefriendly, Welcome to All Things Plants!

At first I thought the insects on your lovely Lion's Ear (Leonotis leonurus) were white flies but upon closer look, I think they may be aphids. You can try spraying with an organic insecticidal soap, usually available at most local garden centers like Home Depot, Walmart or Lowes and works for eliminating many plant insects. I use one called Garden Safe Insecticidal Soap/Insect Killer that I get at my local Home Depot: http://www.gardensafe.com/Products-and-Solutions/Insecticide... which is really good.

You can blast/spray them with a garden hose and repeat every couple of days until they are eradicated. You could also try wiping the bugs off with a damp cloth and repeat every couple of days to be sure all have been eliminated.
~ Eat, Sleep .... Play in the dirt ~
Name: Erika
San Diego (Zone 1a)
Beefriendly
Mar 15, 2016 11:31 AM CST
Thank You! so much! Very new to gardening, how relaxing is this!. I will definitely look for these products. Hurray!
Name: Lin
Florida (Zone 9b)
Region: United States of America Morning Glories Region: Florida Houseplants Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
Garden Procrastinator Birds Butterflies Bee Lover Hummingbirder Container Gardener
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plantladylin
Mar 15, 2016 11:52 AM CST
Beefriendly Erika, Gardening can be frustrating at times and yet it also brings much joy and relaxation when you can sit back and admire the beauty of your hard work! You will find lots and lots of great advice and tips here on All Things Plants so don't ever hesitate to ask questions and join in the chat!

Happy Gardening to you!

Lin
~ Eat, Sleep .... Play in the dirt ~
Name: Erika
San Diego (Zone 1a)
Beefriendly
Mar 16, 2016 9:43 AM CST
Thank you plantladylin for the warm welcome, definitely hard work it is :).
Name: Elaine
South Sarasota, Florida (Zone 9b)
The one constant in life is change
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dyzzypyxxy
Mar 16, 2016 6:11 PM CST
Erika, may I add a couple of thoughts here too? If you spray any of the above remedies, do so in the evening to avoid the active time of day for your bees. Also don't spray anything on a windy day, you'll get the stuff where you don't want it. Even a mild soapy water solution can be photo-toxic (I think that's the term) which means if the sun shines on the leaves with the stuff on them, it will burn the leaves.

Also, I always try the most non-toxic solution first, then keep a close eye to see if it worked for a few days. Rinsing the plants off with a strong spray of water from the hose will usually wash away most if not all your aphids. If you have an adjustable sprayer, I use the "mist" setting and it is gentle on the foliage but plenty brisk enough to wash off the bugs.
Elaine

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." โ€“Winston Churchill
Name: Tiffany
Opp, AL (Zone 8b)
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purpleinopp
Mar 18, 2016 12:33 PM CST
Hi & welcome! And kudos to your efforts to garden 'cide free! I don't use any and have very few, isolated issues that I deal with manually if I decide it's necessary.

One thing to remember is that it's not necessary to "do something" every time one sees an unwanted visitor on plants. Of course you're not going to let something ruin your only copy of something expensive or sentimental. But as long as no serious damage is being done, leaving things alone can be the best plan because predators need something to eat. Without any pests (food,) beneficial predators can't & won't establish a presence.

If I go to the effort of removing some kind of critter big enough to fling, like a slug or caterpillar (that's not destined to turn into a beautiful butterfly or beneficial moth,) I try not to kill them, but fling it away from desirable plants so something can make a meal out of it.

Whenever you find something mysterious or concerning, figuring out what it is is always the 1st step to deciding the best course of action. Just like you've done by posting your pic here. Well done!

In your pic, it's clear to see where the aphids are. It's your call if you want to cut off a flower to cut off the aphids, but know that if you can see where pests are, cutting little bits off of plants to get rid of them that way would be a fine thing to do on almost any plant. You're welcome to ask as many questions about as many plants here as you want. Have fun!

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Name: Erika
San Diego (Zone 1a)
Beefriendly
Mar 18, 2016 3:05 PM CST
Thank you purpleinopp, I have been using warm water with a cloth. I will definitely be asking more questions. I have been finding couole of new bugs, I do the same I just put them somewhere faraway from my plants. But wanna know who's the real problem, snails! I have been reading up on that issue and it looks like I might just have to deal with them. My sons likes to remove them and take them far away :lol:. So far my plants have been doing great!. Thank you everyone.

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