country garden brugmansia picture


PEST CONTROL


NOTE:This was originally written for the Brugmansia section but applies equally to other plants including adeniums.The only thing that changes is that we do not strip the adenium leaves before bringing them in for winter.
In the early years at Country Garden we used every pest control imaginable.Even after such harsh chemicals as Kelthane,Orthenex and Bayer 3 in 1 we still had periodic outbreaks of red spider mites,broadmites and every caterpillar and grasshopper in the universe.The winter season,when everything was crammed into the greenhouse was especially bad.Mites would start in a corner and before they were noticed would spread through the greenhouse.About midway through the twelve year life of Country Garden we changed strategies. The change involved stripping leaves and spraying thoroughly with soap solution, before bringing plants into the greenhouse.This ended most of our winter pest problems.Any pests that cropped up got another spray of the soap solution.In addition,for the smaller plants gallon size and less,we used a dip.For the dip I use a 5 gallon bucket of water mixed with 10--12 ounces of Murphy's oil soap.Turn the pot upside down and let the loose stuff fall to the ground then dip the plant down to the soil level but don't wet the soil itself.Hold the dirt in the pot so the whole rootball doesn't fall out.This kills all the tiny livestock and doesn't hurt the plant.Keep a cheap kitchen sieve handy for skimming off the loose stuff you did not let fall to the ground before dipping.If there are eggs,a second dip a week later may be necessary. NOTE...this is a soap solution,not detergent.Detergent does not work and can even harm some plants that have waxey coatings on their leaves.