Controlling Pests on Flowers, Roses & Ornamental Plants
Keep the good insects in your lawn and landscape while controlling the damaging ones.
Your landscaping looks beautiful; it’s planted with a variety of trees, shrubs, roses, and flowers. But to many bugs, it may also look like lunch. Almost every plant in your landscape can be attacked by one or more insect pest, and being able to identify and control these pests is an important part of properly caring for your landscape.
Learn about Potential Pests
Different plants attract different pests and, in some cases, different species of the same pest. Boxwoods are attractive to spider mites; crape myrtles are preferred by a specific species of aphid; slugs love hostas; and aphids, thrips, Japanese beetles, and spider mites are drawn to roses. Here are some of the most common pests that can be found feasting on your flowers, roses, and ornamentals.
How to Kill Pests on Your Ornamental Plants
When it comes to killing pests attacking your flowers, roses, trees, and shrubs, you have several options available. To kill pests like aphids, Japanese beetles, and whiteflies on your roses, use Ortho® Insect Killer Rose & Flower Ready-To-Use which keeps killing listed insects for up to 4 months. If you have a problem with spider mites, use Ortho® Insect, Mite & Disease 3-in-1 Ready-To-Use; it controls listed insects, spider mites, as well as wide range of fungal diseases. For larger jobs, use Ortho® Insect Killer Tree & Shrub Concentrate. It kills leaf-feeding beetles, spider mites, thrips, and other listed insects attacking your trees and shrubs. To kill slugs and snails destroying your hostas use Ortho® Bug-Geta® Snail & Slug Killer2. Always check the label before applying any product to find the insects controlled and the plants it can be applied to.
Prevent Future Problems
There are several steps you can take to help reduce future pest problems in your landscape.
- Avoid planting varieties that are prone to pest problems. For example, the “indica” types of crape myrtle are more likely to develop aphid problems that other varieties. If you have a problem with Japanese beetle, plant ornamentals they are less likely to attack (boxwood, flowering dogwood, red and silver maples, lilac, juniper, and rhododendron are good examples.)
- Keep your plants healthy and vigorous so they can better defend themselves from attack. Stressed plants are more likely to be attacked by pests. Properly care for your plants by providing the right amount of fertilizer (not too little or too much), watering correctly, providing plants with enough space to grow, and making sure they receive adequate sunlight. Spider mites, for example, are more likely to attack plants during periods of hot, dry weather and are less likely to attack plants that are kept well-watered during these periods.
- Thoroughly inspect any new plant for insect problems before purchasing it and planting it in your landscape.
- Stop small problems from becoming big problems by selectively pruning to remove infested branches or hand-picking off pests. It is best to do this during the cool, early morning hours when pests are less active. You can also spray plants with a forceful stream of water to wash pests like spider mites, scale, and aphids off stems and branches.
- Keep the landscape clean by removing leaf litter, excess mulch, piles of stone, debris, and weeds where pests, like slugs and snails, prefer to hide.
- Be careful to keep the good guys in your garden while controlling the bad ones. Not all insects are bad. Ladybugs, praying mantises, minute pirate bugs, and parasitic wasps all attack pests that can damage your plants. Aphids are attacked by ladybugs; parasitic wasps prey on aphids and scale; and black lady beetles, lacewing larvae, minute pirate bugs, and predatory mites attack spider mites. And don’t forget about the bees that help pollinate many of your flowering plants.