Sunday, April 6, 2014
For plants with perennial insect problems a great combination to use this time of year is Neem Oil (Triact for commercial people or large property folks) and Dominion Drench. Horticultural oil is something you could use in place of Neem Oil. I like the Neem Oil because it controls certain fungi as well as killing overwintering insects.
Scale, aphids, lace bugs and whiteflies are a few insects that are very host specific and attack the same plants year after year. One easy way to tell if your plants are getting attacked is if they turn black from sooty mold every year. The oil will smother overwintering eggs and the Dominion Drench will move into the plant through the root system systemically and protect the new, young foliage as well as the old foliage.
When you do this drench of Dominion, there are many other cocktail possibilities. SeaHume liquid, SuperThrive, Fish/Seaweed blend and/or 18-00-06 that could be added to the watering can of Dominion.
Crepe Myrtles, especially the older varieties, tend to get aphids and powdery mildew. The Neem Oil will provide short-term control of both of these detractors. The Dominion will be sucked up into the plant and provide season-long control against the aphids.
Scale is common on camellias, hollies, Fatsia and many, many other plants in the Lowcountry. Scale hides behind a waxy covering it produces, protecting it from birds, predatory insects and control products. By using Dominion and going through the plant, you bypass this waxy coating.
Gardenias used to be almost impossible to grow because of whiteflies. Whiteflies (scale, aphids and lace bugs) reproduce so quickly, it was very difficult to spray enough to keep the whitefly in check. Up until the early 90s, most gardenias were black from sooty mold. Dominion changed weekly sprayings into a once-a-year drench.
Lace bugs seemed to have really flourished during those dry years we had a few years ago and have not let up. Azaleas, lantana, oak trees and sycamores are just a few hosts that really get attacked. Lace bugs are not quite as bad with sooty mold. The leaves will look mottled and like the fluid has been sucked out of them. If you look closely, you can see them and their fecal matter on the underside of the leaves. Their camouflage would make the folks of Duck Dynasty proud.
Since beneficial bug-eaters do not feed on the plant after drenching Dominion, you do not kill any beneficial insects that feed on other bugs.
Always read, understand and follow product label. The product label is a federal law.
Bill Lamson-Scribner can be reached during the week at Possum's Landscape and Pest Control Supply. Possum's has three locations 481 Long Point Road in Mount Pleasant (843-971-9601), 3325 Business Circle in North Charleston (843-760-2600), or 606 Dupont Road, in Charleston (843-766-1511). Bring your questions to a Possum's location, or visit us at www.possumsupply.com. Call in your questions to “The Garden Clinic”, Saturdays from noon to 1 p.m., on 1250 WTMA. The Horticulture Hotline is available 24/7 at www.possumsupply.com.