Thrips, disbdding and seed pods?

froeschliJuly 8, 2014

So finally nothing had rotted on me in a few weeks, and my new AVs (and a few older ones) were finally setting bud (again) and coming into bloom, when I went to groom the one plant that actually had flowers. And lots of spilled pollen. Yuck. I found thrips.
I had to disbud everything. And I'll have to go find some insecticide actually sold in Ontario. - I may have to resort to a dog shampoo against ticks and lice. (Saw the method mentioning RID lice shampoo, only that stuff isn't sold here - pet products seem to be the closest in composition). Maybe volunteering at an animal shelter may come in handy - if they are willing to give me a sample :-)

Ah well. Live learn and dunk your violets in poisonous goop.

Now, does anyone know if it is ok to leave seed pods on whilst disbudding plants? Please say thrips will leave them alone?!?
It is a cross I probably won't be able to repeat.... (Not counting on anything to survive these days.)

On the positive side, I peeled open the buds for pixie runaround sport, and it would have bloomed true :-)

and how am I going to dip a 4' cactus? Ouch. I better get a spray bottle too :-p


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Everything is disbudded, i will see about that tick shampoo tomorrow...
If that doesn't pan out, I have some insecticidal soap...

Has anyone here tried the hot water dip? Would that work on thrips? All that requires is time. And who needs sleep anyways ;-p

Now the question becomes: do I need to protect the new plants I am getting this weekend from my existing collection? That just seems backwards...
But then isolation should work both ways.

    Bookmark   July 8, 2014 at 11:05PM
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On several different occasions, I have talked to John from Cape Cod Violetry about thrips. Although the standard for thrips control include bloom removal, he said it is not necessary. His theory was sound-greenhouses and wholesale growers are always battling thrips. They do not, however, disbud as the work involved would be prohibitive. He said following a regular spray routine would take care of them. He gave me details on what and when to use. If anyone is interested, I will give the particulars.

The hot water dip does not work. Someone here, I can't remember who, tried it and all of her plants were killed.

I would not remove your seedpods. Thrips eat the flowers and the leaves. There is neither in a seedpod.

Lice shampoo is just Lindane. I don't know if you can get that in Ontario. You may want to call CCV and talk to John. He is very knowledgeable and helpful. He also carries any products you may need in reasonable sizes at reasonable prices.


    Bookmark   July 8, 2014 at 11:26PM
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Thanks Linda, I did leave the seed pods on. And though I am wailing about disbudding, there were probably only five to ten plants that actually had buds. (Not counting on purpose) I'll just pretend I am disbudding them to get more blooms later.

The lice shampoo I looked up contained permethrin, I think, which is used in insect sprays as well. (It was one of the two that start with "p" and is used for thrips) - I figure it won't hurt to try, and the dog could do with a bath too.

I was dubious about the hot water dip, but I think one of the "uglies" is going to be taking a bath just to test the theory. From what I am reading "hot" refers to 110 degrees F. which could be an issue if someone used hot tap water instead (standard between 150-170F I believe).

As for CCV - I doubt any pesticide worth ordering would make it across the border in the mail. It would probably be easier to import it from another province. I do try and respect those bans though. Even though it bothers me that commercial use of most pesticides is still allowed. Maybe the commercials are assumed to know what they are doing and easier to regulate...

    Bookmark   July 9, 2014 at 12:35AM
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I researched a bit on the hot water theory as it sounded intriguing. What I found was that the temperature had to be maintained at a constant for a certain period of time. (I don't remember the exact specifics.) But the problem is, as soon as you dunk your plant in the water, the temperature will go down so it would be impossible to maintain the needed temps.

If you do a search, you may find the thread on here.

I can't remember who did this, but Joanne comes to mind for some reason. She'll let us know if it wasn't her.


    Bookmark   July 9, 2014 at 3:14AM
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i did the dunking when i had mites - some smaller plants rotted out. on sev very large plants i had to remove the center (wilted). some plants were ok. but then 2 mo later i had to repeat with them, since i was not sure. so if you are prepared to use your plants as breeders, then it's OK. young leaves will likely collapse.
however when i did the dunk i start at higher temp - like 114F in the sink. when you put the plants in (i do it upside down, with the pot tied inside a plastic bag) - the temp drops right away. then i used instant probe to monitor the temp. and had to add more hot water slowly to maintain 110-112F. if the temp range is between 110f -113F it's good to kill off mites, but should not kill the plant. 15 min is enough. so it's doable. you can also run a continous slow trickle of hot water and slosh it around to mix.
notice, i don't say it won't kill the crown ...mine all got damaged. but still, i regrew many suckers. but that will take a 6-12 mo to get small blooming plants.
but these are thrips - i've never heard before that hot dunk will work on thrips.
i find it very hard to get rid of thrips - i use inhouse systemic by bonide, it's weaker then marathon. and you need to apply a strong dose, sev times. in addition to flower removal.

    Bookmark   July 9, 2014 at 11:17AM
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Thank you Petrushka, I think I actually found your thread from back then :-)
Seeing as half or more of my plants are young minis, I guess the hot dunk would cook them alright.
Still it is something to keep in mind.

There are so many different options and (non)chemicals, the whole thing turns into quite a reading session, after which my over active imagination tends to see more bugs than there actually were ;-p I have to keep telling myself it is thrips I saw, no need to treat for mites, aphids and mealies as well...

    Bookmark   July 9, 2014 at 12:11PM
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you might try spinosad for thrips - it's considered organic and not as toxic as other systemics.

Here is a link that might be useful: very good article on thrips control

    Bookmark   July 9, 2014 at 5:41PM
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