Old topic but desperate for help w/ Gardenias Pest!!!

jamieteeJune 7, 2007

Yep, the ole white fly (I think)...my gardenias are infested w/ those tiny little white spots that go crazy flying around when you touch the bush. I have been to the local nursery...purchased and used several bottles of insecticidal-soap and they didn't budge. Then most recently I soaked the gardenia in a systemic fungicide with no success at all (I had bought the systemic funficide w/ chlorophenoxy?? for some black spots on my river birch trees from aphids I think and it worked well for that). I love gardenias and have them in all corners of my back yard and also a couple in my front landscape. I put two in the trash this morning b/c the white bugs were so bad. Has it gone too far and time to give up on the gardenias or does anybody have an aggressive solution?????

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One time I had white flies so bad I was spraying several times /week with different chemicals. Then I began to feel sick. So I just quit. Let them have the plants. Know what? The gardenias did not die and neither did the other plants. I got better in a week or so, and from then on I have let the lizards and other beneficials thin out the white flies and just lived with the rest. They seem to be worse when it is dry. probably because the plants are stressed. I use dish liquid diluted with water.(Just a squirt in a gallon of water) or a paraffin oil spray which is not toxic but smothers the bugs. I think if you love gardenias, and I do, you just have to live with a few white flies.

    Bookmark   June 7, 2007 at 10:47PM
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Do the garlic thing. Crush 6 - 10 garlic cloves (depending on size) in a gallon of water, cover and put in the sun for a week. Strain the water and put in a cool, dark place. Add a tablespoon of DAWN, JOY, IVORY, etc., dishwashing liquid. Put 2 cups in a sprayer and fill the sprayer with water. Spray well. I think it is the odor which drives them away :-))!!! It will certainly keep you away.

    Bookmark   June 8, 2007 at 12:35PM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

Well, I'm sure as heck confused, lol!

Let's get some things straight, jamietree. First of all, if you were using a FUNGICIDE, you did nothing to address the problem with the insects. Fungicides are for the treatment of fungus diseases. INSECTICIDES are for insects.

The chemical chlorophenoxy is an HERBICIDE....so let's just assume that you are mistaken about that chemical. Herbicides kill plants in various ways.

So....what was the chemical that you soaked the plant with?

If the garden center gave you a fungicide to get rid of the black sooty mold on your river birch, they did you a disservice. Black sooty mold won't be controlled by a fungicide because it is not a pathogen. Aphids need to be controlled and the black sooty mold will then go away on its own.

Insecticidal soap can be helpful (and safe) to use but the spray needs to be directed to the underside of the leaves where the whitefly hangs out, and where the nymphs hide. Spraying over the top won't do much of anything.

Super-fine horticultural oils (of which there are many kinds and brands) can be very helpful, too. Again, these must be applied to the underside of the leaves.

    Bookmark   June 8, 2007 at 1:01PM
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Thanks for the responses! Again, I have already used the insecticidal soaps and the chemical I sprayed with WAS chlorophenoxy Bayleton Fungicide (just out of desparation). The white flies are crazy and all over every single plant in my front AND back yard. I made the decision to dig up the rest of my gardenias and they are bagged up and will go out with the monday morning garbage!!! I have had gardenias in the past and never imagined the whiteflies could get THAT bad. Thanks again for the input...the only thing I didn't try was the oil.

    Bookmark   June 10, 2007 at 9:14PM
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