Holes in flower leaves - the cure?

garland67July 22, 2006

I have a problem with bugs eating my flower leaves. Primarily my Dalhia and canna plats. I heard that if you spray the plants with some soapy water, it will keep the pests away. Is this true? Suggestions? Thanks!

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buyorsell888(Zone 8 Portland OR)

Soapy water will kill the pests but you have to hit them to do it. It works on contact only.

    Bookmark   July 22, 2006 at 10:25PM
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mdvaden_of_oregon(NW Oregon)

In Pesticides class, the rule of thumb was holes "in" the leaves as fungus and bacteria which grow in water droplets.

And holes at the edges of leaves as insect or larvae, since that's a common starting point for a meal.

It wasn't an absolute, but it was a good guideline.

    Bookmark   July 22, 2006 at 11:20PM
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Poochella(7 WA)

Garland, dahlia leaves are a favorite for slugs, particularly the young plants, but I've found them as high up as 3 ft on a mature plant. Do you have a regular slug protection plan going? That would be number one thing to try. If you have pets, go for Sluggo or another iron phosphate based product. Stay away from Corry's or metaldehyde based products (very toxic to pets.)

Earwigs are notorious chewers, but mostly on dahlia buds or blooms; not so much on the leaves.

Caterpillars are another source of leaf/bloom eating. Encourage birds or hand pick those yourself and you'll cut down on the damage they might do.

Good luck!

    Bookmark   July 23, 2006 at 7:54PM
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garland67

Thanks poochella. I have found a few slugs on my plants. I pick them up and discard them. I don't see many though. Can a few slugs do alot of damage?

    Bookmark   July 26, 2006 at 6:02PM
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plantknitter(8)

How big are the holes, what shape, and where are they?

    Bookmark   July 26, 2006 at 11:44PM
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garland67

The holes seem to be on the inside of the leaves. Not very large. Some holes can be up to 1/2 inch. I have found a few slugs in my Garden. I have looked to see if their are critters inside the roled leaves and I don't see any.

    Bookmark   July 27, 2006 at 12:02PM
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mdvaden_of_oregon(NW Oregon)

Some of the shot hole fungus, etc., exude chemicals that burn foliage and the circular oval hole will be relatively smooth edged, possibly with a halo of grey or discoloration. Insects are not consistent with smooth even edged holes.

    Bookmark   July 27, 2006 at 10:33PM
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