miss_emMay 17, 2007


Has anyone ever tried using a garlic spray on thrips? I have thrips and tried one organic insecticide by Garden Safe (it didn't work). I have a recipe for a garlic spray and I'm wondering if that's ever worked for anyone and if it did any damage to the plants.



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Ive heard of planting garlic around roses to deter pests so spray seems like it would work. Might give your blosoms garlic breath though.
What else is in your recipe that could do damage?
My advice is give it a try!
Cant be worse than chemical toxic waste!

-curious about if it works myself, maybee you could post how to make your garlic spray and we can all help you test it out!

    Bookmark   May 21, 2007 at 3:19AM
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Hi Petalz!

Here's the recipe:
one head garlic
one onion
a few hot peppers
enough water to cover

Combine in blender - blend - then strain. Divide the liquid. Add 1 cup water to half the liquid and spray on infested area. You can freeze the remaining liquid for use next time you need to spray (be sure to dilute the remaining liquid when you thaw it.)

I got this recipe from Better Basics for the Home, but there are variations of it all over the place.

I think I'm going to try that in combination with blue sticky traps, which I hear attract thrips. Plus, I'm going to plant some garlic, like you recommended. I've heard that's a good deterrent. I'll let you know if I see results!


    Bookmark   May 22, 2007 at 4:23PM
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Well, I did make this spray, and it does seem to have worked so far. I have a couple of new blooms on my Joseph's Coat and a new bloom on my Midnight Blue Rose. All blooms look okay, with no eaten up edges. I don't see any tiny bugs between the petals. I did cut off all the blooms that looked affected and most of the buds as well just before I sprayed. I never did do the blue sticky traps because I can't find a good adhesive. I've heard of Tanglefoot but I can't find it anywhere and don't want to buy it online and pay shipping. I made some makeshift traps that might work but never set them out. I guess I will set them out anyway, just in case I get a reinfestation, so that they might be attracted to something other than the roses.

I will say that this spray stinks. It smells god awful. It burns your eyes when you spray it. I'm sure it repels all bugs, including the good ones. But the smell dissipates quickly and I've since seen butterflies and other flying insects in my beds.

I also planted garlic cloves (from store-bought garlic) around my roses a few days before I sprayed. I know it's not the right time to plant garlic but I'm not really interested in harvesting it and I hate having to spray anything. I don't smell any garlic, but maybe the bugs can. So maybe the odor from the cloves is driving them away?

I dunno, I'm just pretty happy to see my roses with beautiful blooms for a change. As a newbie gardener, the thrips had me a little discouraged.


    Bookmark   May 29, 2007 at 1:49AM
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annafl(z9b/10a Sarasota)

Hi emily,

Last year my roses were full of regular thrips and the new chilli thrip pest here in FL. I was really discouraged. Eventually someone on the organic forum told me about beneficial nematodes from a company called hydro-gardens. The right ones are the guardian lawn patrol nematodes. It took two sprayings over the last year, but this year I have next to no thrips in my yard. Not even on my gardenias which are thrip magnets. It is very slow to work and there are rules on how to apply it. I think during the cool time of the day and on wet ground or after a rain. You might look up the web site for further details. Maybe it was coincidence, but it has been such a drastic change for me. It may be worth a try if you are not in a hurry for control.


    Bookmark   May 29, 2007 at 9:24PM
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Anna, I just checked out this company and their beneficial nematodes. Unfortunately, the price appears to be $513. Were you able to buy a smaller size, or is this what you purchased?

And two years later is it still working against thrips?



Here is a link that might be useful: Field Guardian Nematodes at Hydro-Gardens

    Bookmark   April 6, 2009 at 12:37PM
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You can use a mix of liquid soap, garlic and chili pepper, mix it with water and leave it to rest for about a day, then filter it and spray it on the roses.
Repeat treatment if it rains.
But it really stinks!

Alternatively, you can use pyrethrine and its derivates. It is a natural product extracted from plants, it is allowed even in biological agriculter (at least in the EU). It is a broad-spectrum effective killer for many parasites and pests.

    Bookmark   April 6, 2009 at 4:48PM
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Pyrethrines, even though they are natural and plant based products, are broad spectrum poisons tht should only be used as a last resort means of control. The goal of any organic gardener should be to eliminate the need to spray any kind of poison, or repellant (such as the garlic, onion, hot pepper sprays) in the garden by getting the soil the plants are growing in into a good, healthy condition so strong and healthy plants will grow there. To an organic gardener the soil plants grow in is the most important part of the garden.

    Bookmark   April 9, 2009 at 7:49AM
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I too need some help to control thrips on my roses. I am not sure if that's what I have but my blooms too looks burnt and some of the buds don't even open up fully. I have light colord roses as well. So any help would be great. Need something simple though. Please Help.

    Bookmark   June 18, 2009 at 7:29PM
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Cb, make this garlic-onion recipe described in here

    Bookmark   June 19, 2009 at 6:09AM
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Thanks for the recipe Miss Em!
I'm concerned that some percentage of the thrips may escape the treatment and will overwinter - will the guardian nematodes help protect against a comeback next yr? My experience with nematodes is to apply them as a soil drench against lawn grubs, and against root weevils on shrubs, very effectively. What I bought was labeled "beneficial nematodes," nothing more specific. Do you think it is the same? When would I apply them? (Roses bloom until Christmas here in CA)

This must be a bad thrip yr - I've had them on sweet peas (now past season and gone by) impatiens and fern. Now that someone mentioned it, I'll have to check the peppers.

Thrips 1st appeared at end of 1st bloom cycle on my rose tree. Not knowing an organic remedy, I hard-pruned back to stripped canes -drastic, I know - and I strengthend plant with my usual alfalfa-based fertilizer, watering it in with fish emulsion. This usually produces strong, healthy looking plants, but it didn't fortify them against the thrips!
On your comment on knowing where to find the adhesive for the blue sticky strips, mine came ready to use. They do have alot of thrips stuck to them, but they seem to serve only to keep the pop down - won't prevent them from overwintering, which is what I'm most concerned about.
Tip: I bought lily hoop stakes to hang the traps on - makes it easy to adjust the height and locate them just where you want them. Seems to trap escapees so they don't spread to other nearby plants.

    Bookmark   June 19, 2009 at 3:53PM
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