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When you DO what you KNOW you shouldn't ...

Posted by aegis500 Zone5 Indiana (My Page) on
Thu, Nov 1, 12 at 12:19

I feel so stupid.

I’ve not seen a thrip in my violet collection in years. And, though I have, from time to time, violated my rule about NOT buying violets from local box stores, I’ve been able to manage to keep thrips from becoming a problem.

Well, a couple weeks ago, I was shopping for some 4” pot bases, ... and there was an Optimara Millenia in full bloom. I couldn’t get myself to leave the store without it. So, I told myself that I would isolate it and all would be fine. Also, I didn’t see any evidence of thrips on the plant at that time. So, I brought it home ... and placed in a room where I had no other violets and all seemed to be fine.

In the meantime, an Optimara Picasso that I have been babying since it was a pup (from Violet Barn) had finally achieved some nice growth and had begun to bloom (beautifully) for the first time. I began to notice that the bloom were fading a bit quicker than normal and when I finally took a close look at the blooms, I saw ... thrips. I checked a couple other blooming plants nearby ... and found MORE thrips.

Thrips have, evidently, traveled from one side of the house ... to the other, and attacked my previously pristine plants.

So ... now I’ve got to bite the bullet and get rid of all of my current AV bloom downstairs, including the original Millenia, and wait a few months before I allow them to bloom again. The bad news is that I won’t have AV bloom for the holidays. The good news is that this step will starve the thrip population to death, and that I can pick up where I left off with my violets in a couple months.

I could just spit lead. I knew better ...

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: When you DO what you KNOW you shouldn't ...

It is impossible to starve thrips to death - it is one of persistent old wives tales. They just move to the young leaves and scar them badly.

I am thinking that if you disbud everything now - and spray 3 times week apart- you will get first good buds opening for Christmas.

If you have AVID - it will work, Merit is good too. I did buy Bayer "tree and shrub" with imidacloprid, but didn't try it. What stopped me - there is an another ingredient besides imidacloprid in it - and I was not sure how it will affect the plants.

Thrips are persistent... and can come from outside with a bunch of flowers too...


RE: When you DO what you KNOW you shouldn't ...

Thrips can sneak in anytime and they may not have come in on your new Millenia. I have used Schultz Houseplant Insect Spray with good results. The main ingredient is Pyrethrin from the Chrysanthemum flower. This may also be the basis for dog & cat flea spray which older magazines often site as being helpful.
You might consider using the RID treatment: 2TB of Rid Lice Shampoo, 1 or 2 tsp Murphy Oil Soap dissolved in 32 oz spray bottle of warm water. The plant & soil should be drenched, allowed to sit about 20 minutes and then rinsed. One grower said it was 100% effective with a one time use. Thankfully, I haven't had to test this last method, but I think it would be my choice if I encounter thrips again as it is purported to do no damage to the plants.
Hopefully, you will be able to get these critters under control!

RE: When you DO what you KNOW you shouldn't ...

The main thing - is to disbud and treat it repeatedly - soaking every nook and cranny. Anything will choke the thrips on the plant - but there are eggs and immature insects hiding in a soil. Seems like the last method can damage the plant - it will look like a leopard after this kind of treatment - I agree with Terrilou.


RE: When you DO what you KNOW you shouldn't ...

Happens to everyone. Best of luck!

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