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More about thrips.

May you never find them on your roses!

On second thought, maybe if I heard that someone else had to deal with them right now besides me, I wouldn't feel so bad. XD

I learned some interesting things about thrips control last night that I'll have to keep in mind during my continuing battle. 1). They only really trouble roses that bloom continuously throughout the season. Maybe it's worth growing an Old Garden Rose that only blooms once a year if it means I don't have to fight for every single flower? 2). It's a very bad idea to use systemic pesticides against them. Since the thrips hang out inside the rosebuds, the chemicals don't reach them. Also, the pesticides will kill all the beneficial insects that would eat thrips, like ladybugs and green lacewings. 3). The only thing you can really do is what I've been doing. At the first sign of thrips, you have to cut all the buds off the rosebush and interrupt their life cycle by depriving them of their source of food.

I did end up cutting that last bud off Quietness. I didn't see any thrips on it, but I figured that I should love the shrub as well as the flowers. It's too late in the season for Quietness to be making flowers, anyway. I really wanted to see one bloom before the season ended...but it's close to October and that bud was still pretty green. We usually get our first frost around Oct. 15.

Moondance has one more flower bud left. Whenever I cut one off three more come to its funeral! XD Prairie Sunrise is still puny, but all three rosebushes are lush and healthy. Luckily, thrips aren't fatal to the plants. I read that if you use a systemic pesticide to get rid of them you can end up with a serious infestation of spider mites in their place. Rosarians, beware!



( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
Sep. 20th, 2011 08:51 pm (UTC)
Can you order a batch of native ladybugs to put on the plants? :(
Sep. 20th, 2011 09:20 pm (UTC)
The problem is that the ladybugs they sell aren't native, and they're collected in the wild. I read that green lacewings are really good predators, and unlike the ladybugs they usually don't fly away. Also, they grow them in a lab, so they aren't taking them from their native environment.

I'm probably going to get some green lacewings next spring or summer to deal with this. We usually have a lot of ladybugs around during the summer, but this year I haven't seen any. If people didn't use so many insecticides in their gardens, there would be more beneficial insects around, and not so many pests. I can't blame them for wanting to have nice flowers...but this is happening for the same reason that MRSA runs rampant in hospitals. You use a broad spectrum poison for everything, and eventually there's nothing left but the superbugs.
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )