By Carolyn Johnson
Summer is finally in full swing. It sure feels like it with all this heat, doesn’t it? We are now noticing in the garden, the effects of our cool and rainy spring. Some things to watch for right now in your garden include magnolia scale, Japanese beetles, and cutworm on creeping jenny.
"Wooly" covering of the magnolia scale
Magnolia Scale: We have seen evidence of scale on magnolias recently. The scale is shiny and smooth, and often covered with a white, waxy coating. Branches can become heavily infested which results in weakened or dead wood. Scale creates a substance called honeydew which is excreted on the plant’s foliage and branches. Sooty mold, a dark fungus, then develops on the honeydew on the leaves, thus detracting from the ornamental value of the tree. You can rid the plant of scale by scratching them off (though you would have to remain diligent about this practice), applying horticultural oils in late August, or systemically spraying in late August or early September.
Japanese Beetles: We have begun to spot these insects on ornamental
The Japanese beetle up close and personal
plants in the past week. The beetles are shiny, metallic green insects with tufts of white under their wing covers. Most beetles tend to congregate and can do large amounts of damage by chewing on leaves and flowers of your prized roses. Don’t think they are limited to roses for feeding, however. Their taste palette includes more than 300 species of plants ranging from trees to shrubs to non-woody plants, including annuals. The most effective method of controlling Japanese beetles is to hand pick them off your plants and drop them into a container with soapy water. There are some contact sprays out there, like insecticidal soap, but if the beetle isn’t hit directly with the spray then it will not be controlled. If you notice a large infestation of Japanese beetles, you may want to check your turf. The beetles start as grubs in your turf and can cause the turf to die.
Cutworm and feeding damage on creeping jenny
Cutworm: We have been noticing a lot of cutworm damage to the creeping jenny ground cover as well. It’s seems to be worse this year than in the past and possibly due to the wet spring we’ve experienced. The leaves are practically chewed to nothing leaving the stems of the plant looking very sad, indeed! We spread a natural product called Diatomaceaous Earth that you can find at your local garden center. The product has an abrasive feel that when the exoskeletons of pests, such as cutworm and slugs, cross over the product it causes the insects to dehydrate and die.
We hope this gives you a few things to be watchful for in your gardens. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us.
Share on Facebook