"You know you're hooked when..." or "Heliopsis blues"

david883(5/6)September 29, 2013

I couldn't decide what to call this thread as its really two threads, or lets call them vignettes, that are totally different, yet somewhat related (if Hollywood can do it, well, then so can I!). This is a little bit of a rant...

Heliopsis blues: I am totally in love with my unnamed Heliopsis. This year I moved some to be closer together so it was more like a patch of these flowers. Well, this year it grew much larger than last (duh?) and began spreading out in the center (partially due to height, partially to the abundance of rain we've had this summer, that is, as compared to last year at least). No big deal though - I'll just split a few and pinch them back next year. I was ecstatic last year when I read of all the problems these have with aphids and, after careful inspection, I found not a one (the worlds biggest grass hopper and Mr. Stick Bug from last year must have been excellent security for the heliopsis.... I realize that now... that was a joke... kind of).
So this year, needless to say, I was disappointed when I realized after, I believe it was, Rouge21 posted about his heliopsis having worms/larve living inside the head of the flowers. Comparing his photos to mine I realized I have the same problem this year. But no matter, I still love my heliopsis. "I'm sorry you have worms eating away at your insides but I love you never the less. Thank god you don't have any... APHIDS!!!!" The plants are covered with them out of nowhere. I sprayed them off with the hose and was able to get them totally removed from one plant in one area with this method but I have three large plants in another area that I just can't seem to get them all.

So now, cut to later that evening, me googling how to attract lady bugs, and maybe where to buy some. I turn to my partner and say "Did you know lady bugs were imported here to help control aphids on orange trees?" He says "oh, that's interesting" (read between the lines, "why are you reading about lady bugs?"). "And did you know that lady bugs can eat like 1500 aphids in a day!?" I asked. He's onto me, now. He knows something is up. "And did you know you can buy a bag of 100 lady bugs for $18 online!" The only thing he could say was "the internet is a dangerous thing for people like you...." (while walking away mumbling something about "buying bugs on the internet, unbelievable..."). This is how you know you have it bad (both the gardening bug and aphids lol)... when you're buying bugs online...

I feel much better now

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aachenelf z5 Mpls

Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. I so enjoyed reading that! I have nothing to add, no advice, no suggestions. It was just fun reading about how another gardeners mind works. We can be somewhat of an odd bunch, can't we?


    Bookmark   September 29, 2013 at 7:10PM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

That is a funny story, David and represents very well how different the non gardener views the gardener. (g)

I did want to say about the aphid/ladybug deal, that because I garden organically, I normally take the approach to let things work themselves out in the garden as often as I can, and when I see aphids, I automatically think, 'Oh good, I have a lure for ladybugs now.' :-) And that is exactly what happened in my garden. I rarely see an aphid and when I do, a week later, I don't see them any more. I was pretty excited to see lady bugs plural this year, interested in our Asparagus foliage. So I am hoping that this may be some sort of habitat for them. Of course, I have to have enough aphids to feed them, if that is how many they can eat in a day!

    Bookmark   September 29, 2013 at 7:39PM
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LOL.........been there, heard similar comments. Thanks for sharing. :-)

    Bookmark   September 29, 2013 at 7:59PM
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Yup that was me 'david'.

In the past couple of weeks I replaced all 5 "Tuscan Sun" Heliopsis. I can take one disease or pest problem on an otherwise wonderful plant but 2 is one too many (sunflower moth larvae and aphids...and this occurred on all 5 two years in a row).

(Does one have to count the # of ladybugs to be sure one is gets what one has ordered? ;))

Here is a link that might be useful: what to replace it with

This post was edited by rouge21 on Tue, Oct 1, 13 at 9:00

    Bookmark   October 1, 2013 at 6:59AM
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katob Z6ish, NE Pa

You're getting a lot more of a response from your SO than I ever get.... She seems to think all my gardening questions are rhetorical, or just the ignore it and maybe it will go away kind of statement.
I know I'm in trouble with chrysanthemums... Keep checking out online sources and looking up more info. I hope this passes once fall is over.

    Bookmark   October 1, 2013 at 8:54PM
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I think, if I do buy online, I'll just trust the supplier has sent the correct amount. The last thing I need is letting 1000 lady bugs loose in the house... Especially after the later conversation where I was asked "how can you guarantee the ladybugs don't just fly away?" My response was that I had read to do it at night, water the area previously and "you can put them in the fridge for a short time to cool them down. It slows them down and....". "YOU ARE NOT PUTTING LADY BUGS IN THE FRIDGE!!!!"

.... fine, be that way ;-)

    Bookmark   October 2, 2013 at 5:56AM
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