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Petunia Problems

Posted by ytnok z8-9 E-Cent AL (My Page) on
Fri, Jun 29, 07 at 13:29

I have three beds with various types of Petunias. I bought one set of "Proven Winners" from Home Depot and all but two died while the two I bought from Kroger flourished right next to them. Still can't figure out what happened (full sun, plenty of water) but HD gave me my money back.

The other two beds I planted in pink and red waves. They looked awesome, filling the beds (next to the curb) and providing tons of color. Until yesterday, when I noticed that one of the beds was looking sick, flowers and foliage shrinking back. I stuck my finger in the soil and it was moist, but that was when I noticed small black dots about the size of poppy seeds attached to some of the stalks. I scraped some off and looked closely at them but they didn't move and didn't squash. I immediately sprayed with insecticidal soap (I'm organic).

Any ideas on what's killing my petunias? Suggestions for organic treatments?


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RE: Petunia Problems

  • Posted by lindac Iowa Z 5/4 (My Page) on
    Fri, Jun 29, 07 at 13:46

That's "frass"...caterpiller poop. You have a worm, caterpiller or something eating your plants.
I find that flowers next to the curb, under a street light are particularly suceptable to being infested with thost things. The moths are attracted to the light, and lay their eggs in your petunias and they hatch and the little worms eat your flowers.
Get a spray bottle of insecticide for plants and give them a spray. Or look for the worms and pick them off....but they hide really well.Also BT spray will work....but frankly, while some think that's "organic" we are seeing a big loss of butterflies because of it.
I'd rather just get some poision and spray it on and not have something that lasts and may harm another type of bug.
Linda C


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RE: Petunia Problems

  • Posted by ytnok z8-9 E-Cent AL (My Page) on
    Fri, Jun 29, 07 at 14:49

Recommended poisons? Being near the curb and not contiguous with other beds I may consider some poison.


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RE: Petunia Problems

  • Posted by ytnok z8-9 E-Cent AL (My Page) on
    Fri, Jun 29, 07 at 21:08

I just went out to look for those caterpillars and noticed that the newest blossoms are discolored, they look like some dripped bleach on them, red/pink with smears of bleached discoloration. Is this consistent with caterpillars?


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RE: Petunia Problems

  • Posted by lindac Iowa Z 5/4 (My Page) on
    Fri, Jun 29, 07 at 22:32

The insecticidal soap you sprayed made the splotchy blooms.
For some thing like that I just buy a can of house and garden raid....and spray away.
Wait a few days and see if there is any new frass and if so spray again.
Pyrethum spray is organic....but for one infestation of bugs, I say just get rid of the blasted worms and be done with it.
Linda C
And you will see discolored blooms from the Raid too....and likely from the pyrethrum.


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RE: Petunia Problems

I am a newbie here, but I too have had these pesky "budworms" on my petunias for several years. you must purchase something that specifically says it will kill "budworms" on the label, otherwise it may not kill these little pests. you may even need to spray twice, depending on the severity of the infestation. i just tried the new bayer "3 in 1 product", and am hoping it will work. it does specifically list budworms as well as cucumber beetles, which also seem to love my garden. best of luck to you!


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RE: Petunia Problems

Late to enter this thread, but my container plants have been devastated by budworm for the last 5 years. Nothing works. I have huge geraniums and petunias with no flowers, the budworms are all over the plants. Tried Bayers with no result. Tried insecticidal soap, organic citrus soaps, with no results.

I'm tempted to try Raid, but it's too deadly to everything else. I'd be interested to know if anyone had any luck getting rid of these worms.

Jane


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RE: Petunia Problems

I know its really late to answer your question, but i am going to guess that the little black dots on the stems are seeds. Petunia seed pods split open and the seeds stick to the petunias, cause they are sticky. I had a problem with my petunias in a container and i found that they were too wet. Also, if the wave are shrinking back, just try pinching off some of the runners.
Sarah


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