As the weather warms up and spring approaches, many gardeners in Maryland are eagerly planning their spring garden. However, as beautiful as ornamental plants can be, they are also susceptible to a variety of common spring pests that can harm their health and appearance. From scale insects to spider mites, thrips, mealybugs, and whiteflies, there are many pests that can attack and damage ornamental garden plants in Maryland. In this blog post, we’ll discuss seven common spring pest issues that can impact your ornamental garden plants and provide tips on how to prevent and control them, so you can enjoy a healthy and beautiful garden all season long.
Scale Insects: Scale insects can attach themselves to leaves, stems, and branches of various ornamental plants including azaleas, camellias, magnolias, hollies, and fruit trees. They feed on the sap of the plant, causing yellowing and wilting of leaves. Scale insects can be controlled with insecticidal soaps, horticultural oils, or systemic insecticides.
Spider Mites: Spider mites can be found on the undersides of leaves of ornamental plants such as roses, azaleas, and evergreens. They can cause yellowing and discoloration of leaves, as well as a fine webbing over the plant. Spider mites can be controlled with insecticidal soaps, horticultural oils, or miticides.
Whiteflies: Whiteflies can be found on the undersides of leaves of many ornamental plants such as poinsettias, hibiscus, and citrus trees. They feed on the sap of the plant, causing yellowing and wilting of leaves. Whiteflies can be controlled with insecticidal soaps, horticultural oils, or systemic insecticides.
Mealybugs: Mealybugs can be found on leaves, stems, and branches of various ornamental plants including azaleas, camellias, and citrus trees. They feed on the sap of the plant, causing yellowing and wilting of leaves. Mealybugs can be controlled with insecticidal soaps, horticultural oils, or systemic insecticides.
Thrips: Thrips can attack ornamental plants such as roses, dahlias, and gladiolus. They feed on the sap of the plant, causing distorted or discolored leaves and flowers. Thrips can be controlled with insecticidal soaps, horticultural oils, or systemic insecticides.
Tent Caterpillars: Tent caterpillars are common in the spring and can be found on ornamental trees such as cherry, apple, and crabapple. They create web-like tents in the crotches of branches, where they feed on the foliage of the tree. Tent caterpillars can be controlled by manually removing the tents or by using insecticides.
Bagworms: Bagworms are another pest that can be found on ornamental plants in the spring. They create protective bags made of silk and plant debris and attach themselves to the branches of ornamental trees and shrubs. Bagworms feed on the foliage of the plant, causing defoliation. They can be controlled by manually removing the bags or by using insecticides.It’s important to note that the timing of these common spring pests activity can vary depending on the weather and other environmental factors, so it’s always a good idea to monitor your plants regularly throughout the growing season for signs of pest activity.
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