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  • 1 Post By Halloamey
  • 1 Post By gardenguysorchids

Companion plants as pest magnets?

This is a discussion on Companion plants as pest magnets? within the Orchid Ailments / The Compost Pile forums, part of the Orchid Culture category; Growing outdoors in the summer, pests inevitably find their way to my patio. Do any ...

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  1. #1
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    cakedaddy is offline Senior Member
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    Default Companion plants as pest magnets?

    Growing outdoors in the summer, pests inevitably find their way to my patio. Do any of you who grow outdoors use other plants to "host" pests? Seems that regardless of treatments, the little buggers want to stick around. As an example of what I'm considering, hares foot ferns tend to be scale and mealy magnets and are a dime a dozen just about anywhere. If the orchids were to be treated and neighboring ferns not, I'd expect that the pests would find the ferns infinitely more appealing and stay off the orchids.Posted via Mobile Device

  2. #2
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    Halloamey is offline Senior Member
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    Sounds reasonable, but nature is seldom reasonable. Have any infected plant around and orchids will soon be infested. The only option is to get rid of the source or learn to live with it and expect some losses.

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    espranch is offline Senior Member
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    Jason, I believe you'd be better served by ordering some ladybugs and baby praying mantis. Then, just release them onto your patio/plants Betty

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    gardenguysorchids is offline Don't be afraid to color outside the lines
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    Jason, I agree with Amey. Attracting insects is just asking for problems. They will move to any plant they find. As for bringing in insects to help control unwanted ones it can work if the prey is already there. If not the predatory insects will move on to areas that have a food supply. Usually when buying predatory insects you have to buy more than your area can support so they just fly away to other areas. I find it better to give my plants an occasional preventative treatment and keep a close eye on them. It is all really just a matter of choice.

  5. #5
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    Default

    I appreciate the responses guys! I failed to mention in my first post that I do keep ferns...I ALWAYS have pest problems with them but rarely with the orchids. The pest incidences that involved orchids have, fortunately, been isolated. Plants brought in with preexisting scale (that nursery is now closed). I do use gentle chems on my orchids and keep malathion at hand in the event that I have a crisis on my hands. I wondered if anyone offered up more appealing plants to the pests as a distraction from the more valued plants...a "living fly strip" if you will.
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  6. #6
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    Hey Jason! I had a problem last summer with whiteflies attacking all the plants in my sunroom. They were particularly fond of my plumeria and my tropical impatiens. I ended up using one of their favorite impatiens as "bait"-- I treated it with systemic bug killer, which didn't hurt the plant but killed the little buggers. Worked very effectively. Eventually all the whiteflies made their way to the "bait" plant and the infestation went away. (I had already tried spraying a soap mixture, doing natural alternatives, etc. The systemic thing did the trick).

    I was doing some research and I found that nasturtiums are supposed to be irresistible to the little buggers. So this year, I'm putting nasturtiums in my sunroom and treating them with the systemic bug killer. I'm betting that the nasturtiums will be easier for the bugs to munch than the thicker tropical plants, and by treating them with the systemic killer, it will get rid of the problem.

    I wish I had tried this last year so I could tell you how it worked, but, like I said, I had great success with treating one of my impatiens. The whiteflies didn't last long after that. Hopefully I'll be ahead of the game this year and they'll go after the nasturtiums and not bother my impatiens either! Nasturtiums as a "living fly strip?" I guess we'll see!

    Good luck!
    -Jenn

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