Gardenia Plants

Pests in Gardenia Plant

Anonymous added on July 5, 2015 | Answered

I just bought a gardenia plant (the variety with very large flowers) but found a few leaves with tiny holes in them. The nursery said the holes were probably caused by earwigs or snails - not to worry about it since it was affecting only the older leaves, and suggested an organic treatment, which uses spinosad and iron as ingredients. I am not keen on using something with spinosad, as I am not sure about its toxicity. I would prefer to use insecticidal soap but understand that it should not be used on gardenias. I have not seen the earwigs or snails, so I am not sure this is the cause; however, I don't find any other insect(s) on the plant. The leaves are healthy looking, shiny and green and the plant is budding, but I would like to treat the plant before whatever insect is in it causes any real damage. I need to use something that is not toxic, similar to safer insecticidal soap.

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Certified GKH Gardening Expert
Answered on July 5, 2015

Try neem oil. It is both safe to use and effective against many types of insect pests. As a bonus. it is also an effective fungicide. Here is more information:

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