pests in gardenia plant
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.
Certified GKH Gardening Expert
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: https://www.gardeningknowhow.com/problems/pests/neem-oil-uses.htm