London (change)
Tue 13°C / 7°C
Tomorrow 13°C / 9°C
14 messages
02/06/2014 at 10:24




I have been gifted a number of leftover plants from a lovely local business and I didn't ask what this particular one is.  Can anyone id it for me?   I'll have to re-pot it quickly as it's very weak where the stalk meets the roots so I'm not entirely sure it's going to survive well whatever it is.  When you crush a leaf it has a smell but I'm not able to describe it.  May just be a leaf smell.  The weight of the foliage is causing the stem a bit of stress so I'll need to pot it deeper up the stem.  The stem itself has a similar frailty to a  begonia stem and not a robust shrub like stem at the moment.  Maybe it will change?



Also, this morning found this bug which I found on a web search to be a Green Shield Bug.  I'm assuming it's the most common Green Shield Bug and not the one described as recently coming over from other European countries.  I found the cheeky thing on one of two buds which luckily have appeared on a transplanted peony which I was really pleased actually took off and produced two buds this year.  (Blimey they take weeks to swell and open - still waiting).  This bug was not for moving and it took several finger flicks to ping it away.  It does seem to have broken through the bud and made a huge hole in a leaf directly below it.  It's an interesting looking bug but I'm assuming it's one of the bad guys?


(I haven't figured out how to put text underneath a photo instead of the text appearing underneath both pictures).

Thanks for any comments.

02/06/2014 at 10:37

Looks like one of the Choysia's. As for sheild bugs they aren't  significant pests for most gardeners.

02/06/2014 at 10:41

That one might be a hawthorn shield bug

02/06/2014 at 10:47

We love shield bugs   Great excitement in the garden when one of us finds one 


I wouldn't plant the Choisya too deep - it might make the problem worse rather than better - I'd find a way to support the plant instead.

02/06/2014 at 10:49

Thanks Dave.  I wondered if it was a very very young Sundance.  The stem is very frail and juicy so I'll have to be careful re-potting as it looks as if the top heavy foliage is in danger of snapping and come away from the roots. 

Thanks for comment on the bug nutcutlet.  It's stunningly bright and was absolutely still for a very long time.  I'd never seen one before but I was desperate to get it away from my only chance of having a couple of peony flowers this year.  Then again, it might be best for the peony if I'd chopped the buds off this year and let it not flower until next year. 

02/06/2014 at 11:00

If it's a Green Shield bug can you buy it with Green Shield Stamps?

(Now, who remembers those? C'mon - show your age!)
02/06/2014 at 11:11

Har har Steve, I remember them!

02/06/2014 at 11:34

I agree the shrub looks like a Choisya: the bug looks like a capsid bug - unlikely to do any great harm in the garden, they are sap suckers not predators and if you squash them you will have a nasty niff on your hands - literally!

08/06/2015 at 11:43

This is the bud today with the sticky stuff all over it and now on the leaves.


So here I am with my peony again a year on from these posts last year and I'm wondering if the buds are actually going to open this year.  Last year they didn't.  They swelled - and didn't open - and there was the business with the bug around all the time.

This year, I have more buds - the excitement last year was that the peony had survived being moved as a couple of root cuttings from a neighbour digging up the peony and throwing it out.  It's back to early June again, I have 7 buds this year but they are still tight and not opening.  The very stem which the bug played with for days last year had the first bud to appear - and now the bud is secreting a sticky stuff covering the entire bud and one of the leaves below the bud.

This is peony paranoia as the buds didn't reach flowering stage last year.  If I remember I think it rained for weeks and there was no sunshine - but I can't remember.  I'm worried that the buds are going to stay tight closed again or if I ought to just wait - or if the sticky stuff comes from the peony itself or a bug has chosen it to covet for itself and it's the bug producing the sticky stuff.

I need someone to go 'LOL this is normal, this is what peony buds do'!  But maybe they don't.  All the neighbourhood peonies have been blooming for weeks but I thought as mine is just a root uplifted year before last, that it may not successfully get to blooming until it's matured?  But would be great to know if it looks as if I have bug problems which stop the buds flowering.  I was wondering whether to gently wipe off the goo with a damp cloth and soapy water.

Any advice anyone?


08/06/2015 at 15:12

mine only opened two days ago, i only have one which is the one it had when i bought it 6 wks ago and it has been moved twice.

08/06/2015 at 23:23

Thanks sanjy67.  I feel like I've been waiting for ever on these buds to actually flower.  I'm sure they can sense my impatience!

09/06/2015 at 05:58

I have noticed that my peony buds seem to produce a slightly sticky substance and that ants are attracted to it.  This happened last year but it didn't affect the flowering at all.  I was worried at the time but perhaps it is normal.  Good luck with yours.

12/07/2015 at 00:13

 Update to show they finally flowered.  I think they would have flowered in their own time but I may have managed to hasten them along - or not!  Not sure.  I read a florists website where she described forcing open peony buds for display.  She described the sticky sap which the buds produce and said she sprayed the buds with warm water to loosen the tight outer petals.  She was talking about cut flowers so I thought I might as well try it outdoors.  I sprayed them three mornings in a row.  Even while I was spraying they outer petals loosened away.  And hey presto, they all began to burst open.  But there's no certainty that that they might have opened just because they were ready to.  I don't know.  And they were beautiful - before a thunderstorm a few days later.  I was delighted to see how beautiful they are - although I have no idea which peony they are.

12/07/2015 at 15:22

Green shield stamps - would need a lot of them now to get buried

email image
14 messages