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There seems to be no end.....we are all plagued by the dreaded greenfly. I've also heard hanging fat balls near the affected plant(s) will do the trick and the birds will happily pick off the greenfly. My butterfly bush, roses and twisted hazel is covered in greenfly but since the fat balls are too heavy for these plants, I blast them off with a jet of water - temporary measure which seems to work.  Keep the plants well watered.

little-ann

when i checked round this morning most greenfly had gone

Had the same problem on roses.  Purchased some adult and ladybird larvae at the end of last week.  They are now munching their way through a feast and the roses are beginning to look happier.  Also looks as though adults are mating so should have an ongoing supply of larvae!  Did the same last year - poured with rain the night after applying so was not succsessful.

how much are ladybirds? 

what stops them flying away??

John Harding

 

jackthecat wrote (see)

how much are ladybirds? 

what stops them flying away?? 

If you were hungry and were dumped in a Michelin star restaurant would you want to leave?

Seriously though, the same thought has occurred to me: maybe some form of tented area with polythene around the plant might help. Sparrows & bluetits keep coming back for more in my garden. It's amazing just how keen a bird's eyesight is over us poor humans!

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Exactly!!  No sign of them leaving yet.  The larvae don't fly and can eat huge quantities. Try the Green Gardener for prices.

Fidgetbones - I think that young ladybirds are spotless - the spots develop as they get older. They change colour too I believe

John Harding

I discussed using ladybirds at one of the stands at Gardeners World Live yesterday and was advised that ladybirds as a means of biological control are usually intended for greenhouse use where they are kept in the environment. I did notice however the stand had fine mesh netted frames housing butterflies and other exotic insects. To be fair the stand was not advertising biological controls but was more concerned with the butterflies etc. They weren't selling the tented/netted frame either - they bought those for their show stand from a pet shop specialising in reptiles.

Dovefromabove
Dovefromabove wrote (see)

I've got greenfly on my rosebuds - every year I just run my fingers over the shoots in the morning, removing most of the greenfly and leaving a few for the ladybirds and bluetits - it works for me 

I checked my roses yesterday evening - hardly a greenfly to be seen, and all I've done is running my fingers over the buds a couple of time as described above.   I've got lovely healthy rosebuds with no greenfly damage

i to use washing up liquid diluted..but where possible i actually dip my plants into a large bowl and swish the bugs of.

 

figrat

JUst out of interest, I haven't seen one ladybird in my garden this year, last year there were zillions. I garden organically, the bluetits are helping out, but I wonder where the ladybirds have gone?

fidgetbones

I saw one without spots early in the year, but not many since.

little-ann

do birds eat ladybirds, i cant remember the last time i saw a ladybird but we have a large collection of birds

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partridge137

Greenfly- I use cayenne pepper mixed into soapy water and just sprinkle over the affected area with a watering can. Worked really well on badly infested young aubegines.

I like the cayenne pepper idea. With repeated sprays of soapy water we seem to have kept them off recently, but the honeysuckle has taken such a hammering it looks terrible. Gutting when all the other honeysuckle I pass locally is in rude health.

partridge137

They never seem to go for anyone else's plants, do they!

ha. there are a lot of flats round here with communal gardens that will be managed by professionals. I tell you what... they look damn good. Whoever's doing it is a class act.

I tell myself they use loads of chemicals though, and that's how everything looks so beautiful.

This might be a really stupid question but what's to stop the "bought in" ladybirds from flying away? 

Re the garlic spray it really does work at keeping slugs and snails off the hostas! I heard it on gardeners question time last year and gave it a go and it's very effective. Not sure about just mashing a bulb up in cold water tho - I use a whole bulb and simmer it in water until it's really soft and mushy then use a masher to squish the cloves and then strain it. That goes into a sprayer which I top up with cold water and the mugs goes round the plants as an extra deterrent!