Friday, June 06, 2008


(photo from website, not my yard)

I bought a Snowball Bush (Viburum opulus 'Roseum') 3 years ago and put it in with my hydrangea. Nice combo, hey? My hydrangea was my surrogate baby for those intervening years... (check the sidebar for 2005 photos)

Anyway, the snowball has either aphids or whiteflies (I just can't decide). I tried treating it organically with a rhubarb leaf tea mixed with soap. Ken Beattie's tried-and-true aphid treatment (though I don't know how it works on white flies). I think there were more insects when I was done spraying.

Every single cluster of leaves had at least one that was curled around an army of aphid-looking things. So I chopped it off. It was only 3' tall anyway, but now I am sad. I don't know. Maybe I should have left it - maybe the ladybugs would have cleaned it up in a couple of weeks. But I didn't want the infestation to spread and I didn't want to use an insecticide like Cygon. I left a couple of branches that weren't really infested and will continue to treat them with the rhubarb tea.

I hope someone out there has pruned a vibernum hard and had it come back threefold. I would love it if you would tell me that story.

Or what do you do for aphids?

1 comment:

kate said...

aphids? I ignore them. That explains why my roses look like crap by the end of the season.

Seriously, when i remember to spray i have found that neem oil is reasonably effective for an organic insecticide. I have some which is marketed under the brand 'Rose Defense'. It works better than the organic insecticidal soap.