You know the old rhyme: “April showers bring May flowers, but what do May flowers bring? Aphids“. Or sometimes it seems that way, anyways, with Spring bedding crops.
To help guide your pest management program this year, our friends (superiors?) over at Michigan State Extension have released a handy list of which crops are likely to attract which pests. Keep reading for more info.
Understanding which plants are likely to attract which pests is important for three reasons. First, it can give your scouts (either in-house or external consultants) a place to focus their efforts on.
Second, it can focus where to spend your IPM dollars. For example, spring crops like zonal geraniums, begonias, torenia, fushia, vinca, petunia and sunpatiens are unlikely to get thrips, so why waste applications of predatory mites here?
Third, it can inform places where you can make preventative treatments to avoid bigger problems later. For example, Rieger begonias are unlikely to get other pests besides broad mite. A “one and done” application of an effective miticide can allow you to focus your attention on more challenging crops.
The following list was originally complied by Mark Crossley of Western Michigan IPM (thank you, Mark!!!). However, I’ve made a few of my own additions based on what I’ve seen in Ontario, highlighted in green.
If you’re not doing it already, I highly suggest you make a list like this that’s specific for your own farm. It can be an incredibly useful tool for planning out your IPM program by “season” and seeing where you need to tweak things. With that in mind, I’ve attached this list as an Excel spreadsheet if you want to print it out or make it your own (list-of-magnet-crops-for-diff-pests_2017).
|Common hosts for top greenhouse insect pests|
|Aphids||Broad mites||Western flower thrips||Spider mites|
|Peppers||Zonal geraniums||Dracaena||Tricolor ipomoea|
|Celosia||New Guinea impatiens||Ivy geraniums||Dracaena|
|Pansy||Thunbergia||Ipomoea||Mandevilla (other tropical)|
|Salvia||Rieger begonias||Chrysanthemums||Ivy geranium|
|Sprengeri (Asparagus fern)||Scaevola||Dahlia||Hedera (ivy)|
|Marigold||Angel wing begonia||Double impatiens||Marigold|
|Ivy and zonal geraniums||Buddleia||New Guinea impatiens||Buddleia|
|Calibrachoa||Solenia Begonias||Argyranthemum||New guineas|
|Summer baskets||Summer baskets|
|Herbs (esp. sage)||Tropical plants||Tropical plants|
|Black and blue salvia||Pothos|