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Kent, United Kingdom Gb

I have a10 year old lapageria rosea growing in a pot which I move into the greenhouse to overwinter and place in a semi shaded position in the garden once danger of frost has past. It has grown and flowered well every year until this year when the leaves have become infected, are sticky and in time fall. I have tried various spraying programmes( Vitax pyrethrins, Bayer Ultimate Bug Killer and Scotts RoseClear) but without effect. The root is healthy, the plant continues to send out new shoots but these soon become infected. Any advice please ?

On plant Lapageria rosea



If by infected you mean aphids, the Ultimate bug killer should have been effective, if nothing else. Tips that I have discovered in using the U.S. version of this product:

Spray thoroughly. Every leaf should have a thin layer of spray when you are done. Many people give a cursory spritz or two, but that doesn't allow the plant to adsorb enough active ingredient to be effective.
To the end of thorough coverage, mix a little surfactant, such as yucca extract, with the spray to allow it to stick to the leaves better. Washing up liquid will have the same effect, but may cause the active ingredient to deteriorate a little, as well as some brands being bad for the plant.

Pyrethrins have the same problems with coverage, but even worse. Pyrethrin will only kill the aphids that it directly touches, so any that you miss will repopulate the plant within a week after you spray.

I don't know the active ingredient in Scott's Rose Clear, so I can't tell you what tips or precautions you will need for it.

I prefer to use organic insecticidal soap, myself. It has the same problems as pyrethrin, so I wind up spraying more often, but it doesn't kill as many of the predatory insects, which results in fewer aphids in the long run.

Hope all this helps!

24 Jul, 2010

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