Paula's Place

Paula's Place

Monday, 14 April 2014

Lily Beatle

The Enemy

In Hiding
I like to grow a wide variety of plants in my garden, but given that it is a small suburban garden with both limited space and heavy clay soil there are limits to what I can grow in the ground.   I have got into the habit of growing bulbs in pots, that way I can bring them onto the patio enjoy them while they are in flower, then move them to a more secluded area while the leaves die back and they are less interesting.   My daffodil are now over and my tulips are the stars of the patio.




The Damage
Soon the Lilies will be taking over, but with lilies I am fighting a constant battle against an enemy so intractable, so subtle and so devastating I have seriously considered surrender.   I am talking about the small bright red lily beetle.   It seems strange that anything that is the colour of bright red nail polish should be hard to find, but as soon as disturbed they drop to the ground and their underside is brown so they become invisible on the soil surface.   At this time of year I do a daily check of all my lilies, pick off and crush (gleefully) any beetles I find in the vain hope that I will get them before they start breeding and I get the dreaded larvae.   These are quite disgusting (follow the link for details from the RHS) but if they are found also need to be removed (yuk!).

Stargazer
My hunting has not been wasted I have already got rid of quite a few of these pests, but I still expect to see more, and my lilies are showing the signs of damage, not enough yet to effect the flowering, but still damage.   So far the only chemical control I have found to work is ant powder, but that needs to be applied regularly and can be pretty unsightly in itself, so at the moment I am still planing on relying on vigilance.   If it works I may get some blooms like these again.
Yellow Pixie
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