Aphids, a common plant pest, are also known as plant lice. Aphids can infect any type of plant, including bedding plants. This pest is usually measures less than 1/8 inch and has a pear-shaped body. According to the University of Florida, IFAS Extension, aphids are most often green in colour, but can be pink, yellow, blue, white, black, brown and pink.
Snapdragons are often used as bedding plants, for cut flowers and in containers. This colourful flower blooms for a long period of time and thrives in cool weather. Snapdragons come in various colours, including red, orange, yellow and purple. Traditionally, the snapdragon has been used for cut flowers and landscape plants but the introduction of dwarf varieties have made it a popular choice as a bedding plant. According to the Alabama Cooperative Extension, snapdragons are resistant to many diseases and pests. However, there are a few insects that can damage snapdragons. Aphids often injure snapdragons once they reach maturity. Pesticides are often effective in controlling aphids, but can harm snapdragons.
Geraniums, a popular flowering plant, are often used outdoors in hanging baskets and in flower beds. Some commonly grown types of geraniums include the Martha Washington geranium, Ivy-leaved geranium and the scented leaved geranium. Bedding plants often attract insects and pests. According to the North Carolina Cooperative Extension Service, aphids frequently attack geraniums and cause damage to their leaves, stems and flowers by feeding on them. Certain types of predators feed on aphids, such as the lady bird, ambush bug and aphid lions. Spraying geraniums with special soaps or oils can help eliminate and control aphid infestations in bedding areas.
Zinnias are a popular choice among home gardeners for flower beds and containers, and as borders. The zinnia comes in a wide variety of colours such as yellow, white, green, cream, apricot, orange, red, purple and bronze. Unfortunately, zinnias attract insects such as aphids. Other insects that often infest the zinnia are whiteflies and thrips. Aphids cause damage to the zinnia by feeding on leaves, stems and flowers. Controlling aphid infestations in bedding plants like the zinnia is best accomplished with good cultural practices and plant monitoring. Severe aphid infestations may require the use of pesticides to control pests and reduce the damage to the zinnia. Avoid applying pesticides in areas where beneficial predators are present.
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