Do you use insecticides in your hanging baskets and annuals?

by | Sep 5, 2013 | Ask Pahl's Market

If so are they the type that have been found to remain in the plant and cause problems for bees and other friendly insects? I have noticed there are fewer bees around my hanging baskets and am very concerned that next year I may have to just buy seeds and try my luck with them. It is the neonicitoid or something similar in name. There have been many articles and even news reports about this type of insecticide. It is incorporated as part of the plant and is there months after treatment. a bee getting nectar just once can die from it. Both Loews and Home Depot plants were treated with this type of insecticide. I will not buy their plants any more.

The main insecticides we use on hanging baskets and patio pots contain the active ingredients Pymetrozine and Thiamethoxam.  These are systemic insecticides that target leaf piercing insects such as aphids.  The insecticide that is having the adverse effects on pollinating insects like bees that has been in the media on several occasions contains the active ingredient Imidichloprid.  We usually apply insecticide four weeks into the crop time.  The average hanging basket crop takes 10-12 weeks to grow.  The residual of the insecticide usually remains in the plant around 6-8 weeks.  Factors such as temperature and amount of water uptake can factor into the how long the chemical remains in the plant.  All of the plant material we use comes from rooted cuttings and NOT from seed.  The cuttings we get in from a variety of sources can often times contain damaging insects.  We need to use insecticides because of the damage that insects can potentially do to the crop.  However, in selecting which insecticides we use we try to be as responsible as possible and use as little chemicals as possible.  The insecticides we use are ones that are the safest.  Not only do we have worry about the health of our plants but we also have to keep in mind the safety of our customers, employees, pets, etc…   Other environmental factors such as wet periods and hot periods can influence the amount of bees flying around.   I hope this answers your questions.




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