Tuesday, August 24, 2010
Ladybugs to the Rescue!
For a month or so now, I've noticed a huge amount of aphids covering my 'Powis Castle' Artemisia, see pic below, they covered every stem and if you touched the stem, they all moved in unison...it was really creepy! I had intended on buying some ladybugs to get rid of them...but they didn't seem to be harming the plant at all..it has lost none of its vigor, and honestly, I kinda figured that eventually the local ladybug population would find them and take care of them.
My poor Artemesia provides a home for some aphids
Well, I waited and waited, but no ladybugs showed up and the aphids kept multiplying. Then, today as I was watering, I noticed their numbers seemed to have lessened. Sure enough, there among the herd of aphids was a ladybug larva! Eat up, little bug!
I was reading up about them on Wikipedia and to attract them and provide an environment that encourages them, you can grow plants that provide early sources of pollen (and food for their prey). These can include mustard greens, white or crimson clovers and early legumes. Later on, they like bronze fennel, dill, coriander, caraway, angelica, tansy, yarrow, of the wild carrot family. They are also fond of coreopsis, cosmos (especially the white ones), dandelions and scented geraniums.