Misuse of Lysol, Physan, Oxycodone, and Sex
Okay I lied on the last part, but hope it got your attention and you read the article. No one really enjoys reading about agricultural chemicals but here goes…..
It absolutely amazes me how the use of Lysol and Physan are so commonly used in African Violet, and other plant groups as insecticides/algaecides/fungicides. THEY ARE NOT!! They are sterilants and designed to kill anything and everything alive. When very weak solutions or concentrations are used they do work, but there are much safer chemicals out there. They do a much better job and do not weaken or kill your plants in the process but attack the very pest you are combating. They are much easier on the environment and years of research has gone in to produce them. However, these too must be handled properly but are commonly misused.
First of all identify the problem. Fungicides kill fungus, not mites, thrips, caterpillars, fleas, ticks, cockroaches, mealy bugs, snakes, mosquitos, snails, gnats, houseflies, rats and mice. On African violets particular fungicides kill various fungus such as root rot, damping off, and powdery mildew. You must use the proper one for the job.
I love Subdue Maxx for controlling soil borne fungus such as damping off and root rot. I use 1 drop per quart of water, along with a few drops of dawn, anytime I stick a leaf into new soil or transplant using new untreated soil. It should not be used more than once in 6 months on the same soil pot. It is a drench not a spray and you give the pot a good drink ONCE. It will not work to control powdery mildew and foliar fungi. But what a job it does in increasing your chances of success when putting down new leaves.
There are many foliar fungicides out there. My favorite at the moment is Cleary’s 3336 WP, but Captan, Diathane M45, Daconil, are others. Each one has different directions. All (I think) are administered as a spray. I use a few drops of Dawn soap in the spray as it helps spread the mist all over the plant.
Insecticides…. there are many, seldom needed with African violets. If so I like ones containing Bifenthrin, but should be alternated with other “Flavors”. And don’t change the recipe. Use no stronger than directed and it is not a good idea to combine ingredients. Some are just not compatible, but worse, the critters can and do become resistant. Alternating is not a good idea either. Use the same insecticide at least 3 times in the spray regime before switching to another unless the product is obviously not working.
Mites and Thrips (These are closer related to spiders than insects, and insecticides are not effective in combating them). Abamectin (Avid) (Lucid) and several other “brands” are excellent. I use and recommend 10 drops per quart along with a few drops of Dawn soap and thoroughly spray the plant and area. It should be used 3 times 7 days apart. Repeat this procedure 3 times using Abamectin if the problem reoccurs, then use another “Flavor” several times in a row, such as Spinosid (Conserve). This is to avoid building up genetic resistance in the pest itself.
Although usually fungicides and insecticides can be mixed safely it is better and easier on your plant to combat one problem at a time. NEVER mix two different insecticides or miticides together, it may or may not work, but worse, any pest that survives has a much better chance of passing its genes to the next generation and building up resistance. This last sentence bears repeating 3 times in this short article.
NEVER mix two different insecticides or miticides together, it may or may not work, but worse, any pest that survives has a much better chance of passing its genes to the next generation and build up resistance.
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