Last year I reported my battle here with the Red Lily bugs on my Lilies. I had never seen them before last year and I have had these Lilies planted in this spot for over 30 years. I was out there killing the bugs daily until after they finished flowering, but the flowers were much less than usual due to the attack. There were hundreds of these bugs. After they finished flowering I didn’t pay much attention to the plants, until I noticed about a week later that there was nothing left of them at all. They had been eaten right to the ground.
After that, I didn’t expect to see the Lilies growing this year, but they are back and so are the Red Lily bugs. 😦
The poor plants are hardly 4 inches tall and they are being eaten. I killed about 2 dozen bugs while I was out there and only stopped to get pictures of 2 of them. I almost feel that it isn’t worth the battle and I might just pull the plants up and dispose of them. I hate to do it after all these years, but it is really looking like a losing battle. I don’t know if they will go after other plants if the Lilies are gone though and if so, that wouldn’t really help me much.
Those 2 bugs plus a few more have now been squished.
Luckily my Iris plants are looking just fine. 🙂
Before digging up my Lilies, I searched online to see if the bugs eat other plants. It is mentioned that occasionally they do – but not often. While reading, I also found some information that companion planting might help. Some people said the Lilies in a mixed bed were not affected, some people mentioned specific plants that seemed to keep the Lilies healthy while others were eaten.
One plant mentioned was the Marigold. I never plant Marigolds because I have come home to find the flowers all ripped apart and actually seen blackbirds or grackles take the flower apart and rub the petals in their feathers. Apparently this protects the birds from mites, which are bugs and I figured it wouldn’t hurt to plant some Marigolds beside the Lilies. It is worth a try.
Now I have to get the rest of my flowers planted. Too bad I didn’t know about the Marigolds when I bought the Impatience earlier today or I would have taken the peach coloured ones. I almost took those ones anyway, but decided on the pinks at the last minute. The peach would have gone with the orange Marigolds better though.
I started writing this in the morning and now it is mid afternoon – but I have planted most of my Impatience now and decided to take pictures (of course). So, today we have a little more than the Red Lily bug but hopefully the Marigolds will help control or chase them away.
I actually bought twice as many Impatience as what I planted. The Forget-Me-Not has taken over a good portion of the flower bed and I only planted where they left an opening. I may decide to remove them so I can plant – otherwise, it will be another couple of weeks or more before I can put the Impatience in. I had enough of being on my knees to plan today anyway.
Now, I’d better see what is going on at the cams on Africam.