Wednesday, July 28, 2010
This post features images of the first Hibiscus bloom of 2010. I have never seen this plant looking so good and, more importantly, aphid free! This plant, which I inherited with the greenhouse, had proven to be an irresistible aphid magnet. I must have sprayed the thing with soapy water solution dozens of times last year. This is the type of situation that has me reaching for systemic chemical pesticides, especially in January or February, when I begin to stock the greenhouse with young seedlings. I WILL wield chemicals when it comes to my ornamental plants. Aphids on a mature, large plant is one thing; its another thing entirely when it comes to young seedlings. You might as well invite Dracula to spend the night in a hospital nursery so he can suck the blood out of newborns.
Last year, I went so far as to put it outside overnight in winter to kill the buggers; a part of me wanted to leave it there to die, but The Boyfriend convinced me to bring it back into the warmth of the greenhouse the next day. I guess I'm a heartless Flora-Bitch at times. In January of this year, in a preemptive, desperate measure, I cut every shred of green off this plant in an attempt to starve the aphids during the crucial "many seedlings" phase of late winter. After all, they won't attack a plant devoid of juicy green growth. I savagely reduced it to a mere stick sitting in a pot of dirt. "Show me what you've got" I said to The Stick. "Prove to me you are worth the trouble." And show me it did - the plant is lush, lush, lush - and covered in flower buds waiting to pop. Its a survivor!
I'd have a third photo here if Blogger hadn't decided to stop uploading my images. Bad Blogger!