2018 Poinsettia Wrap Up: Whitefly and Pesticides

Bemisia 4_SJAs suspected, it’s turned out to be a heck of year for Poinsettia.  Many growers faced Erwinia, others had rooting issues, and all faced significant pressure from Bemisia whitefly from infested cuttings.

As the time approaches for the plants to go out the door, this post covers whitefly control successes/failures in 2018, and what to do with remaining populations.

Whitefly and other poinsettia issues are also being discussed at the Niagara Poinsettia Open House on Tuesday, November 20th. This will take place at Jefferys Greenhouse (Plant II) starting at 10 am.  See the latest issue of Greenhouse Canada Magazine for more information (pg. 28). Hope to see many of you there.

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Pests on Points: head off problems now!

Many of you will be getting in your poinsettia cuttings a few short weeks from now.  Why not head off whitefly issues as soon as the points come in the door? 

Whitefly on poinsettia.

Whitefly on poinsettia. Photo by Graeme Murphy.

Drs. Rose Buitenhuis and Michael Brownbridge of the Vineland Research and Innovation Centre put on their thinking caps and came up with an elegant solution to prophylactically treat the whitefly that inevitably come in with poinsettia cuttings. By dipping cuttings  in reduced-risk insecticidal products (BotaniGard, horticultural oils) before sticking, whitefly populations can be reduced in the crop by over 70%. And, because the dip materials are “soft” pest control products, you can (and should) begin your biocontrol program immediately.  Dips should be effective against both biotypes Bemisia (aka silverleaf whitefly), as well as greenhouse whitefly.

For more details on products, proceedures and rates, click here: http://www.flowerscanadagrowers.com/uploads