How to Get Rid of Insects on Gardenias
- 1). Power-spray your gardenias with a mist of water strong enough to knock the insects off, but not so strong it damages the plant. This is the preferred way to get rid of insects because it is the safest for the plant.
- 2). Use insecticidal soap to kill the insects on your gardenias. Soap penetrates the insects' bodies and disrupts their internal functions, killing them. Insecticidal soaps are specially formulated for use on plants and safer to use than dish soap, which has chemicals and dyes that might harm plants. Apply it to your gardenias as a diluted spray according to the directions on the label.
- 3). Spray your gardenias with an organic pesticide. Horticultural oil is an effective and environmentally friendly way to kill insects on your plant. The oil blocks the insects' breathing, which suffocates them. The oil will also kill the insects' eggs. Dilute the oil with water according to the directions on the label, and spray directly on the pests. The excess oil will evaporate and will not leave a toxic residue.
- 4). Use conventional pesticides if you find the cost of organic pesticides prohibitive. They can be effective, but must be applied with caution due to their toxicity. The most common chemical pesticides are made from pyrethroids or organochlorides. These chemicals kill insects by inhibiting their nerve impulses. Follow the directions on the package carefully so you do not harm your flowers or yourself.
- 5). Introduce beneficial insects, such as predatory nematodes, for garden gardenias. These are microscopic worms that eat insects and their eggs. You can purchase these beneficial insects from garden supply stores and nurseries. You will need to replace them every spring.
- 6). Inspect your gardenias for insects and other pests regularly. Make sure you look underneath the leaves, in the soil and on the stems. Discard fallen leaves, a favorite hiding place for insects.