Dear Dahlia Doctor, My Leaves Look Funny

Dear Dahlia Doctor,

My leaves are a really funny color… they also have holes in them. Do you have any ideas about what my problem could be? How do I fix it?

 

Thanks,

Unbe-leaf-able Colors

Dear Unbe-leaf-able,
The holes in the petals are caused by earwigs.  Thats why they come to visit.  To eat. You can use Sluggo to combat the earwigs, refer to the previous post about earwigs to learn more.

As for the leaves, it appears that you might have Red Spider Mites. They make their home on the underside of the leaf, where they puncture the plant’s cells in order to feed. If they build a colony, you will see a very fine webbing on your plants where they lay teeny-tiny eggs. It is possible for a single, mature female spider mite to lay over one million eggs in less than a month. If you can’t get your hands on a commercial-grade spray, a more natural way to go is to use Monterey Natural Mite & Insect Control, which is “effective against all stages of mites and pest insects” and “provides rapid knockdown and residual control of spider mites, whiteflies, aphids, scale, mealybugs, leafhoppers, caterpillars and many more.” There is also Mite-X Spider Mite Killer. One thing to note is that the miticides may not affect the eggs, so your would need to repeat the application of the spray every 10-14 days. Another product to try would be Vegol Year-Round Pesticidal Oil. You could also try Bang! which helps heal leaves that were damaged by spider mites.
         

Though we are nearing the end of the season, you could still give these a try.

- The Dahlia Doctor

 

 

Dear Dahlia Doctor, My Flowers Have Earwigs.

Dear Dahlia Doctor,

I have an earwig problem. What is/are some of the best solutions to preventing earwigs from eating dahlias?

An Earwig Inside Foxy Lady

An Earwig Inside Foxy Lady

Thanks,
Exasperated by Earwigs

Dear Exasperated,

For earwigs you can use Sluggo Plus*.  It’s fairly expensive, but you only use a little.
To use, you just sprinkle it on the ground around the base of the plant. Reapply as the bait is used up or the problem persists.

*A similar product is Sluggo, which is the variety that is safe for your pets to be around, but it doesn’t offer the same protection against earwigs, but is great for snails and slugs. If you are worried about the safety of your animals, you could also try Safety Brand 3-in-1 Garden Spray, or Safety Brand Ant & Crawling Insect Killer.
             
                      

Good luck in your battle against earwigs!
- The Dahlia Doctor