Gardenia grubs

Passing bees are not the only creatures attracted to the sweet smelling gardenias in Betty’s garden. Gardening guru Teena Crawford has some suggestions on how to blitz those bugs.

Q. Betty
I have a large beautiful gardenia bush. Something is eating leaves but no caterpillars are obvious. When I pick the flowers they have a little black thing inside which moves. I’ve heard soapy water helps. Any ideas?

A. Generally bugs on your plants have the ability to camouflage themselves really well so even if you cannot see them, they may still be there. Grubs and/or earwigs are generally what eat gardenia leaves.

To control the earwigs spread Baysol (snail bait) around your plants every two to three weeks.

To control grubs and caterpillars spray with a product called Dipel. This is very safe to use but will kill the grubs and caterpillars within a few days.

I do not think the small black things in the ‘flowers’ is the same as what is eating the ‘leaves’ but by doing the above you will get the desired result. Soapy water can sometimes help but some soaps and detergents can be harmful to your plants.