Protecting Your Hypericum from Insects
Although hypericum can grow in the worst soil and are often grown for that reason, poor soil does not make for the best health in plants. Good health and robust good health in plants differs only because of the quality of the soil the plants are growing in.
To give your plants the best chances of resisting insect and disease attacks they must be provided with a good quality soil rich in humus and well-rotted garden compost. Keep the surface of the soil free of litter like bags or piles of cut stems. If you do find infected plants, don’t handle them and then handle healthy plants, you will only pass the problem on.
Encourage Wild Life
It is surprising how much a single bird can eat in a day. Birds with chicks will work like vacuum cleaners on the insect population. Make sure your garden has something to attract them. Grow material that is suitable for nesting in the spring. Grow plants that provide protection from animals and other birds. Most of all provide food and water. Allow some of your plants to fruit. Don’t be too careful about getting rid of every weed, let them grow out of sight.
A small pond can be a magnet for birds in dry periods and can also attract frogs and toads which are voracious insect eaters.
Introduce Predator Bugs
It is now possible to buy insects that prey on other insects. If you are over run with aphids, for example, you are able to buy lady bugs to release near the plants that are suffering.
Fence off the Vulnerable Plants
Some insects travel over land to get to your plants. It is possible to stop them from reaching your plants by making fences around them from material fixed into the ground. Although they don’t last long there are insect traps that use sticky pads to hold them until you dispose of them.
Some insect pests can be washed off plants using simple water. Soapy water works well and can also kill the insect by breaking down the tough exoskeleton. Many simple home-made sprays are just as efficient as those you can buy. Any strong smelling herb or vegetable like onions, garlic and peppers will repel insects. Insecticidal soap is a new organic product that is proving effective against most insects.
Back to the Soil
There are some insect infections that cannot be cured so simply. Root knot nematodes are tiny worms that live in the soil and attack the roots of plants. The nematodes can be found in a lot of soil types and if you find plants with nematode damage you can only destroy them. The only way to reduce the nematode risk is to add a lot more organic compost to the soil and dig it well in. This releases friendly bacteria into the soil that will attack the nematode worm.
The best way of protecting your hypericum against insects is to ensure that they are strong and healthy enough to protect themselves.