• Pest Control of Ornamental Plants

    Pest control of ornamental plants presents several unique problems. Many of these problems are created by the close proximity of people to the areas treated. To avoid problems as much as possible, the following safety precautions should be followed:

    1. Double check to make sure you have the correct yard before spraying
    2. Do not allow children or pets to remain in the area being sprayed
    3. Check neighbors; yards to make sure there are no children or pets around who could come in contact with possible spray drift
    4. Remove children’s toys
    5. Be sure all clothing is removed from area
    6. Avoid spraying lawn furniture
    7. Make sure all house windows are closed
    8. Turn over pet dishes
    9. Avoid fish ponds, bird baths, and bird feeders
    10. Observe pesticide label restrictions concerning tolerance for fruits and vegetables
    11. Sweep or flush away all spray puddles
    12. Secure all pesticide containers or spray apparatus before moving

    The wide diversity of plants grown in the landscape also causes problems. Unrelated plants are often grown side by side. When spraying, the applicator needs to be aware of problems that may be caused by spray injury to nearby plants. Shrubs and ground covers, for example, may be injured by weed killers applied to adjacent turf areas. Other examples of injuries that may be caused by careless spraying are as follows:


    1. Carbaryl (Sevin) injures Boston Ivy
    2. Bordeaux Mixture may injure certain succulent plants
    3. Chlorobenzilate may damage Hydrangea
    4. Demeton (Systox) will defoliate Bechtel’s double flowering crab and Hawthorn
    5. Diazinon injures ferns, hibiscus, gardenias, stephanotis, and African Violet
    6. Dimethoate (Cygon) causes defoliation of honeylocust and elm. It may also injure flowering almond, dahlias, plum, peach, cherry, chrysanthemum, or Chinese holly
    7. Ethion will injure yews or redbud
    8. Lead Arsenate may defoliate Viburnum carlesi, forsythia, and flowering peach
    9. Malathion injures canaert, sargent’s, and burk junipers. Japanese holly, ferns, violets, petunias, and the rose varieties Caledonia and Talisman.
    10. Oil sensitive plants include beech, black walnut, butternut, hickory, mountain ash, Japanese maple, yellow wood, Russian olive, Norway spruce, yews, hemlock, magnolias, redbud, broadleaved evergreens in general and junipers.
    11. Ovex (Ovotran) is toxic to azaleas, beech, boxwood, barberry, deutzia, hollies, raspberry, oak, hawthorn, spruce, and sycamore
    12. Phorate (Thimet) distorts new growth of Eleyi crab apple trees
    13. Phosphamidon causes defoliation of thornless honeylocust
    14. Sulfur is toxic to viburnums and forsythia
    15. Tedion (tetradifon) may injure some varieties of roses
    16. Thiodan (endosulfan) may injure geraniums
    17. Toxaphene will injure linden, oak, redbud, sugar maple, plum, grape, peach, and pear trees

    The above list makes apparent the troubles that can arise when careless application allows spray to drift onto nearby plants.

    The wide spectrum of ornamental plants being frown in the landscape also presents problems because no pesticides may be used on all plants. The pesticide label will contain a list of plants that can be treated. Since the registration status of pesticides is continuously being reviewed and is subject to change, read the product label before purchasing to make sure it is registered for your need. To use the product in any other way that is inconsistent with the label is a violation of the Federal Environmental Pesticide Control Act of 1972.