Gardening Laidback Gardener Tip of the Day Pesticides

Pesticides: Test Before You Spray

Spray a single leaf before treating the whole plant.

You’ve found a new pesticide you think will help solve a problem you have with your plants? A home remedy, for example, or a new product that a friend has recommended?

Before using it on a favorite plant, why not carry out a simple spray test first? Just spray it on one leaf to begin with, rather than the whole plant.

If, the next day, there are no signs of a negative reaction, you can safely use it on this plant. If not, if the leaf has browned along the edges or curled up, for example, it would be better to find some other treatment!

This simple action can save you a lot of heartbreak!

Larry Hodgson is one of Canada’s best-known garden communicators. He has notably been editor-in-chief of HousePlant Magazine, Fleurs, Plantes et Jardins, À Fleur de Pot and Houseplant Forum magazines and is currently the garden correspondent for Le Soleil and radio garden commentator for CKIA-FM Radio. He has written for many garden publications in both the United States and Canada, including Canadian Gardening, Harrowsmith, Horticulture, Fine Gardening and Organic Gardening. He also speaks frequently to horticultural groups throughout Canada and the U.S. His book credits include The Garden Lover’s Guide to Canada, Complete Guide to Houseplants, Making the Most of Shade, Perennials for Every Purpose, Annuals for Every Purpose, and Houseplants for Dummies, as well as nearly 60 other titles in English and French. He is a past president of the Garden Writers Association (now Garden Communicators International) and the winner of the prestigious 2006 Garden Media Promoter Award offered by the Perennial Plant Association. He resides in Quebec City, Quebec, Canada.

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