Need help with potted bulb flowers please!

Discussion in 'Indoor and Greenhouse Plants' started by Jasmine2009, Mar 1, 2015.

  1. Jasmine2009

    Jasmine2009 New Member

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    Hi, I have a couple of pots of bulb flowers (mix of narcissus, Tulips, Hyacinths and crocuses)... I have already brought them up and they have started blooming. Would greatly appreciate if you could help me out with a bunch of questions as this is my first time of keeping them from scratch :)

    1. for the 2nd day now I am noticing tiny flies around my plants and it is making me to worry as they seem to be breeding here pretty fast. there was 1-2 only yesterday and today I am noticing 8-9... I don't have any place to take them out of home now, there is still 1 meter of snow outside I am afraid they will die. Please advice what can be used not to harm the plants but get rid of the pests?

    2. I was desperate enough with this long lasting Canadian winter and I brought my flowers up a week earlier; and now I am noticing that some of my flowers are not growing tall... the only kind of the plant food I have eer given to these pots is the Miracle Grow Shake and Feed slow release plant food at the point of planting, and they are planted in a ground "Moisture Control Potting Mix 0.18 - 0.10 - 0.10"

    Please help! any advice on what kind of additional fertilizer they need now, and how to get them grow a bit taller and how to GET RID OF THE TINY FLIES will be GREATLY appreciated :) Thank you. I will try to post a picture of those pots, in amoment. It's my first time here so I will need to figure out how :)
     
  2. Jasmine2009

    Jasmine2009 New Member

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    And these are the pots with the flowers :)
     

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  3. Junglekeeper

    Junglekeeper Esteemed Contributor 10 Years

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    The tiny flies are likely to be fungus gnats. Their presence is generally an indicator of a wet growing medium. Their numbers can be controlled by proper drainage and better watering practices.
     
  4. Jasmine2009

    Jasmine2009 New Member

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    Thanks for the reply :) any idea of what can be done to get rid of the fungus gnut? aside from the better watering practices, like any kinds of sprays or anything chemical that will make them wanna stay away from the soil and flowers?
     
  5. Jasmine2009

    Jasmine2009 New Member

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    ok I found some advice online how to get rid of fungus gnats but I don't know how safe they will be for the blooming flowers... any ideas? anybody ever used any of these?

    *Soap Spray Recipe:*
    1. Mix 2 tablespoons of lemon dish detergent or Ivory liquid soap with 1 gallon of water*
    2. use this mixture to drench the soil hosting them.*
    3. After about 1 hour, spray the leaves with clear water to rinse soap off.*


    Watering Larvae infected plants with Hydrogen peroxide after dryness of soil*
    1. Make your soil dry especially the top layer of soil for a couple of days by stopping watering the plants, this will Suspending larvae progress: Stop development and maturation of larvae and gnats eggs, and then inhibition of growth due to dryness of soil. Where adults cannot reproduce in dry soil, so the cycle will end.*
    2. after drying top levels of soil: mix one part of pure H2O2 or hydrogen peroxide (3% solution) with four parts water*
    3. watering the soil with hydrogen peroxide mixture*
    4. Normally the soil will start to fizz after a couple of minutes, and hydrogen peroxide will kill this larvae*
    5. After some minutes: hydrogen will kill eggs and dissolving into oxygen molecules and water molecules, which is another source of water for plants.*
    6. Cons of this method: 1. under watering of plants: most plants can survive without water for many days and this may be killing your plants 2. this method only endure drought by delaying their development, although larvae can survive
    Rubbing alcohol spray:
    1. Mix 1 cup of Rubbing alcohol with 1 liter of water,*
    2. Test first on a sheet to check that the mixture is not too hard on your plants*
    3. Pour the mixture into a spray bottle.*
    4. Spray and treat the Fungus Gnat infected plants and soil every three days for two weeks.
     
  6. Junglekeeper

    Junglekeeper Esteemed Contributor 10 Years

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    In my opinion, it would be best to deal with the cause of the problem rather than to try to kill the flies. The population of flies will be greatly reduced if the environment is not to their liking. Also, wet mediums are not conducive to proper growth for most plants.

    The problem and control of fungus gnats has been discussed in numerous threads. Suggestions (off the top of my head) to deal with them include:
    • Increasing soil porosity to improve drainage;
    • Reduction of watering and allowing the soil to dry somewhat between applications;
    • Applying a surface layer of sand to prevent access to the soil below;
    • Surface sprinkling of cinnamon;
    • Sticky pest strips;
    • Biological control through use of predatory nematodes;
    • Chemical control using sprays;
    • Growing sundews in nearby containers.
     
  7. Jasmine2009

    Jasmine2009 New Member

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    Thanks a lot Junglekeeper! I am gonna start right away with a couple of sticky stripes and the surface soil, with the hope that it is gonna help. What is the role of the cinnamon on top of the soil? are they not attracted to it? I can do the cinnamon as well! I will feel more comfortable if I could find a trusted way of getting rid of the larvae too, of course I will not water it too much (I only remember one time of watering excessively right 2 days before I started seeing them...) and on the other hand though I am worried about the plants not getting enough water and nutrients though... and also do not want to keep the gnats in the house but as mentioned before can't take them out it is -10 C. what will be a bearable temp for indoor grown bulb flowers to be taken outside? Sorry for continuous questions and I am endlessly thankful for you advice. I will also go through the threads here trying to find any other references to fungus gnats! thank you...!
     
  8. Junglekeeper

    Junglekeeper Esteemed Contributor 10 Years

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    I don't remember the specifics behind the use of cinnamon. You could use the forums' Search function to retrieve past postings on the subject. Once a surface layer of sand is in place the adult gnats won't be able to lay more eggs. The existing larvae will be gone once they've turned into adults.

    I don't have any experience in growing bulbs so I can't offer any advice in that matter.
     
  9. Jasmine2009

    Jasmine2009 New Member

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    most helpful! thanks again Junglekeeper!
     
  10. K Baron

    K Baron Well-Known Member

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    As suggested by Junglekeeper, and definitely do not use any chemicals, really no need for that, as the gnats will likely come backā€¦. a light alcohol spray ( 50/50 water/isopropyl) may deter the living and nesting gnats.. I sometimes use this on aphids on my Brugmansias and Tamarillos...
     
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2015

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