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Will soap and water spray help keep small ants from eating new leaves on a snowball bush? Anything else to try?
Hardiness Zone: 3a
I use diatomaceous earth for control of crawling pests. It is organic, does not harm humans or pets. It kills by scratching the outer shell of pests so they dehydrate and die. Buy garden grade, not that for swimming pools. I made a shaker for it by punching holes in the cap of a plastic can with an ice pick.
I use this in my house to control fleas and ticks as well as in the garden.
Check out TheGardenGuy.com for more organic solutions.
I've been able to get rid of ants in the past by putting out little saucers of borax mixed with icing sugar. The ants ingest the borax as they eat the sugar and it kills them -- I believe it can kill most in a nest when they bring the food home. This wouldn't be safe if you have pets or children around, methinks. And rain or watering will ruin the bait, I suspect, so they'll have to be replaced. I've never sprinkled on a plant before, but I think the borax would be a problem for the soil.
You can also smear a ring of vaseline around the base of the bush to keep the ants from climbing up, assuming they don't have access from neighboring plants. This works for me. Good luck!
I've had it for several years and have only seen one or two blooms on it. The bush looks healthy. I planted another one in a different location in my yard and it doesn't bloom either. It's been there a few years, too. Could there be something missing in my soil?
By Karen L
Have you tried fertilizing at all? Try giving it some super phosphate. It probably won't bloom anymore this year but next year it should. Ask at a nursery that sells fertilizers and talk to someone knowledgable and they can show you where it is.
Is your snowball bush a hydrangea or a viburnum? I've heard the common name "Snowball Bush" used for both. Either way, I'd bet either the buds are getting cut off before they can bloom or they are not making it through the winter.
Viburnums bloom on the previous year's growth, so they should only be pruned, if needed, right after as they are finishing bloom, otherwise you will be cutting of developing buds without even realizing it.
It may also have something to do with lack of sun. I really don't think it has anything to do with the soil, but a topdressing of compost around the plant in spring and fall won't hurt.
If you have really harsh winters, you may want to protect the bush with burlap as it's possible the buds are getting damaged by harsh winter winds.
I planted a new snowball bush 3 years ago and get heavy blooms on only 1/2 of the bush. The other 1/2 of the bush looks healthy, but there are no blooms on it. What might be causing this? I had a snowball bush in same spot previously that was 12 years old and it froze out over severe winter cold.
Maybe the half that is not blooming is not getting as much sun as the half that is