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earth
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Suggestions for plants not attacked by bugs!!

Hi
Last year was my first year at gardening and my patio bloomed with petunia, million bells and geraniums...UNTIL they were attacked by aphids (petunia & million bells) and caterpillars (geraniums)
So this year i am looking for some flowering plants which do not attract bugs. I live in sacramento, California and my patio gets sun only after noon.
Please suggest some flowering plants.
Thanks!!
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rainbowgardener
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Insects tend not to like aromatic, strong scented things. So marigolds, mints, lavender, herbs like rosemary, sage, oregano, basil; nasturtium, yarrow, tansy, anise hyssop all tend to keep insects away. If you plant those around, you could likely plant petunias etc in the midst of them, in mixed containers and still not have trouble.

If you do have bugs coming, try a garlic pepper spray to keep them away. You can type garlic pepper spray into the Search the Forum keyword box and find lots of recipes that have been given here.
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applestar
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Afternoon as in noon till sunset? Container plants in strong western sun can be tricky since they need to be heat and drought tolerant...

How about Salvia? Calendula? Portulaca, Sweet Alyssum? Lantana.... Evening Primrose.....? I like dill flower, and colorful foliage of red Perilla/Shiso and purple Basil make great coleus sub in hot/sunny areas. Also, I'm only trying them for the first time this year, but some amaranths come with colorful foliage and seed heads.

I grew colorful Fish peppers (variegated foliage and fruits turning orange to red) and Czechoslovakia Black and Royal Black peppers (purplish veins and stem, purple flowers, black fruits turning red) -- all edible. They were appreciated in foliage, flower, AND in fruit. :wink:

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Kisal
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I don't think there really is a plant that aphids won't attack. Aphids are pretty ubiquitous. :lol:

Be alert for the presence of ants, because they will bring aphids to your plants. The ants like the sweet honeydew produced by the aphids, so they protect them against predators. They carry the aphids to the most tender new growth of the plant, to make sure they always have plenty of food available. Get rid of the ants and you won't have so much trouble with aphids.

Was it budworms that attacked your geraniums? They're actually pretty difficult to control. Unless the soil freezes, the pupae can survive in the soil. I doubt the ground freezes in your area any more than it does where I live. Also, since the worms burrow into the buds and eat them from the inside out, they are protected from exposure to most insecticides. The best way to control them is to go outside with a flashlight, just after sundown, and examine your plants, removing any caterpillars you find. During the day, they sometimes hide around the base of the plant, at the soil level.

HTH! :)
"Isn't it enough to see that a garden is beautiful without having to believe that there are fairies at the bottom of it too?" - Douglas Adams

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earth
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Thanks for replies! :D

@Kisal: yes! it was budworms that attacked my geraniums...tried lot of stuff on it and finally had to pick each and every worm myself to finally get my plant blooming again.

@applestar: pots will get sun from somewhere around 1:00pm till 6:00 pm...which is the hottest time of the day :( I loved your calendula & evening primrose idea...but will it look good in pots which hang out of my patio...i live on 3rd floor, so want them to look good from road as well. :)


@rainbowgardener: Yay! to marigold.... m planting them for sure in the pots...but the same question i asked applestar will marigolds look beautiful from road (i live on 3rd floor) and will be planting them in pots hanging down my patio.

Thanks again!!
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Kisal
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Do you like petunias? They would make a very pretty show, even from 3 floors down. You can interplant them with things like lobelia, too, if you like. I use petunias in the planters around my patio, because they make such a pretty showing and I love the scent. I've always found them to be relatively pest free, although I have to pick the snails off of them regularly. That's true of everything I grow, though. ;)

Here's an example of a window box planted with petunias:

[img]https://brooklynroofgarden.files.wordpress.com/2009/07/brooklyn_windowbox_closeup_apartment.jpg[/img]
"Isn't it enough to see that a garden is beautiful without having to believe that there are fairies at the bottom of it too?" - Douglas Adams

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rainbowgardener
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OP did initially say last year s/he had petunias and million bells that were severely attacked by aphids and bud worms.

The nasturtium would make a good drapey substitute. Pennyroyal is a mint that has a trailing habit like that and is one of the best insect repellants. It isn't very showy flowering, but is a nice dark green that contrasts well with more colorful things. Similar for oregano and thyme--creeping herbs that insects don't bother, that would drape like you want, but not have very showy flowers. All three of the herbs are perennials, which would not need to be replanted every year, but would need to be divided after awhile or they will take over the planter and crowd everything else.

As I said before, I think a mixed planting of some of the aromatics and your petunias should work, to minimize the bugs and still have some colorful flowers. If the aphids do come, another treatment for them is a spray of oil, water, and a few drops of soap (real soap not detergent) shaken up together. Or you can just squish them, aphids being slow and stupid and just sitting there to be squished. I have a couple plants that tend to get covered in aphids every spring. I go over them with a paper napkin squishing all the aphids I can get. That seems to take care of the problem and the aphids don't come back until the following year.
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Kisal
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My nasturtiums get aphids every year, but I rarely see them on my petunias. :)
"Isn't it enough to see that a garden is beautiful without having to believe that there are fairies at the bottom of it too?" - Douglas Adams

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earth
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@Kisal: love love love those petunias.... mine were attacked by aphids last year :( i think there was one snapdragon i had bought on sale from Lowes and it was the first one infected and aphids spread all over my patio from there. I have thrown alway all pots and soil.... very few plants remain.... but my Hibiscus still has a few aphids :( i have used soap solution but dnt know they jump back again after a week or two.

@rainbowgardner: i planted nasturtiums last year but they bloomed for less than a month here and then turned yellow. i guess it was due to the hot afternoon sun i get in my patio. Even i had read somewhere that squishing aphids leaves some smell and they dnt come back... but didnt work for me ...but at the same time i didnt squish many of them to leave enough smell. I will try the combination with herbs u suggested.

Thanks for your suggestions! :D [/img]
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