The most common insects that attack perennials are aphids, beetles, caterpillars, leafhoppers, spider mites, thrips and, occasionally, tarnished plant bugs.
Aphids are small, sucking insects that are concentrated at the tips of young shoots, on stems and on the undersides of leaves.
Beetles feed on leaves, stems and flowers.
Caterpillars usually feed on leaves.
Leafhoppers are small, leaping insects that feed on many kinds of plants by sucking sap.
Spider mites are very tiny pests that feed on leaves and stems. Look for fine webs to indicate their presence. They are usually located on the undersides of leaves. Mites thrive in hot, dry weather. They are very difficult to see without a magnifying glass (look for movement). Shaking the leaves over a white paper is another way of determining their presence.
Thrips are very small insects, sometimes with wings, that suck sap. Leaves may be finely mottled. Thrips will attack growing points and flowers.
Books for Further Reading
Armitage, Allan M. Herbaceous Perennial Plants.
Athens, Ga.: Varsity Press, 1989.
Billington, Cecil. Ferns of Michigan.
Cranbrook Institute of Science Bulletin No. 32. Bloomfield Hills, Mich.: The Cranbrook Press, 1952.
Perennials for Your Garden.
Chicago, Ill.: Floraprint USA, 1981.
Alpines for Your Garden.
Chicago, Ill.: Floraprint USA, 1981.
Clausen, Ruth R., and Nicolas H. Ekstrom.
Perennials for American Gardens.
New York: Random House, 1989.
Cox, Jeff, and Marilyn Cox.
The Perennial Garden.
Emmaus, Pa.: Rodale Press, 1985.
Drew, John K. Pictorial Guide to Hardy Perennials.
Kalamazoo, Mich.: Merchants Publishing Co., 1984.
Giles, F.A. Keith, Rebecca McIntosh and
Donald C. Saupe.
Reston, Va.: Reston Publishing Company, 1980.
Harper, Pamela, and Frederick McGourty.
Perennials: How to Select, Grow and Enjoy.
Gardening with Perennials.
Beaverton, Ore.: Timber Press, 1985.
Loewer, H. Peter.
Growing and Decorating with Grasses. New York, N.Y.: Walker and Company, 1977.
Meyer, Mary Hockenberry.
Ornamental Grasses— Decorative Plants for Home and Garden. New York, N.Y.: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1975.
Phillips, Harry R. Growing and Propagating Wild Flowers.
Chapel Hill, N.C.: University of North Carolina Press, 1985.
Sinnes, A. Cort, and Michael D. McKinley. All About Perennials.
San Francisco, Calif.: Ortho Books, Chevron Chemical Company, 1981.
Smith, Helen V.
Cranbrook Institute of Science Bulletin 42, Bloomfield Hills, Mich.: The Cranbrook Press, 1961.
Snyder, Leon C.
Native Plants for Northern Gardens.
Chanhassen, Minn.: Andersen
Horticultural Library Press, 1991.
Herbaceous Ornamental Plants.
Champaign, Ill.: Stipes Publishing Company, 1982.
Thomas, Graham Stuart.
Perennial Garden Plants.
Landscaping with Wildflowers.
Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1992.
Many publications are available on perennials, wild-flowers, ferns and related topics, and a few are listed. Several gardening magazines include articles on perennials, often on specific kinds or species. Nursery catalogs and libraries are additional sources of information.
Many gardeners specialize in growing one or more species of perennials, and there are even organizations devoted to perennials or certain groups of plants, such as chrysanthemums, daylilies, delphiniums, hostas, penste-mons, irises, peonies, primroses, ferns, herbs, rock gardens and wildflowers.
For more information, contact:
Box 105 Mount Vernon, VA 22121
The A.H.S. has a list of plant societies and national horticultural organizations.
Perennial Plant Association Room 217 Howlett Hall 2001 Fyffe Court Columbus, OH 43210
Membership is limited to nursery people and professional horticulturists.
Minnesota Landscape Arboretum 3675 Arboretum Drive
Chanhassen, MN 55317 612/443-2440
The Source List of Plants and Seeds, compiled by the library, lists nurseries carrying specific culti-vars of many perennials.
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