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Carnivorous Plants/Thrips and trimming Sarracenia in summer.


QUESTION: Hi Jeff and Jacob

I have a problem with thrips again and it is in the middle of summer here.

I thought it may be best to remove as much of the Sarracenia growth that has any sign of thrip damage as possible before spraying, including green growth with a few spots on it as that may help the spray to penetrate the new growth and rhizome better.  I plan to leave the young shoots that are not deformed as it is summer. Do you think this would be a good idea?  I plan to use Yates Success containing spinetoram at  .

I hope you have a good new year.

Regards Richard.

ANSWER: Hi Richard,

Once the Thrips have damaged a leaf it's best to get rid of it anyway, so I would say yes remove them.  Be sure an read the label directions for the product, however.  If this stuff is systemic, you may need a certain amount of leaf surface area showing for the spray to get absorbed into the plant, although it may be absorbed through roots too.  I know this is true for Acephate (Orthene).  Be sure to follow the reapplication schedule too.  

Good luck.  Thrips can be nasty little devils.

Good Growing!

Jeff Dallas
Sarracenia Northwest

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------


Thanks for the letter.  There is not a lot of information I could find about Spinetoram being systemic which is the active ingredient in the spray I am using. However, states “Spinetoram is a non-systemic insecticide derived from the fermentation of Saccharopolyspora spinosa. The end-use products Radiant SC Insecticide and Delegate WG Insecticide are applied using ground-based foliar application equipment to control a variety of insect pests on a wide range of fruit, vegetable and cereal crops. Spinetoram affects insects through both contact and ingestion, but is most active through ingestion.”

However, another fact sheet at states: (1) spinetoram and spinosad are large molecules with nearly identical structures and (2) the toxicological profiles for each are similar
(generalized systemic toxicity) with similar doses and endpoints chosen for human-health risk assessment.

I think it would be worth you looking into this pesticide as I read and heard it is very good and works well for thrips and other things and it supposed to be very safe to use for humans and that no mask is needed when spraying.

Let me know if you find out anything such as: do you think it should work well still if all the leaves are cut off apart from only a couple of the young shoots?

For a systemic insecticide do you have any idea what leaf surface area is needed for an average sized sarracenia?

Your help is appreciated
Regards Richard.

Hi Richard,

Thanks for the information.  Spinetoram is not easy to find in the US, but Spinosad products are everywhere.  They are commonly used for fruit trees to control Codeling Moth and other pests.  We just haven't tried it yet on carnivorous plants.

In regards to how much leaf you need exposed on a Sarracenia I'm not sure.  I think as long as you coat the exposed parts of the plant you're going to be fine.  Again reading the label directions is important here for proper application procedures.  It sounds like these products are partially systemic (which I've read about Spinosad) so some does get absorbed into the plant.  It's a bit different than some chemical insecticides, however, such as Acephate or a neo-nicotinoid such as imidacloprid where the bug won't be poisoned unless it feeds on a treated plant.

I think you're just at that point where you just need to try it, and see how it works.  That's often where we find ourselves when delving into unexplored territory. :)  

Good Growing!

Jeff Dallas
Sarracenia Northwest

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If your carnivorous plant is showing poor growth, discoloration, abnormal leaves or possible infestation, the expert growers at Sarracenia Northwest can help! They have a great depth of experience dealing with diseases, pathogens, and abnormal growth in carnivorous plants.

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