Did you know any plant nursery that purchases plants from out of state, is selling you plants that have been sprayed with a systemic insecticide. The most common spray is a neonicotinoid produced by Bayer. Once introduced to the plants, this spray last 4-5 months.
Several big box stores, such as Home Depot, have started adding a tiny sign in each plant that says the plant has been sprayed. The sign says this is to kill mealy bugs, aphids, white flies and beetles. These are all insects. So are honey bees and monarchs. In other words, the spray inside these plants is also killing our pollinators.
The Facebook post, by March Opperman, that shows what these tiny tags look like:
Spraying plants with non-selective insecticides is a crime and needs to stop. Any plants that have been sprayed need to be covered by the nurseries, both during growing AND during selling. The nurseries also need to inform the customer that plants purchased need to kept covered for at least 4 months.
The truth is, most of the nursery business is about aesthetics, not ecological function. This is more of the uneducated views of customers. When customers don’t buy plants because they have a bug or a leaf that has been partially eaten, the growers and nurseries respond by dosing the plants to kill and deter any and all insects.
So what can you do? You can start buy NOT buying plants from big box stores. But don’t assume all local nurseries are therefore okay. They aren’t. Many local nurseries, such as Barton Springs Nursery, sell plants purchased from Monrovia. And Monrovia sprays their plants with neonicitinoids.
any local nurseries are always the answer. or nurseries that carry plants purchased from out of state growers such as Monrovia, unless you plan on covering them. Better yet, only purchase plants grown locally by growers that can tell you whether or not they have sprayed their plants.