Dog Days of Summer

Dog Days of Summer

Hot afternoons and evening thunder. The dog days of summer are here in the South Carolina Piedmont region. Hummingbirds have been here for a while and the tropical canna lilies and upright elephant ears (alocasia) are really thriving in the heat.

Along with the heat came the Japanese Beetle. These beetles start as a white grub found in turf and other areas and emerge in early summer, typically hitting hard in June and July and dropping off significantly in August. Leaves of your roses, and other plants are a prime food source. It isn't unusual for leaves of some shrubs to appear  'shredded' and you may see multiple beetles stuffing themselves into the blooms of different plants. Unfortunately knock down sprays are not very effective and systemic insecticides still require the beetle to eat the leaf before perishing. The best defense (beside treating the grub stage) is to grow healthy plants that can withstand the onslaught. Often removing the rose blooms may help as well. 

Despite the heat and the beetles summer is a great time to see beautiful tropical foliage, awesome hydrangeas and more. 

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