Q: I received a hothouse-grown gardenia bush for Christmas. It has developed
mealy bugs. I was going to use Safer’s insecticidal soap but it was not safe
on gardenia bushes. Please tell me what I can use.
A: My horticulturist friend Jeff Potter uses 1 cup Formula 409 cleaner, 1 cup rubbing alcohol and 14 cups of water to make a gallon of mealy bug spray. Home-made concoctions like this are not tested on a wide range of plants. You should test this spray on a small branch of the gardenia before using it on the whole plant.
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