Happy May Day! To me, May Day signifies flowers, with the earliest May Day celebrations appearing in pre-Christian times with the festival of Flora, the Roman goddess of flowers.
To help in caring for your outdoor flowers, the University of Florida IFAS extension offers these tips to reduce pest problems:
- Plant annuals at the appropriate time of the year (i.e., cool-season annuals in the fall, winter, and early spring; warm-season annuals in the spring and summer).
- Match the growing requirements (light and moisture) of annuals to the planting site (right plant/right place).
- Keep plants growing vigorously by watering and fertilizing as needed.
- Don’t let plants wilt frequently since water-stressed plants shed their flowers and are more susceptible to infestation by thrips and spider mites.
- Reduce the chance of fungal diseases by keeping plant foliage as dry as possible. Use drip irrigation in flower beds and allow ample spacing between plants to encourage good air circulation and drying of foliage.
- Remove weeds from flower beds since weeds frequently host insects and/or disease organisms.