Pests on Sedum

Overview

There are many types of sedum. This plant undergoes changes throughout the season. It starts with buds in the spring, then grows clusters of spiraled green leaves and by mid-summer has pale green flower heads that look like broccoli tops. These turn pink and then red by fall. There are also different height varieties. Well-drained soil is important to ward off fungal diseases, but sedum can still attract bugs. Some of them are beneficial predators to other bugs that can damage the sedum.

Fungus Gnats

Fungus gnats can infest soil where the larvae feed on the roots and cause damage to sedum by stunting growth. In addition, both larvae and adults can spread plant pathogens that promote disease. Fungus gnats are weak fliers and often run or rest on growing leaves and plants such as sedum.

Aphids

Aphids are present on sedum in spring and summer. Aphids feed on the stems and leaves by sucking plant fluids. Aphids can be controlled at younger stages by predator bugs such as the Ladybeetle or Ambush bug. Otherwise aphids are controlled by spraying with insecticides such as a solution of 1g to 5g of nicotine sulfate and 25g of soap chips in 1 gallon of water or by 0.2 percent malathon every 10 days.

Ladybeetle

The ladybeetle is best known as a beneficial predator. Most ladybeetles found in gardens are aphid predators. Some prefer certain types of aphids, while others attack any species. If there are no aphids present, they can also feed on the eggs of moths, mites and thrips. They are most active from late spring to early fall if food is available. They do not harm the plant and are a way to help with aphid problems on sedum.

Ambush Bugs

Technically, ambush bugs are a type of assassin bug with a few differences. Ambush bugs are stoutly built and usually yellow, red or orange. Ambush bugs have thick front legs that they use to capture prey. Ambush bugs can be found on a variety of flowers, including sedum. They lie in wait to ambush their victims, which include aphids, flies, moths and other bugs. Like the ladybeetle, they do not harm the sedum but help rid it of other unwanted pests.

Significance

As with most of these bugs, simple attention to the plant is important for preventing infestation. Keep careful watch when watering and check the plants often for signs of any bugs. Become familiar with the pests and diseases of plants and keep vigilant watch from the beginning. It is easier to prevent than to treat infestations. In addition, unnoticed bugs and pests can infect other plants, causing damage to entire gardens or collections of houseplants.

Keywords: Sedum, Sedum Pests, Predator Pests

About this Author

Sheri Engstrom has been writing for 15 years. She is currently a gardening writer for Demand Studios. Engstrom completed the master gardener program at the University of Minnesota Extension service. She is published in their book "The Best Plants for 30 Tough Sites." She is also the online education examiner Minneapolis for Examiner.com.