We have two large and lovely gardenia bushes in the front yard. They have gotten so large that their branches have overlapped and now the two bushes look like one giant gardenia bush. They produce an abundance of flowers.
I did some minor pruning on them and noticed insects called "scale". There were so many of them that I couldn't possible count them all.
I was curious as to what type of "scale" that they were. I looked them up and they are terrapin scale, named that because they look like tiny terrapin turtles.
They just suck the sap out of the stems. I am trying to find a way to eradicate them. But I have one big stumbling block in my quest for a cure. A well. All of our water, including drinking, comes from a well which is located close to the gardenia bush. I can't use pesticides or any other toxic chemicals because whatever I apply to the bush I will be drinking in the water about a month later. I have to be able to safely drink whatever chemical I use. Yeah, a real problem. But I will see what happens. For starters I cut all of the limbs that I could find that had the scale infestation. But I can't do that too much. I am afraid that pruning too much might damage the gardenia bushes. Got any ideas? Please drop a line in the comments. Thanks. Lew