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Muhly Grass Mealybugs

Muhly Grass is an impressive native grass that has become very popular in all sorts of landscapes, not just native. Native grassed are wonderful for their tough character, drought and heat tolerance. They offer a contrasting texture in the landscape and GREAT late-season interest when they go into bloom in Fall and hold they inflorescences into winter. Muhly grass is just a bit past prime now in late December, but has had a fabulous season and still looks impressive.

Muhly grass is susceptible to infestations of Muhly Grass Mealybug, an insect thought to be native to Florida and moving around through the landscape trade. They appear as small white, cottony spots deep in the foliage of the plant. Severe infestations can cause the plant to decline and perform poorly. There is plenty of advice on other sites for how to treat this problem, but we are making this post because when we went out to cut back a few infected grasses that we noticed about a month ago and attempt to kill the insects - a large population of ladybugs was already working on the problem! Our takeaway for now is that when you have a naturally balanced, ecologically inviting landscape, the habitat is right for insect predators and little interference from you is needed. Sit back for a bit and give garden pests and diseases a chance to resolve themselves - often they do - especially in a native garden!

Muhly Grass in late October

Muhly Grass in late October
Ladybugs feeding on Muhly Grass Mealybug