Feverfew and insects

Discussion in 'Pests, Diseases and Cures' started by groundbeetle, Jul 4, 2021.

  1. groundbeetle

    groundbeetle Gardener

    Jun 23, 2021
    I have been noticing strange interactions between my feverfew and insects, noticeable when the feverfew starts to flower.

    I found some vine weevils crawling on it during the daytime, though they don't seem to have eaten any of it. I wonder if it attracts them and then stuns their nervous systems, keeping them there during the day, when they are supposed to be nocturnal?

    Also, I noticed that when it started flowering the vast proportion of the greenfly cleared almost overnight, with just a tiny few left. It seems to attract hoverflies, so I am not sure if it is their larvae that are cleaning up the greenfly, or something to do with the feverfew flowers themselves?

    I have one big pot of feverfew that is only just starting to flower, it grew from seed this year, whereas the others are last year's plants, so it is later. It is underneath a wall basket with nasturtiums, which have been attracting ants and blackfly, and the ants and blackfly then tried to colonise this feverfew pot, but they don't seem to be building up numbers, and less so since its buds are beginning to turn into flowers

    Everything I have read about feverfew and insects seems confused, some say it attracts bees and some say bees don't like it. I haven't seen any bees in this area so far this year, but last year when I grew Agastache in the same pots and nearby, the Agastache was covered with bees who didn't seem to mind the nearby feverfew. This year I have a few Agastache seedlings, which started late, but I had pulled up last year's Agastache as it was big and bedraggled looking by late autumn, really too big for the pots it was growing in, it is a big plant.

    It would be wonderful if feverfew, or any plant, could deter or kill pests like vine weevils and drive off ants and the aphids they farm, and at the same time not harm bees, ladybirds, lacewings and hoverflies.

    I am watching with curiosity what happens with the ants and blackfly on the later flowering feverfew. I won't rely on it to deal with vine weevils, I need to use nematodes in the autumn, but I am curious if it has any effect on them?

    Does anyone know how feverfew interacts with insects, harmful and beneficial?
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      Last edited: Jul 4, 2021
    • Nikolaos

      Nikolaos Total Gardener

      Jun 26, 2019
      Midlands, UK
      @groundbeetle I'm afraid I haven't come across anything significant pertaining to Feverfew and insects in my 5 years of pollinator-friendly gardening in terms of the literature, haven't grown it myself. I think you're doing the best thing by simply observing these relationships between the plant and insects and noting your observations here, that way you have a record of what you've noticed. That's the good thing about contributing to an online forum, it's a form of diarising which can be searched at a later date. :)

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      • pete

        pete Growing a bit of this and a bit of that....

        Jan 9, 2005
        Mid Kent
        I might be remembering this wrong, but isn't there some connection between Pyrethrum and plants in the same family as Feverfew.

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