Phytotoxicity of Selected Insecticides on Greenhouse-grown Herbs

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  • 1 University of Illinois, Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Sciences, 384 National Soybean Research Laboratory, 1101 West Peabody Drive, Urbana, IL 61801
  • 2 H.M. Buckley and Sons Inc., P.O. Box 1237, Springfield, IL 62705

A greenhouse study was conducted from Oct. 1999 through Feb. 2000, and Mar. 2001 through Apr. 2001, to determine the potential phytotoxic effects of selected insecticides on Spanish lavender (Lavandula stoechas L.), oregano (Origanum vulgare L. `Santa Cruz'), rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis L.), St. Johnswort (Hypericum perforatum L. `Topaz'), wolly thyme (Thymus vulgaris L. `Wolly'), and nutmeg thyme (Thymus vulgaris L. `Nutmeg'). Insecticides used for the study were Beauveria bassiana Strain GHA, pyrethrin [+ piperonyl butoxide (PBO)], azadirachtin, potassium salts of fatty acids, two rates of cinnamaldehyde, paraffinic oil, and capsaicin. Visual observations of phytotoxicity were made 7 days after the final application. Pyrethrin, potassium salts of fatty acids, and both rates of cinnamaldehyde were consistently more phytotoxic than the other insecticides. Despite the phytotoxic effects from some of the insecticides, new growth that emerged following treatments compensated for the initial damage, and the herbs were still saleable.

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