I am thinking about growing pyrethrum to control the bugs in my garden. My questions are: Is pyrethrum the same as a regular daisy? Will just growing the flowers in my garden among the other plants deter pests? Or, do I have to crush them up and do something with them? Thanks for your help!
St. Mary's County Maryland
Pyrethrum is the source of a very potent (toxic) pesticide. The chemical, pyrethrin, is not made from your typical wild lawn daisy, or from the many perennial and annual daisies sold as ornamentals, It is made from the dried flower of Chrysanthemum cinerariaefolium . The Painted Daisy also has some pyrethrin in it. Most people use synthetic or manufactured products. The names are so similar, it can get confusing. This may be helpful: http://msucares.com/newsletters/pests/bugwise/2010/bw0410.pdf
Unfortunately, just growing it in your garden will not deter pests. There are websites that explain using it for the home gardener, but we do not have research on that aspect.