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Is this caused by "bugs"?


 
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 08, 2008 9:15 pm    Post subject: Is this caused by "bugs"? Reply with quote

Hi there,

I wonder if anyone can help me with this.

I've a pomegranate plant and a wisteria which I've grown from seed. Both are about two years old so they still fit on my windowsill. However, over the last while the leaves of both have started falling off, and the pattern seems to be this: first, the underside of the leaf gets a multitude of tiny (and I mean tiny black dots - smaller than the size of the sharp point of a needle), then the leaf develops brown, "rusty" spots on the top, then the leaves curl up into themselves (from the underside), then they whither and die and fall off. I've managed to keep the "infestation" of whatever this is with soapy water applied at least three times a week, but this hasn't cured the problem completely. For some reasons, the "dots" seem to be placing themselves in circles (but the circles could be caused by effect of the bubbles of the soapy water on them...). Sometime the falling leaves seem to be hanging by "invisible" webs, but I haven't found any actual sign of red spider mite (that is, I haven't seen anything that resembles this http://www.gardenplansireland.com/forum/about1577.html).

Any suggestion? If possible, I'd rather use non-toxic/ organic methods.

Many thanks.
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verge
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 09, 2008 11:30 am    Post subject: Re: Is this caused by "bugs"? Reply with quote

For those of you with poor eyesight like myself.......


Hi there,

I wonder if anyone can help me with this.

I've a pomegranate plant and a wisteria which I've grown from seed. Both are about two years old so they still fit on my windowsill. However, over the last while the leaves of both have started falling off, and the pattern seems to be this: first, the underside of the leaf gets a multitude of tiny (and I mean tiny black dots - smaller than the size of the sharp point of a needle), then the leaf develops brown, "rusty" spots on the top, then the leaves curl up into themselves (from the underside), then they whither and die and fall off. I've managed to keep the "infestation" of whatever this is with soapy water applied at least three times a week, but this hasn't cured the problem completely. For some reasons, the "dots" seem to be placing themselves in circles (but the circles could be caused by effect of the bubbles of the soapy water on them...). Sometime the falling leaves seem to be hanging by "invisible" webs, but I haven't found any actual sign of red spider mite (that is, I haven't seen anything that resembles this http://www.gardenplansireland.com/forum/about1577.html).

Any suggestion? If possible, I'd rather use non-toxic/ organic methods.

Many thanks.

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James Kilkelly
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 09, 2008 11:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sounds like glasshouse red spider mite alright.
You will need a some form of a magnifier to see the mites.
You can also post up a pic or two to confirm. Tutorial here for image adding on this site .... http://www.gardenplansireland.com/forum/about32.html

Otherwise......
Non-toxic/ organic methods of glasshouse red spider mite control.
Fight mite with mite, and introduce the predatory mite Phytoseiulus persimilis which feeds on the feeds on the Red spider mite and its eggs. Its period of use is from April to October in glasshouses and June to September out of doors, as it needs good light and daytime temperatures if it is to breed faster than the Red spider mite. Phytoseiulus persimilis can be ordered through garden centres or online.

To keep mite numbers down, spraying with garden centre bought fatty acids is quite effective if applied every 5-7 days on both the upper and lower sides of the leaves.

You can also spray with pyrethrum or derris on a similar timescale to the fatty acid.
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 09, 2008 4:49 pm    Post subject: Is this caused by "bugs"? Reply with quote

Verge,

Sorry, I hadn't realised the font was THAT small until I checked on a different computer.... apologies...

GPI,

I'll get a magnifying glass and have another look - I'm afraid I don't have a digital camera, I'll see if I can borrow one and take it from there.

In the meantime, thanks for the tips!
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