Pestilence

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kedabra
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Pestilence

Post by kedabra » Tue Sep 11, 2012 4:07 am

I have a lot of different houseplants, and quite a few salvia plants. Aphids love the salvia plants and head straight for the growing tips, distorting them and usually stopping growth altogether, even if the damage seems minor. It's a pain in the ass. I spray every couple of days with dilute detergent, but they kept coming back, I don't know where from. Im not sure if i need to clean out the whole house or whether thy are coming from outside. I used to be able to grow big lush plants at home but these days I have only small weak sick looking specimens. How do I deal with these damn aphids? I usually grow outside too but it's so wet this year that the slugs and snails are like a plague, and destroy anything soft and green within hours.

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Cultosaurus
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Re: Pestilence

Post by Cultosaurus » Tue Sep 11, 2012 8:51 am

For outdoor, you can order lady bugs online. They love aphids. I've never used it on salvia, but rhubarb leaves mixed with cayene works well with many bugs.

Jupe
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Re: Pestilence

Post by Jupe » Tue Sep 11, 2012 10:27 am

Water soluable oils ("horticultural oils" such as Safers Brand added to your detergent mix will help smother the ones you cant see, they start on the underside of the leaves, and nooks and crannies, and are almost invisible to the naked eye, being transparent and green and thats probably where they are still coming from. The curled part of the leaves should be broken apart and destroyed, as thats where the adults are hiding and laying eggs.

You could move them ouside and prop them up on a brick in a pan of beer, as slugs and snails will not be able to cross the beer....haha....they will stop for a drink....

Indoor strong water Spritzing can discourage aphids, if they arent too big and fragile. Aphids are sap suckers, and eat the new tips first.

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unsigned_char72
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Re: Pestilence

Post by unsigned_char72 » Tue Sep 11, 2012 12:20 pm

Swim has the same problem for indoor Salvia and he tells it's almost a lost battle (for example see this). No matter how much you fight them, they keep returning. So when the climate gets warmer, Swim moves all the plants outside (some in pots and some in full ground). For slugs, slug pellets are very effective.

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kedabra
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Re: Pestilence

Post by kedabra » Wed Sep 12, 2012 11:22 am

The slugs and snails are too numerous to kill this year, its an actual plague. Ive given up on outdoors this year. Indoors, why do I have aphids this year and not two years ago? Would it help to put plants in a sealed humidity tent to try and keep the little fuckers out? It seems like whatever I do, they just dont grow. The new shoots either get stunted by aphids or they go brown and die, maybe from weakness after aphid attack, maybe lack of humidity . Does detergent mix harm the plants? They seem to stop growing when I use it on them, even if the aphids seem to have been killed.

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unsigned_char72
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Re: Pestilence

Post by unsigned_char72 » Wed Sep 12, 2012 12:01 pm

Another technique Swim used for a while was a sort of "extreme wash": carry your salvia pots outside and put them on a table turned down by 90° degrees, so can you closely see the back of each leaf. Then use a spray (water loaded) to wash the backside of the leaves pushing the aphids out of your salvia plants. Wash also the apical meristem that is where most aphids usually to hide.

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Re: Pestilence

Post by Jupe » Wed Sep 12, 2012 7:23 pm

good suggestions UC72!! Kedabra, i would avoid using the soaps too many times, it will dessicate the leaves, unless you promptly wash it off. Its a one time kill process with the aphids, once it dries, its useless, but can harm flat leaved tropicals. Oils are also one time kill, but with dilution, they can be left on. Other names for the oils are "leaf polish"...some orchid growers use milk for that!!! (not low fat haha) but I dont recommend that for salvias. The oils are usefull to kill mites, and eggs and small bug larvae, they smother the breathing ports of the bugs. Oils can be halfway washed off the main leaf areas, and left to collect in the cracks and crevices and meristems as Char said, it is much safer there. Avoid heat and direct sunlight with all pesticides, even safe ones.

I would avoid tenting them until you get the problem under control. Pests prefer to be in an undisturbed condition, so fans and frequent washings often will get the adults to lay eggs elsewhere. good luck!!
Jupe

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kedabra
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Re: Pestilence

Post by kedabra » Thu Sep 13, 2012 5:25 am

Thanks for the advice everyone. Jupe - i thought that horticultural oils also contained an emulsifier, like a detergent basically? The stuff Ive seen was milky white, i think it was rapeseed oil, water and a detergent. Is there another kind?

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salvialover24
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Re: Pestilence

Post by salvialover24 » Thu Sep 20, 2012 6:08 am

When some of swim's plant looks too much sick, or eaten by I don't know what (do you see the aphids?), Swim just make cuttings with the plant. He can fully wash the cuttings, with a lot of water, and brushes, and most of those cuttings grows very well, with a new soil, in a clean new pot. Rarely, the new plant can inherit the problem of the original plant, but swim still got more than two plants in the average from the one which looked sick. Seven among his original plant died completely, but give birth by this process to 15 new plants. He has now more than 30 plants, and has to give them to friends (when they agree for the "poisonous gift"). Swim grows those plants only indoors, and can't prevent all sorts of little insects to eat them, but with this cuttings method, the amount of salvinorin production is still quite good in his apartment. He does no more use soap as it tends to dessicate the leaves indeed (and Swim does not like the idea to smoke soap either :))

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Re: Pestilence

Post by Jupe » Fri Sep 21, 2012 7:59 pm

Hey Kedabra (hey SL24 mr. B)...sorry it took so long to reply, hope the plants are still ok. Most of the oils are "paraffinic" based and have been somehow formulated to mix with water, no soap added.

If you made your own in your kitchen........ google homemade horticultural oil recipes, and theamount of soap is one teaspoon per gallon, which is ok I feel, as you can wash it off quickly if problems occur.

Most of the IPM sites at various colleges and Agricultural institutes push the benefits of the oils for its safety, as its really not a classic "pesticide" very safe for people and animals, predator bugs dont seem much bothered by it....its best for softbodied insects, scales and teeny mites, also fungus etc as a disruptor....
....old timers used to just spray motor oils with sulphur added onto fruit trees in the winter, as a dormant spray, and this is where the idea started.
These oils are not perfec tho, I have thought "more is better" and didnt follow instructions, and mixed too much and sprayed it in the hot sun, which fried the leaves. I have always advised 1/2 strength, applied frequently, say 2x week...then followed by a 1x wash off.... , it kills pretty rapidly. Some greenhouse sites suggest bugs tend to avoid plants with the oils on them, I dont know about that, as it seems to help so much, that its often a once a year problem solver and then I forget about it. Its the only thing I ever use for mites on the gardens here. It has saved my ass with palm trees, azaleas, and the salvias. The only plants which dont like oils are fern type plants.....they have "issues" haha......

I use a US product called "Safe T Side", mostly cause its whats available off the shelf and is sold by the gallon, (I use a lot of it) and the price is better, most of them are close to the same formulation.

http://www.ipm.ucdavis.edu/TOOLS/PNAI/p ... .php?id=39

(ps I have known people who just used kitchen oil and water, and just mixed it up real well.....they said it helped their salvias.....but I dunno.....some just gets lucky. I would be careful going that route, but its the same principle.

Hope this helps abit.

Jupe

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