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Plants and herbs infestation

Hi,

I'm new on this forum!

My name is Gianluca and I'm 23. I moved from Italy to Manchester to study 3 years ago... I grew up on a farm so that is probably where my passion for plants came from.

I'm especially interested in herbs because I love cooking Italian food obviously haha

I hope to have many interesting discussions on the forum!

The issue I'm having is an infestation that I cannot get rid of!

At least that's what i think it could be!

I went away for 10 days and created some sort of self watering system but it did not work that well. I think what happened is that my plants became really weak and the bugs thrived.

This is my basil plant

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My spearmint which is almost fully dead, but I'm hoping some more will sprout soon

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My peppermint

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They are on my chives as well

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On my parsley that had dead tips

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I don't know if my sage is infested as well but all the new lower leaves are getting dry and falling off

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My thyme which really suffered from my absence, but has new green tips!

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My rosemary which is full of white dots and dry tips

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Lemon trees, same story

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My tropical hibiscus plants... the leaves have holes in them!

(bought the seeds online, they are Galactic, Sweet Persuasion and Black Dragon.... at least that's what I hope they are haha) 

image<img class="img-responsive" src="http://image

Posts

  • Sorry but I think there is a limit on the images/words someone can upload so all the last bit got cancelled!

    As you can see there are black insects like dots on my plants and some of them don't even move and just look like empty shells whether other ones move around really quickly. I also find a few red gnats flying around from time to time!

    So about a week ago I moved my plants to the bathroom so that I could spray a pesticide on them! I alternated a homemade pesticide (chilli and garlic) with a storebought one (2% fatty acid).

    The number of insects seems to have gone down but there are still quite a few and today when I went to spray my plants there were loads of those insects on the saucers so I washed them all.

    Could you please tell me with what kind of insect I am dealing with and how to get rid of them!

    Thank you in advice for any help or suggestion

  • Hi Gianluca,

    It looks like aphids on your chives and mint, also known as greenfly (they come in other colours).  If they are soft and easily squashed and if the herbs seemed a bit sticky, that's what they will be.   

    If your herbs have been too dry recently it may also be red spider mite.  The extra humidity/steamy air in the bathroom will discourage these.  

    The lemons, sage, rosemary and thyme mostly look like the watering conditions were not very good as you already know. :-)

  • Some plants are better off outside and Thyme (which is practically bullet-proof) to die back like that would suggest the bathroom conditions, humidity, over-watering and lack of natural light may be having a negative impact on some plants.

    Aphids find their way into houses in the least expected places but you would see them and the mess they create but from the pics, am struggling to see evidence of them.

    They could also be root-bound and need bigger pots or feed to compensate for using up all the nutrients in the compost.

  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 77,433

    All of those plants need to be outside in fresh air and high light levels. 

    Most of them need as close conditions to the Mediterranean area as you can give them ... High light levels and gritty free draining soil so they're not in boggy conditions when you water them.  

    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh







  • Fiona Duke says:

    Hi Gianluca,

    It looks like aphids on your chives and mint, also known as greenfly (they come in other colours).  If they are soft and easily squashed and if the herbs seemed a bit sticky, that's what they will be.   

    If your herbs have been too dry recently it may also be red spider mite.  The extra humidity/steamy air in the bathroom will discourage these.  

    The lemons, sage, rosemary and thyme mostly look like the watering conditions were not very good as you already know. :-)

    See original post

    Thank you for your answer, I actually think they probably are black aphids because their body is shaped like a pear but there are also some black and really fast moving insects that are incredible small, would those ones be their offspring?

    I know but it seems all my plants are full of white or black dots... .would that be due to poor watering conditions? image

    For example this is my cocos nucifera! Is it infested?

    Dave Hedgehog says:

    Some plants are better off outside and Thyme (which is practically bullet-proof) to die back like that would suggest the bathroom conditions, humidity, over-watering and lack of natural light may be having a negative impact on some plants.

    Aphids find their way into houses in the least expected places but you would see them and the mess they create but from the pics, am struggling to see evidence of them.

    They could also be root-bound and need bigger pots or feed to compensate for using up all the nutrients in the compost.

    See original post
    Dovefromabove says:

    All of those plants need to be outside in fresh air and high light levels. 

    Most of them need as close conditions to the Mediterranean area as you can give them ... High light levels and gritty free draining soil so they're not in boggy conditions when you water them.  

    See original post

    I know and if I still lived in Italy I would probably have them outside but here in Manchester (UK) I doubt they would be doing so well outside plus I live in a student accommodation so I do not have an outside area!

    I actually moved all my plants to the bathroom (I have two anyway) so that I could spray them with the pesticide and so that they wouldn't be in direct sunlight!

    Before that I kept them all on in my dorm room, which has a big south/west facing window, and had them directly on the windowsill!

    I actually repotted all my herbs as soon as I got them cause they were in even smaller pots! But I have not got much room.... when repotting I used rocks on the bottoms to improve the drainage and I also fertilise every two weeks! It's just that I had to go away for 10 days otherwise they'd be in much better conditions and this infestation which is driving me insane!

    Last edited: 08 August 2017 11:55:15

  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 77,433

    I assure you that even in the UK we can grow sage, rosemary, thyme, basil, parley outside in our gardens or windowboxes ............... they are all thriving in my garden in Norfolk.  Even lemons are ok outside in most of the UK until the first frosts arrive, as long as they're given well drained soil.

    Most herbs are happiest in poor soil, so stop fertilising them ... you're promoting soft growth which is encouraging the aphids.  

    I understand that without an outside space it's difficult ... but surely you have a brightly lit windowsill somewhere ... and somewhere less humid.  

    image

    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh







  • I suspect you are now on top of the infestation, and you have already got back to normal with the watering.  The basil, parsley and mint are the plants that have the most problems with aphids.  If they get infested again, you could try washing the bugs off the leaves under the tap or shower - carefully though.  This means that you can still eat them.    

    The other herbs definitely need to go back on their windowsill in your room I think most of the marks on the leaves of all your plants are due to your 10 days of watering problems.  

  • Dovefromabove says:

    I assure you that even in the UK we can grow sage, rosemary, thyme, basil, parley outside in our gardens or windowboxes ............... they are all thriving in my garden in Norfolk.  Even lemons are ok outside in most of the UK until the first frosts arrive, as long as they're given well drained soil.

    Most herbs are happiest in poor soil, so stop fertilising them ... you're promoting soft growth which is encouraging the aphids.  

    I understand that without an outside space it's difficult ... but surely you have a brightly lit windowsill somewhere ... and somewhere less humid.  

    image

    See original post

    I've actually realised that they are al attached the new sprouts, so I'll definitely stop fertilising them for now! Thank you for the tip!

    Yeah I actually have a south/west facing window in my room and there is just a car park in front of it so they get plenty of light when they are there! I'm gonna move them back soon when the infestation is under control!

    Fiona Duke says:

    I suspect you are now on top of the infestation, and you have already got back to normal with the watering.  The basil, parsley and mint are the plants that have the most problems with aphids.  If they get infested again, you could try washing the bugs off the leaves under the tap or shower - carefully though.  This means that you can still eat them.    

    The other herbs definitely need to go back on their windowsill in your room I think most of the marks on the leaves of all your plants are due to your 10 days of watering problems.  

    See original post

    Thank you for your reply! I have just sprayed my plants with a garlic/chilli/cinnamon infusion today (my bathroom smells a lot like a chinese takeaway haha) and I am going to wash and then move my sage, rosemary, thyme, mango tree, avocado tree and coconut palm into my room again tomorrow!

    For the parsley, mint, chives and tropical hibiscus I think I'll have to wait a few more days because I keep on find those little buggers and it literally looks like I cannot get rid of them! Have you got any tips?

    I also used a cotton swab with rubbing alcohol to get rid them! They seem to just come back after a few days anyways!

    I also have some Jasmine cuttings that I am trying to root but the leaves on them seem to be going dry and are also falling off... What should I do about this?

  • B3B3 Posts: 21,494

    With the herbs, I think  should start again. go to your local supermarket, buy potted herbs and repot them in larger pots and put them in your sunny windowsill

    In London. Keen but lazy.
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