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Bugs on Calathea - help?

My Calathea has a lot of small bugs on the leaves and stems, im worried these are going to kill it off, what are they and how can I get rid please? 


  • Those look like aphids to me. 

    Gardening in Central Norfolk on improved gritty moraine over chalk ... free-draining.

  • bcpathomebcpathome Posts: 1,299
    Aphids just wipe them off .
  • The small bugs on your Calathea plant are likely to be either spider mites or mealybugs. Spider mites are tiny, red or brown bugs that spin webs on the leaves, while mealybugs are white, soft-bodied insects that cluster on stems and leaves.

    Both of these pests can cause damage to your plant by feeding on its sap, which can lead to wilting, yellowing, and even death if left untreated. To get rid of them, there are several things you can try:

    1. Use insecticidal soap or neem oil: These organic pesticides are effective against spider mites and mealybugs. Follow the instructions on the product label carefully and be sure to treat both the top and bottom of the leaves.

    2. Wipe down the leaves: Use a damp cloth or cotton swab to remove as many of the bugs as possible from the plant. This won't get rid of all of them, but it will help to reduce the population.

    3. Increase humidity: Spider mites and mealybugs thrive in dry conditions, so increasing the humidity around your plant can help to control their population. You can mist the leaves with water or place a tray of water near the plant to increase humidity.

    4. Quarantine the plant: If you have other plants nearby, it's a good idea to isolate the infested plant to prevent the bugs from spreading. Keep the plant away from other plants for at least a few weeks to make sure the infestation is fully under control.

    Remember to be patient, as it may take several treatments to completely eliminate the pests. Also, be sure to monitor your plant regularly to catch any new infestations early.

  • @alexwild - Ignore the above post!
    You need a magnifying glass to see spider mites properly and they are red, (as he says) and make webs. Mealy bugs are white, (as he says) and look floury.
    You have green aphids and all you need to do is squirt them off with a handsprayer or a gentle shower. If you miss some they might come back, but you can do it again.
  • Thanks everyone! I'll give them a good spray and wipe some off and see how it goes
  • JennyJJennyJ Posts: 10,417
    The easiest way to spray it is to put it in the shower and use tepid (not hot) water. It's too cold to take a Calathea outside and messy to try to spray it in the kitchen sink unless it's very small.
    Doncaster, South Yorkshire. Soil type: sandy, well-drained
  • edited March 2023
    Hello again, I've managed to get rid of most of the pests (for now!) however a lot of the leaves are now showing dark spots/ splodges like in the images, why would this be? 
  • bcpathomebcpathome Posts: 1,299
    Mine does that when I’ve forgotten to re pot it and it’s grown to big for its pot .
  • bédébédé Posts: 3,070
    edited March 2023
    Next time, just rub them off with your fingers. Greenhouse re spider mite are not always red.  Americans call them 2-spot mites.  Might the dark fellows be mites?
     location: Surrey Hills, England, ex-woodland acidic sand.
    "Have nothing in your garden that you don't know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful."
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