Spider mite on Centaurea

CardoonCardoon Posts: 24

For the second year running I have a heavy infestation of spider mite on my Centaureas. It's the only plant they seem to attack. Once the first few flowers have appeared they take over the rest of the buds and I have to cut them off. Very upset as I love Centaurea! Is there anything I can do to treat them this year or stop them coming back again next year?

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  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 53,940

    You have spider mite outside in this weather? I would have thought the temperatures were far too low.

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







  • CardoonCardoon Posts: 24

    Well, yes I think so. Webs around the flower buds/upper leaves with tiny dots (i.e. the mites within). Flower buds then start to wilt and leaves appear sickly. They also seem to be farmed by ants as well. Do you think it could be something else?

  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 53,940

    There are aphids that live on thistles and knapweeds (centaurea) - I'd try using one of the organic soap-based bug sprays  or make one yourself from a squirt of washing up liquid in water in a hand sprayer (I find Ecover works well)  image

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







  • CardoonCardoon Posts: 24

    Thanks Dove, can aphids form webs then? The aphids/mites are barely visible themselves, just tiny light coloured dots amongst the webs.

  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 53,940

    Pretty sure aphids don't make webs, but I'm still as sure as I can be without seeing them that that's what they are. 

    I'd put money on them not being spider mites - they hate cold damp conditions - but even if I'm wrong and they are spider mites, they'll hate being squirted with soapy spray - it'll get rid of them whether it's mites or aphids image

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







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