nikhilxp64
Full Member
Posts: 12
Joined: Sat Apr 07, 2018 12:07 am
Location: USDA Zone 9b

Re: What's wrong with my tulsi (Ocimum tenuiflorum)?

Thank you for the reply and advice.

I'm trying to understand what are each of the things I'm dealing with - I think broadly there are 3 things on the leaves.

1) white patches (image below): showed up long ago initially I thought something tiny was eating the leaves, because they became kinda translucent in the white patch areas so I didn't think much of it. Is this the mildew you mentioned?

Image

2) black decay (images below): showed up recently in the last 2 months or so, I thought it was lack of nutrition, water and sunlight so I fertilized and tried to get them more light. These result in the whole leaf turning brow/black and curling up and eventually falling off. What is it?

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3) black dots (images below): I though these were mites first, but they turn out to be dark dots on the leaves, shaking the leaves doesn't make it fall off so I assumed it's not a mite (maybe I was wrong?). Upon closer inspection today they seem moist (shiny under light) and I even notice what looks like a larva among them. Are these a type of mildew or insect?

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Is the only way to deal with all of these to cut off the affected parts? :(
Googling suggests washing the leaves with baking soda and mild soap for mildew. I have neem oil which I can try to spray on the leaves after dilution with water. Though I've been told neem may not go down well with tulsi plants.

I'll take a look at the roots this weekend. It seems like a lot of this might have been avoided if I had transplanted into larger pots earlier and not stressed them out which lead to so many things attacking them? :(

imafan26
Mod
Posts: 11273
Joined: Tue Jan 01, 2013 1:32 pm
Location: hawaii, zone 12a 587 ft elev.

Re: What's wrong with my tulsi (Ocimum tenuiflorum)?

The first and third pictures look like insect damage from sucking pests. You have to look under the leaf to find them. From the top you only see the scars from the feeding. Most likely thrips. The last picture of black spots. The black spots are probably fecal material. The middle picture of black spot is usually caused by a fungus or bacteria and is usually from overhead watering and plants are not drying fast enough, poor air circulation. and/or high humidity.

https://www.johnnyseeds.com/growers-libr ... sheet.html
https://plantclinic.cornell.edu/factshee ... seases.pdf

Plants that are stressed become targets of pests and disease. Keep plants healthy, but providing them with a clean environment. Sanitize the area regularly of fallen leaves and wipe off the area with soap and water regularly if indoors.
Make sure the soil and pot are appropriately sized and the plant is not rootbound. Plants need enough light. If the internodes are long or the plant leaves are dark green,and the plant is leaning it needs more intense and even lighting. Potted plants will be dependent on you for water and fertilizer. You need to know how much and how often. Much of that will depend on the plant, the pot, the environment, the type of soil. and fertilizer you use. That will be trial and error until you find the right combination.
Problems are usually disease, pests, or environmental.
Disease and pests will show up on the leaves. Learn to look under the leaves and use the magnifier to try to find and locate pests. Try to id pests before treating. Certain plants, when you grow them all of the time will have the same problems. Learn to id and treat early. Isolate sick plants from healthy ones. There comes a point when the plants are overwhelmed and are unlikely to recover well. Annuals don't have a lot of time to do this, it is sometimes better to start over.
Sanitize regularly.
Environmental problems have to do with culture. Plants need an appropriate environment. A pot of the right size, good air circulation, light, temperature minimums and maximums (may mean you will be more successful if you plant seasonally). Water and fertilization is dependent on the plant needs and less on your schedule. The same plant will have different requirements depending on the stage of growth, the container, medium, type of fertilizer, drainage, air circulation, sometimes even the quality of the water. Instead of trying to make any plant grow in your environment, select a plant or location (sometimes a couple of feet matter), suited to the environment you can provide. Do your research to find out what the plant needs and what are the most common problems you might run into. You can get that information from most university extension service sites.

There are some plants that I have tried and killed many times over. Others, that will only grow well in one or two spots in my yard. I have cats in the house and so I don't keep many house plants, although, the cats I have now have not bothered any plants I have kept inside overnight, yet. For the way, I grow things, I need a light well drained mix. Plants that need to dry out get to be in terra cotta and cinders. I have downy mildew and tomato yellow leaf curl virus which means I can only grow African and holy basils now and TYLCV resistant tomatoes. I need to grow things that will grow in my soil. At home my soil is acidic which works for most things but it is too rich in nitrogen to get a good root crop. Root crops do better in my other gardens that are more alkaline and nitrogen poor. I made a lot of mistakes along the way and it took some effort to find the right spot for some of the plants to do well.
Happy gardening in Hawaii. Gardens are where people grow.

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