luvs_kaos
Newly Registered
Posts: 3
Joined: Wed Oct 20, 2010 3:55 pm
Location: Queens

Help with my Basil

Good afternoon everyone, I am new to the forum and new to gardening in general.

I have a problem with my Basil plant, and I hope that I can get some help here!

I have an indoor organic basil plant, and in the past two weeks I have noticed some negative changes on it.

First I began to notice white spots, and eaten leaves, but still do not see any insect activity. They began to pop up on more nad mroe leaves, and now most of hte older leaves have them (newer smaller ones seem to not be affected yet..at least) now today I noticed that there are black specks on some of the leaves as well. I thought that this was just some soil that got on there, but it did not was off. Can someone please provide me with any info and what I need to do to fix this. And if my basil is safe to use during this time.

[img]https://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y48/luvs_kaos/IMG_3587-1.jpg[/img]
Just starting out...

User avatar
applestar
Mod
Posts: 27667
Joined: Thu May 01, 2008 11:21 pm
Location: Zone 6, NJ (3/M)4/E ~ 10/M

I've seen this on basil before. I want to say this is whitefly damage.... Does that sound right to other folks? They're tiny white winged insects that suck the juice. If you shake the foliage or sort of stroke the tops with your hand, they would fly up. It's OK to eat the leaves. Wash well since the black specks could be frass (bug poop).

It's a good idea to wash the basil with strong sprays of water, especially from below. Test first to make sure the water is not too strong since basil leaves bruise easily. This will help to wash down/away immature whitefly larvae (that can't fly yet) as well as other sucking insects like aphids or spider mites. If there are aphids, you are likely to see ants hanging around to milk them for honeydew.

luvs_kaos
Newly Registered
Posts: 3
Joined: Wed Oct 20, 2010 3:55 pm
Location: Queens

I have shaken the plant and there does not seem to be any thing flying off of it. It also seems to have jumped over to my parsley.

Can this still be white fly even though there is notthing flying off of it?

It is getting colder here... can the drop in weather be causing them to lay dormant?

:X

Since it's indoors, I cant really use spiders or lady bugs to aid me, but I did read that dawn and water are a useful tool. Can this work with any other dish liquid? I don't want to go all they way to the store just for a bottle of dawn.
Just starting out...

User avatar
applestar
Mod
Posts: 27667
Joined: Thu May 01, 2008 11:21 pm
Location: Zone 6, NJ (3/M)4/E ~ 10/M

Soap is actually better than dishwashing liquid because they're often made of detergent and can burn the plant. I use liquid castile soap called Dr. Bronner's, but you can also use slightly sudgy water made with mild unfragranced glycerin "cake" or solid soap.

Best method is to spray with -- or plunge in -- the soapy water, wait 5 minutes, then rinse thoroughly. Repeat once a week until the pest insect's lifecycle is broken.

I have heard reliable people say Dawn works, but Dawn apparently comes in different formulations, and I don't know which one is safe.

luvs_kaos
Newly Registered
Posts: 3
Joined: Wed Oct 20, 2010 3:55 pm
Location: Queens

Thanks so much.

I really love the idea of growing my own herbs, and it is so much cheaper than buying them at the store.

I live with my parents, and they have plant's that they bring in during the winter, and since then, they seems to have come in and I still don't see any flies. I've tried moving the basil to another part of the house, at least till the issue stops.

So far my mint and cilantro seem fine... the parsley had a little on a few leaves, and I did the soap on that too. Hopefully this works out.
Just starting out...

Return to “Herb Gardening Forum”