Newly Registered
Posts: 2
Joined: Sun Jun 05, 2011 2:47 pm

Help id my pests!

I'm a definite beginner gardener trying to figure out what's going on with the mint and basil I have in containers. I went out to investigate today and found many bugs, but I'm not sure what any of them are or how to combat them. The most prevalent were little white ones with sort of humpbacks that were depositing what looking like fluffy stuff--mealybugs?? I also suspect there are some watering issues, as I found out my landlord has been watering my plants after I already did. I've attached pictures. Any help or suggestions would be greatly appreciated.


User avatar
Mod Emeritus
Posts: 7646
Joined: Tue Jun 24, 2008 1:04 am
Location: Oregon

I couldn't clearly see the bugs. Is that lump on the tip of the first leaf one of them? It kind of looks like a scale insect. :(

It appears to me that your plant may have multiple problems. Can you get your landlord to stop watering the plants? Although to be honest, I must say it looks like it may be too late to save them.

From the look of the leaves ... the limp, watery, collapsing appearance ... I would guess advance root rot ... perhaps complicated by something like an anthracnose infection, but I'm not positive about the latter.

Do the containers have good drainage, and are the plants in a loose, rapid-draining soil?

I think you should just replace these plants. It might be possible to revive them, but the simplest thing would be to replace them and forbid your landlord to water them. Or else give some plants to him/her to be their very own, so they'll leave yours alone. ;)

That's my opinion, anyway. Others may have different thoughts. :)

User avatar
Super Green Thumb
Posts: 3567
Joined: Sun Jul 06, 2008 7:58 am
Location: Central Sand Hills South Carolina

One easy partial fix is to scatter the containers over several locations. That way the bugs have to work hard to find all of the plants. For the most part, you should be able to control bugs on parsley by hand picking/squishing. I've never had any kind of problem with mint as even if the bugs eat some, the prolific and invasive plants produce far more leaves than I would ever need.

Newly Registered
Posts: 2
Joined: Sun Jun 05, 2011 2:47 pm

There weren't any bugs I could see on the leaves I photographed, except the first one, which I thought may be an egg sack?

The reason I thought it wasn't just root rot was that some leaves are in great condition...

Since the pictures aren't 100% clear, I'll describe the issues...

Some basil leaves have a dark discoloration throughout, almost looking like they were burned, with curling on the ends. Other leaves have small holes or edges missing (as in the last picture). I spotted little white bugs all over them.

The mint leaves also had discoloration, some dark like the basil, but many with yellow spots throughout.

I have definitely worked out the watering issue with the landlord! I know she was just trying to help, but I would water in the early evening when the soil looked dry from the day, and she was coming out at night doing hers and mine...

Thanks for the response so far!

Return to “Herb Gardening Forum”