Gardenissues
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Urgent Basil plant infection!!!!

Hi, I have been growing Holy basil indoors. It has been 7 months and plant was growing really well. For the past one month I find these greenish brown buldged structures on the stem and leaf. There is also a glassy coating on the leaves. Plant now looks droopy and in dying state. Please kindly help me. How do I restore it to a healthy condition?
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applestar
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Location: Zone 6, NJ (3/M)4/E ~ 10/M

Re: Urgent Basil plant infection!!!!

Where are you located? They look like scale insects to me but I've never seen them on basil here.

I do get them on my overwintering indoors citrus. Last year they got on parsley that had sprouted in the citrus pot so I guess they do attack softer/more tender plants, but usually I see scales on harder surfaced plants including orchids, but mainly citrus, bay laurel, hibiscus, etc. I've had Roselle that got covered in them and cotton, too.

For minor/early infestation you can wipe them if with cotton swabs dipped in alcohol. Let me see, in UK, they are called something buds and something spirits...hmmm can't remember right now.... Hopefully basil is not too delicate for this treatment.

ETA (Edited To Add) -- found the ref
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Gardenissues
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Re: Urgent Basil plant infection!!!!

Thanks Mod for the reply. We have pretty harsh winter now. The plant is kept near a window inside the house. Since we have indoor heater its quite warm inside the house. However there is not much ventilation for the plant. Do you think a mild copper fungicide would work?

imafan26
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Re: Urgent Basil plant infection!!!!

Could they be brown aphids? I usually only get the green ones on basil and I haven't had much of an aphid problem on anything except the citrus trees in a few years.

If they are soft and rub off then they are probably aphids, if they are hard but can be scraped off with a Q-tip or fingernail then they are more likely scale.

Apple's suggestion will work in either case.

If you have aphids, you may have ants as well. Put out ant bait, controlling the ants will really helps in getting rid of aphids or scale.

The plants are 7 months old. I generally don't keep mine past 10 months anyway. Older plants are harder to keep healthy.
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Gardenissues
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Re: Urgent Basil plant infection!!!!

Imafan, Thank you very much for the reply. I shall try wiping them with sponge dipped in ethanol. I feel it might be a bit difficult as the whole plant is infected. Do you think I should move other plants away from the infected plant?

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rainbowgardener
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Re: Urgent Basil plant infection!!!!

I agree, scale insects. The "glassy coating" on the leaves is called honeydew. Scale insects and aphids secrete it to get rid of the excess carbohydrates from their diet. It is sweet and that is why ants like them.

Scale insects have a hard outer coating, unlike soft bodied aphids, so they are not very susceptible to soapy water treatment. The rubbing alcohol (aka surgical spirit) should work on them, applied with Q-tips (aka cotton buds).
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