vpalig
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Joined: Fri May 27, 2016 8:37 pm

Bugs problem

Hello my name is Vasilis and i am from Greece.
I have a plant named aggelikoula in Greece in a big pot and it has some kind o insect contamination.. it starts to look really sick.. i have uploaded some photos.
I have used confidor but they keep getting more
Can someone help me?
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rainbowgardener
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Location: TN/GA 7b

Re: Bugs problem

It is some kind of scale insect, maybe the cottony cushion scale. Scale insects are not very vulnerable to poisons, since the actual insect is inside a protective shell.

NOTE: "Do not apply imidacloprid (Merit or Bayer Advanced Citrus Fruit and Vegetables) for cottony cushion scale control. Although imidacloprid has scale insects listed on the label, it doesn’t kill cottony cushion scale. To make matters worse, imidacloprid is very toxic to vedalia beetles. The beetles are poisoned when they feed on cottony cushion scale that have ingested imidacloprid. Cottony cushion scale outbreaks have been observed following use of this insecticide because the vedalia beetles were removed and the insecticide didn’t control the pest. [this article has other suggestions about managing this pest] "https://www.ipm.ucdavis.edu/PMG/PESTNOTES/pn7410.html

Your confidor IS imidacloprid, a neonicotinoid poison. It does not kill the scale insects, but it does kill the beneficial insects that might help control them and other beneficials such as honeybees and ladybugs. I did some reading about common garden poisons and summarized it here: https://www.helpfulgardener.com/forum/vi ... 11&t=57653 Along with honeybees and many beneficial insects, imidacloprid is toxic to many birds and freshwater crustaceans, and to earthworms. Neonicotinoids spread in the environment and have been detected in ground water, soils, soil biota, field margin plants, etc

For heavily infested branches as pictured, I would just clip the branch off and bag it and trash it. For what remains spray the insects (only, not the whole plant) with rubbing alcohol.
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imafan26
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Location: hawaii, zone 12a 587 ft elev.

Re: Bugs problem

It could be scale or mealy bugs. If the bugs are soft then more likely they are mealy bugs. I would cut off the infested branches as rainbow said, but usually the plant is weak and that is why it is being attacked.

We would call it a Japanese pittosporum and can be a large shrub.

I think it should be cut back by about a third. Thin out some of the crossing branches to improve air circulation.

Ssoak the pot in a tub of water to make sure the rootball is thoroughly moistened. Repot the plant in a larger pot. I think your plant is probably rootbound, you may have to score the roots or tease some of them out. Use a good potting mix and add some balanced fertilizer. I use a slow release fertilizer that feeds over 3-6 months.

Mealy bugs and scales are both sucking insects and are hard to get rid of so you will have to watch the plant and remove them when you see them. I use a brush but in a tight spot you can use a cotton swab and alcohol to rub them off. If you turn the plant on its' side and you open the plant up more, you should be able to use a forceful spray of water to blast the bugs off the plant. In the long run a healthy plant is the best defense.
Happy gardening in Hawaii. Gardens are where people grow.

vpalig
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Joined: Fri May 27, 2016 8:37 pm

Re: Bugs problem

Thanks a lot for the help

I am trying to remove the scale bugs with pressure water.
The plant was actually not very "alive" before this insident. I was wondering what is wrong with it. It's an old plant but it's in a big pot (40-50cm wide). Similar age and size plants live preaty well in this kind of pot. Should i remove it from this big pot and trim the roots?

I have also a lilac. Its a young plant on a medium size pot. It had flower the previus year but not this year. There are some week now its leafs so some bad signs.. i will attach photos.. Any help with that?
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imafan26
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Posts: 11342
Joined: Tue Jan 01, 2013 1:32 pm
Location: hawaii, zone 12a 587 ft elev.

Re: Bugs problem

On the pittosporum, I would get it healthy first and then repot especially if you are thinking of root pruning. You can still cut back the top and thin out the branches to open up circulation. Feed the plant with fertilizer and work on getting rid of the pests. I don't like to add more shock to sick plants unless I have no choice. Your pot should be big enough when it is healthy to root prune. To avoid future problems you should renew the soil every couple of years and make sure the plant is fed. The soil becomes sour and compacted over time as the roots take up all of the space in the pot. The only nutrients the plants will get is what you give it. Plants can stay in pots for many years but every once in a while they will need some renovation.

The lilac does look like it has scale. Scale are hard bodied insect so they are harder to get under control. Most pesticides do not penetrate into their hard shells very well. If the plant is small and you can dunk the leaves in a bucket, you can mix 5 gallons of horticultural oil spray. 2-5 tablespoons of horticutural oil per gallon of water. It works best on crawlers just around bud break in the spring. I cover the soil in the pot with newspaper or a plastic bag tied around the pot and turn it upside down and dunk the top of the plants in a 5 gallon bucket of horticultural oil mix. It is best if you can leave it in the bucket for about 10 minutes. I use a couple of pieces of wood on either side of the stem to support the pot while it is hanging. the plastic bag is to try to keep the soil in the pot. Adult scale are harder to manage. I scrape them off by hand. Even if they are dead they stay on the plant so it is better to just scrape them off. I use a toothbrush or a cotton swab dipped in alcohol or mineral oil. It is a time consuming thing to do and you may have to do it a few time to get them all. They are harder to blast off with just water. Hose down the plants after you have scraped the scales to get them off the plant. Control ants by putting out ant bait. The same recommendations for all potted plants is to make sure they are repotted before they get root bound and they have enough root space and fresh soil to work with and feed them regularly. Most blooming plant should be fertilized before they flush in late winter or early spring. Use a low nitrogen fertilizer because you want bloom not leaves. I prefer to use slow release fertilizers in potted plants, that way it is hard to over do it.
Happy gardening in Hawaii. Gardens are where people grow.

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