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Spider Mites on Pineapple Sage indoors

A friend of mine gave me a beautiful, healthy pineapple sage plant that she had grown from cuttings. Within a few weeks of its arrival in my old farmhouse, some of the leaves blackened around the edges and little webs appeared between the stems and some of the leaves. I think it was spider mites. To my embarrassment, I lost the whole plant. She's given me another beautiful pineapple sage, and the process has begun again within a week of me taking it home. All of my other houseplants are fine.

My first question is where are the spider mites coming from? Do they just live in houses?

More importantly, what can I do? We're thinking of taking it outside and hosing it down to remove the mites and then planting it under row cover in our garden until June when the weather will be warmer. We could also put some ventilated plastic over it to keep things nice and warm. What do you think?

We've also read about a seaweed spray that can help with mites. I'd love to hear about anyone's experience with that.

I'd really love to have some success after the last failure and not have to confess to my friend that I've killed another one of her beautiful gifts!

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Re: Spider Mites on Pineapple Sage indoors

Welcome to the forum!

I don't want to discourage you, but some plants grown indoors, in my experience, have been spider mite magnets, and sage was one of them. I have tried some organic sprays, which sort of get rid of them, but they show up again! There were several herbs that I had this problem with, and finally gave up. Yet they never showed up on them outside!

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Re: Spider Mites on Pineapple Sage indoors

I have a hard time with indoor pests like mites, scales, and whiteflies at the end of winter/early spring. And I also nearly lost overwintered Pineapple Sage one year to red spider mites.

In my case, it was close to when I could put it outside -- Pineapple Sage can handle temps in 30's as long as it's above freezing/there is no frost to kill the leaves -- I placed the pot outside nestled in earliest blooming weeds -- in my garden, that would be chickweed, purple dead nettle, bitter cress, speedwell, etc. (if you have any resident Garden Patrol, that would be where they will activate first.)

Luckily, between the cold temps slowing down the mites and predators moving in and eliminating or at least controlling the red spider mites, the sage was able to recover.
Learning never ends because we can share what we've learned. And in sharing our collective experiences, we gain deeper understanding of what we learned.

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Re: Spider Mites on Pineapple Sage indoors

Thank you, pepperhead and applestar. It's relief to hear that it's not just me! It sounds as if I can keep it for the summer, but I'll have to give up on overwintering it. And I'll tell my friend that I don't have a happy home for pineapple sage :)

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