Update: Spider mites and aloe flowers

In a not at all surprising turn of events, your boye is faced with spider mites yet again. This year, I’ve been vigilant, though, so I’m hoping I’ll have the situation under control. Basically, I’ve been looking out for any sign of the critters, and making sure to elevate my plants with the lowest risk of infection onto plant stands and lowering the ones that have higher risk onto the floor. So basically, I spotted a few spider mites on the bottom leaves of my Ficus elastica about 4 days ago, and after bringing my monstera down to the window sill for some sun, that it had a spider mite on it. The fact that there was only one suggests that it was just recently transmitted from my Ficus, which is definitely comforting, since I couldn’t find any more on the plant. Spider mites have always been a nightmare to fight. They’re like tiny, almost invisible targets that you need to make sure you spray. Needless to say, I went on a killing spree.

The killing spree- Systematic killing with the aim of eradication

The killing spree (or spray, if you’ll humour me) consists of 2 steps, repeated 3 times. I’ve completed 1 of three repetitions so far. The first step was spraying my plants with a mixture of 1 part hydrogen peroxide and 4 parts water. This killed existing spider mites and nymphs but not the eggs. The second step involved spraying the plants with an oil-based pesticide the day after the peroxide mix, which will suffocate newly hatched spider mites. The second repetition needs to occur 4 days after the initial oil application. This gives eggs a chance to hatch and die, while also not allowing any nymphs that weren’t killed and any nymphs that hatched on the night between the peroxide spray and the oil spray to reach reproductive maturity. Usually the timing wouldn’t matter this much, but unfortunately, the peroxide mixture breaks the oil barrier, which allows eggs to hatch. This is why there should be four days between sprayings and the oil spray needs to go after the peroxide spray.

You can see an oily sheen to the leaves because they’ve been sprayed with neem oil. The little white dots towards the edges of the leaves are a natural feature of the plant’s growth, so I’m not too worried about those.

Again, there’s an oily sheen to the leaves because they’ve been sprayed with oil. I’m kind of enjoying how shiny all the leaves look now.

Aloe Flowers

It’s not all bad news, though. Some of you may know that I’ve moved my succulents outdoors because they can withstand the sun and there isn’t much point in keeping them indoors. Recently, my Aloe plants have been putting off flower spikes. My Aloe sunshine is more advanced in its bud production, which is to be expected, since it also had a spike in the late winter which got snapped by the wind, so it’s compensating for that one. The Aloe barbadensis is close on its heels with a huge flower spike.

Aloe sunshine flower
The Aloe sunshine. Honestly I’m kind of more taken with the foliage than the flowers. My cat Arrow makes an appearance, since he loves accompanying me on my plant rounds whenever I go outside.

A flower spike is also forming on the Aloe barbadensis. Arrow makes another appearance here.

Published by plantboye

Tech illiterate and pretending to be proud of it.

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