White fuzzy bugs on my beautiful hanging plant

ksoxgrl(6)June 21, 2010

Ugh! I was wondering why what once was a beautiful hanging wave petunia, licorice, and mini petunia plant was looking wilty. I looked closely and there are literally hundreds of white fuzzy bugs all over it and sucking the life out of it. What are they and what is the best way to hopefully save this plant? Thanks in advance for your help!

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What you have are wooly aphids.
What I use on aphids is dish soap and mouthwash in a spray bottle. The mouthwash that contains alcohol is supposed to be best but I have used others with success.

Method---- Put 3 tablespoons of mouthwash in a pint spray bottle and add 2 or 3 drops of dish soap. Don't add too much dish soap because detergent can burn the leaves if used in excess. If you don't want to use dish soap you can use insecticidal soap. Then fill the bottle with cold water. Spray in the shade or in early morning or early evening. If you spray in the evening make sure the plant has time to dry before nightfall. Repeat every couple of days or until they are all gone.

    Bookmark   June 21, 2010 at 11:33PM
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Thanks oilpainter! I just made the solution and sprayed it this morning before leaving for work. Do you think I did something wrong to cause these?

    Bookmark   June 22, 2010 at 6:47AM
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No Nothing you did caused it. Aphids will find a host to feed on and your plants just happened to be in their path.

    Bookmark   June 22, 2010 at 9:03AM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

Are they wooly aphids or mealybugs?

    Bookmark   June 22, 2010 at 11:26AM
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rhizo has a point--Your description could fit them both. If the spray doesn't work try neem or horticultural oil on them

    Bookmark   June 22, 2010 at 1:45PM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

perhaps she did do something wrong ...

next year.. check all stock you are purchasing ... at the store.. for any sign of infestation ...

even just a couple .. on any plant in that store.. can be a bazillion of them in just a few weeks ...

i have walked out of many stores that have bugs in their plants .... sometimes its just not worth the bargain ....

prevention.. is ALWAYS easier than the cure


    Bookmark   June 22, 2010 at 2:03PM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

You got that right, Ken!

    Bookmark   June 22, 2010 at 11:17PM
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I agree with Ken. I have bought beautiful large hanging mini petunia baskets from the same place several years, but this is the first year I noticed they just did not take off and thrive as my porch is usually the perfect mix of moisture/sun and with regular feeding they just take off and stay happy! I will never again walk out of the nursery without checking because they are rather pricey, so it isn't just the "bargain" baskets we need to check. Unfortunately also, I had to go out of town shortly after bringing them home and my neighbor who watered for me now says she saw them but didn't think to say anything to me. I called the nursery to confirm my memory that dish soap and water was still a good treatment, but had not heard the mouthwash ingredient. Mine are pretty sick puppies right now, but after treating 2 days in a row, I may need to add the mouthwash because the little suckers seems to be just hanging on. Thanks for the info everyone!

    Bookmark   July 18, 2011 at 9:36PM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

ya know.. the simplest cure.. would just be to throw them away.. and be done with them ...

the resultant reduction in your blood pressure.. would surely outweigh the rest ...

even if you get rid of the bugs... its a tough time of year for a plant to go into full recovery and thrive with vigor ...

my best guess.. in my experience.. even if you kill every bug today on a severely stressed plant .. you will be lucky to have a nice looking plant by mid to late september ...

maybe its time to divest ... dump it all out.. wash out the pot with 10% bleach ... and set it aside .... and when the fall plants come in.. pansies.. or mums .. fill it back up ... do NOT save the potting media.. as many such bugs are known to hide or lay eggs in the media ...


    Bookmark   July 19, 2011 at 10:52AM
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mxk3(Zone 6 SE MI)

Much as I almost hate to admit I agree with Ken... (LOL!)

Probably should just ditch it. Happened to me, too this year. Bought a datura from a nursery I've been frequenting for years without incident, and ended up bring home some sort of bug - saw masses of eggs on underside of large leaves a couple weeks after I planted it, then sure enough the plant started to get eaten. I thought about spraying it but then figured I didn't want the hassle, plus I was worried about infesting the rest of my yard with the beasts, so got the Hefty bags out, upside down double bagged and hauled off to the street for pick up. Just not worth the headache (and probable heartache) if some of my beloveds would have gotten infested, too.

Yea, it stinks to be out the $$$ but it happens.

    Bookmark   July 19, 2011 at 6:48PM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

the part that took me years to figure out.. was throwing good money at bad money ....

exactly how much more money[which is also time] are you willing to spend on the problem..

i realize here.. you are fooling with household products.. but dont start thinking about going to buy a $10 bottle of something or another.. to take it up a notch.. lol

thats right up there with doubling down on 12 in blackjack .. lol ...

    Bookmark   July 19, 2011 at 6:59PM
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true and that is the conclusion I came to since I didn't have anything already in the house, not worth the gasoline, time, effort or money...don't play blackjack, but know when to hold 'em and when to fold 'em lol !


    Bookmark   July 20, 2011 at 9:42AM
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