Dead Bugs? YAY

lucky123April 10, 2014

Who cares what those bugs are when the only relevant question is: How can I make them nasty little critters Dead (and I think I did)
I sprayed the plants twice now with homemade, regulation, standard strength bug spray and the bugs have changed color. They were black and now they are pale brown. They never moved much so color may be a good indication of their health or lack thereof :)
And they are getting very hard to find. I found a few bleached specimens trapped in hairs.
You know, I use to have fish in tanks. A friend of mine kept asking me when I was going to stop torturing those poor fish. I got rid of the fish and started collecting houseplants. Lately, after holding plants down in hot water, soaking in loathsome tonics, both homemade and commercial brews, hauling them in and out of house to spray, repot, etc, turning them every which way to inspect leaves for bugs, and realizing that the cause of their affliction is my insistence on keeping tender tropical foliage where temperatures today were 80+F with single digit humidity, the water PH is somewhere around 9, the winters are cold. I am starting to wonder when I am going to stop torturing these poor plants.

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Sadly, it is true that we cannot always grow the plants we love. Violets grow great for me as do most species of orchids. However, I would love to grow Draculas (cool climate, high humidity orchids) but, unfortunately, I don't have cloud forest, high-altitude conditions here in Southern Ohio.

It sounds like you licked your bugs. Maybe take a leaf from that poor plant and start a fresh plant.


    Bookmark   April 10, 2014 at 11:50PM
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Hi Lucky
The process you have been through has not been much fun. However, 80 degree temps are probably ok for AVs, and you
can always place them in a another saucer that has water for humidity. It is probably the bug patrol that has you discouraged. I can relate. However, you have been so enthusiastic, it seems that you make a good AV parent! Others will give you more accurate scientific advice. I just
wanted to give you an encouraging word, since, you devoted so much attention to your plants and are trying to correct the problems. Some people use their old fish tanks to raise violets, creating a micro climate and sterile environment. A thought. Joanne

    Bookmark   April 10, 2014 at 11:56PM
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Thank you all for the hand holding and loaning me the hankies, through this, which, for me, has been a most difficult time. (wipes a tear.or two)
I think there are some cultural problems. I saw the same bubbling leaf veins on a web site that was related to phosphorus deficiency. (PH? Micronutlrient lock out?)
There is more going on than bugs I think.
I have always firmly believed that healthy plants resist pests so now I start correcting the cultural problems.
Linda? Abandon that poor plant after all we have been through together? I plan to nurse it tenderly,( right after I take leaf to get a new healthy specimen started)

This post was edited by lucky123 on Fri, Apr 11, 14 at 0:12

    Bookmark   April 11, 2014 at 12:10AM
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Insects do tend to attack plants which are under stress. Diseases are also harder to resist for a compromised plant.

There was a study years ago that found that stressed plants gave out some type of 'signal' that attracted insects. I never found a follow-up study but I thought this was very interesting.

Phosphorous deficiency is usually associated with acidic soils. I would do a pH test.

I agree with Joanne. Hang in there. You sound like a good plant parent!

I did not imply that you throw out your baby!!! (!!!)


    Bookmark   April 11, 2014 at 1:50AM
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HI Linda, Lucky,
Am guessing that it may have been Joyce Stork who did the study and wrote the report you refer to.

    Bookmark   April 11, 2014 at 2:46AM
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Most cultural problems are hard to identify, easy to correct. Light, humidity, temperature, moisture, soil composition are all under my control
However PH is a very complex subject. In a fish tank PH is water. In potted plants, it is soil composition and water reacting together.
I have good water for humans. The PH hovers around 8.5 +/-. The dissolved particulates are under 500 ppm and all the particulates are good minerals for humans.
However, that water is very bad for any surface (plumbing, coolers, dog water bowls, coffee pots). Salt build up is a serious problem.
Barbara Pershing's wrote an article about micronutrients and PH, entitled "But My Trays were Clean;" Acidifying/filtering her water dropped her PH, cleaned up the salts but created micro-nutrient lock out.
With Ms Pershing's cautionary tale in mind, I don't want to start messing with PH just to clean up salts or maybe I do.
A PH below 5.5 was her problem. What problem is water PH over 7.5?
Does the decomposition of peat based soils conteract the 8.5+ PH of my water creating a balance like packing a fish tank filter with peat moss maintains a PH within a certain range, even when the water is over 8.5 initially?
I am still researching.
I will post whatever I find out about PH in the future. I am still in the midst of considerations.

This post was edited by lucky123 on Fri, Apr 11, 14 at 15:26

    Bookmark   April 11, 2014 at 2:03PM
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