i need some help please!!!!

dondelduxJuly 26, 2012

Hi Everyone,

I know this is not the right forum for this question but, I have frequented the clivia forum from time to time and nobody seems to visit that forum much at all.

I just received some seedlings from Ebay, the seller took forever and ever to send them and when he finally did, he "graciously" sent me a few extra seedligs for my trouble.

That aside, they were covered with mealybugs, obviously they had been washed off of the leaves, but there were a few on the roots and down in the crevices in the heart of the seedlings.

I have washed them off to the best of my ability with plain water but am wondering if there is something that I might soak them in for 5 or 10 minutes when they are out of the soil without damaging them.

Would just plain soapy water for about 10 minutes do the trick with out smothering them?

I have received a few other clivia seedlings and one clivia plant with mealybugs but I didn't notice them at the begining.

Those I have put my granular systemic insecticide on and am hoping that will work on them where they have been planted in the soil for the better part of 2 or 3 months. I'm thinking that mealybugs is a problem for clivia where I have "never" had them on any of my hippie bulbs...

Aside from the mealybugs my newest seedlings look fine and I just thought that if I can nip this in the bud before I plant them in soil, I would try.

Any suggestions would be helpful, the sooner the better as I guess I can keep them unplanted for a day or so...

Again, I apologize for not going to the correct forum but all you guys are much more knowledgeable and "lively" here. And I'm sure some of you must also own clivia too!!

Thanks in advance,


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kaboehm (zone 9a, TX USA)

Wow Donna those look GREAT! I would fill a shallow dish with soapy water and let them lay in it, then shake them a bit to make sure that the soapy solution gets in every nook and cranny. Dry them off well. I use cotton-tipped swabs to absorb the water out of the little places deep within the leaf junctions.

Are these more minis??

    Bookmark   July 26, 2012 at 2:19PM
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No, these will most likely be average size but hopefully hot huge, I probably shouldn't have bought them but....you know me!!

I know this is probably a stupid question but, should I rinse them off after their soapy bath or should I leave the soapy residue on them...I'm so afraid to damage them.

The leaves look nice and dark green, so the owner must have been diligent in wiping the mealybugs off of the leaves anyway as they usually leave a mark where they had been sucking....or whatever it is they do....;-)



    Bookmark   July 26, 2012 at 2:36PM
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Hi Again,

I just went on a search (which I should have done in the beginning) and it says that if you give a soap bath that you should use a soap with no perfumes or additives. I'm sure there is perfume in the dish detergent that I use.

Maybe I should get some Safer Insecticidal soap, and/or also Neem oil sprayed on is touted as a cure also. We have some Neem oil somewhere around here, but it is at least 5 or 6 years old. Does it loose it's toxicity after several years in a bottle or should I buy some new...


    Bookmark   July 26, 2012 at 3:10PM
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love_the_yard(z9A Jax FL)

I think the big problem with dish detergents is not so much any perfume as if they are antibacterial.

You may want to add some ammonia (yes, good old fashioned ammonia) in your soak solution. Ammonia is a form of nitrogen, which all plants need. By adding ammonia, you are "seeding" the nitrogen cycle in your soil, which helps plants take up food and water better.

Carol in Jacksonville

    Bookmark   July 26, 2012 at 4:51PM
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We all use an insecticide Actara (Thiamethoxam). This is a systemic insecticide - killing insects from within and works very a long time. Do not even need to soak - just sprinkle on the ground, as it were, with salt.

    Bookmark   July 26, 2012 at 6:40PM
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Thanks to All of you who took the time to answer my panic question.

This afternoon, I sent DH to the only nursery in our area which carries these sorts of things year round and he came home with an insecticidal soap spray.

We then thoroughly sprayed them outside and left them sopping with spray for 1/2 hour and then I throughly rinsed them and they are now air drying in the garage for a few days before I plant them. They will all be in the same pot.

Even though I thought I had washed them all off with water, there were still more critters running around, visible to the naked eye.

Unfortunately these varmints have now spread to several of my other 2 to 3 year old seedlings and these will all have to be sprayed tomorrow. Luckily I think the others are so newly infected that there hasn't been time for the bugs to migrate below the soil line. And luckily again, I don't have all that many of them, and they are all very small.. about 15 or so that were canoodeling with two other infected seedlings (from the same seller!!) that I wasn't aware of until now...always something isn't it...

Needless to say, this is the last time I will buy from him...in fact I may just stick to seeds!!

I also purchased about 4 months ago two other plants, one quite large and the other a seedling from a different seller and both with mealy bugs which I luckily caught immediately. They are secluded outside in the shade and I I have given them a good sprinkle of systemic insecticide containing imidacloprid and so far it seems to be working..I will give them another treatment in a few weeks. These will be my test cases and since they were already planted when I discovered the bugs and I didn't get a chance to treat the roots.

I plan to give the rest of my exposed seedlings a dose of the granular insecticide and hope for the best..

Again, thanks for your input and luckily none of these have been in any near proximity to any of my hippies..


    Bookmark   July 26, 2012 at 9:18PM
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sun_worshiper(FL 9b)

I don't know about clivia in particular, but I have had good luck controlling mealy bugs with neem sprays. It takes several sprayings, but I have had good luck using it to get rid of mealy bugs on ornamental plants in the vicinity of edibles.

    Bookmark   July 27, 2012 at 9:53AM
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Hi Angela,

Thanks for your input and the Neem oil spray is going to be my next plan of attack should my insecticidal soap fail...



    Bookmark   July 27, 2012 at 4:29PM
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Old general technique for killing bulb infestations without poisons. put them in hot water from the sink. You want the water to stay hot long enough to cook the larvae etc. [like shrimp]. Use straight hot water in a styrofoam cooler with a tight lid like you use for sodas or beer. 28cm hippeastrum bulbs take up to 2 hours to heat all the way to the center. smaller bulbs one hour. bigger bulbs pour out the water after 2 hours. refill with straight hot water & tight lid for another 2 hours. Won't cook bulbs unless you put in pot on stove or you are using tiny bulbs.. E. William Warren

    Bookmark   August 1, 2012 at 6:30PM
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Donna, these may be root mealies which may be why there are no spots on the leaves.

I spray with Bayer myself.

    Bookmark   August 12, 2012 at 9:06PM
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Interesting Josh, Bayer makes a lot of stuff. Please
name the active ingredient and its %. Do you spray on plant or soak the ground or unplant and spray roots & all? Bill

    Bookmark   August 16, 2012 at 8:39PM
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