Tiger's Jaw, Faucaria

birdsnbloomsMarch 27, 2009

Does anyone have or know about Tiger's Jaw/Faucaria?

Last November I bought a TJ on Ebay, priced, .99. I purchased other succulents from the seller, same price, and considered each a winning prize. All are healthy, good-sized succulents. And no pests!!

In January, the TJ grew little yellow flowers.

Tues night, while inspecting plants, I discovered a white substance I suspect, 'might' be mealy bug. I stress, might be. I pray it isn't.

Does anyone know if Faucaria's are prone to mealy?

I'm not saying my plants are insect-proof, but honestly, it's been a long time since finding bugs on plants. And I swear, in all the years keeping plants, I never, ever found a bug on a succulent or cactus.

I make a mix that kills and prevents mites and scale, but Mealy is one insect that, I hate to say, WINS the battle.

In the past, I've never had success ridding mealy so, more often than not, if any plant has this gross creature it goes in the trash. The last time I found mealy was 3 summers ago, on a Purple Passion/(Gynura) tropical. PP went in the garbage. I don't want other plants getting this awful, almost impossible-to-rid insect.

Now that everyone knows the history of my Tiger's Jaw, lol, here's my questions. lol

1. Is Faucaria prone to mealy

2. Is it possible I'm seeing flower remnants?

3. Aside from chemicals, is there any sure way to rid mealy, if in fact, that's what it is?

Like I said above, I make an organic spray. This is what's been done so far.

Isolated Tiger's Jaw...

Made a fresh batch of insecticide. Removed TJ from pot, tossed old soil. Wiped white substance with Rubbing Alcohol. Soaked plant and roots in soapy water. Let it air dry then applied more Rubbing Alcohol and sprayed thoroughly. Soaked the pot in soapy water.

Potted in fresh soil. Didn't water after placing in pot. Wed, watered and resprayed. Thurs, sprayed.

Today, so far nothing. Should I keep spraying or wait?

We all know how easy it is for Mealy to produce, lay eggs, or whatever the hell it is they do. One thing for sure, they enjoy playing, Hide-and-go-Seek.

If I set TG outdoors, it's cold, 43F, for an hour or so, will, if they are Mealy, die? It's not cold enough for plant to freeze, if left out a reasonable time of course. Soil isn't soaked, so that's not a problem?

Does anyone know how cold it has to be for Mealy to freeze to Death?!?

I'm Dead Serious.

Also, again, if what I saw is Mealy, and although they're hiding, how long and what temp does it have to be before they make an appearance? Thanks to all who read this short story. lol..and I'd appreciate HELP. Toni

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Mealies can certainly hide within the older dried leaf remains. Faucaria can easily handle cold weather but that won't kill mealies, they will just hide until conditions are better.

Faucaria leaves should be quite resistant to spraying so I think you should have no problem with alcohols, soaps or oils.

Mealies and other sucking pests thrive in dry conditions because underwatered plants concentrate more sugars in their sap, so well hydrated plants are important.

I think if you leave your plants outside in fresh air, sun and rain the buggers should be gone.

    Bookmark   March 27, 2009 at 3:18PM
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I second the "taking them outside" method. I have also found that it makes it much easier to blast them with a hose outside, blast those bugs away!

    Bookmark   March 27, 2009 at 3:37PM
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Even though you've isolated your Faucaria, keep checking your other plants just in case. Much easier to tend a small outbreak than a complete infestation. Beyond that, I would follow the previously given advice.

Faucaria is a favorite genus of mine. Easy to keep, interesting appearance, and faithful bloomers.

I like them so much that I gave them away as favors at my wedding last August. (I also gave away Sedums and Echeverias)

    Bookmark   March 27, 2009 at 4:38PM
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what an interesting thing to give away at a wedding!
i enjoy them as well, but, overwintering in my window in Chicago has them looking pretty weak..some dried up, and a few have broken some leaves..
Outside once it warms up, they really thrive, so c'mon Spring!!

    Bookmark   March 27, 2009 at 5:01PM
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I also love faucarias and have grown a number of species from seed. Where we live in So. California, in winter the temperature can get down in the low forties at night. I leave my faucarias outdoors all year-round and have had no losses due to the cold.

(1) No, not *prone* to getting them, but it can happen. I am wondering if a faucaria that gets mealies happens to be stressed in some way. I haven't had a lot of trouble with mealies in faucarias, just a few over a period of years. I feel that there are always going to be mealies somewhere, and all you can do is attack them when you find them. Once in a while I give up on a plant if I can't eradicate the mealies, but I don't always throw an affected plant away--only if I (or it) is badly infested and seems to be losing the battle.

After flowering, faucarias have a hard, roundish seed pod that could never be mistaken for mealies, so you probably do have mealies. In addition to using a spray and/or alcohol on a cue-tip to rout them, I like to use the tip of a toothpick to get in between leaves, at the base of leaves, and so on, to squash and remove anything white! Remove all the dead leaves you can find and search carefully to make sure there are no mealies lurking at their dried-up bases, either. You seem to have done a pretty thorough job of cleaning up your plants!

Joscience: What a lovely table of gifts! Wonderful idea!

    Bookmark   March 27, 2009 at 5:57PM
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Thanks for the responses..I've yet to set it outside. Temp at this time is 37.3 w/wind chill, feels like the teens.
After a few days in the 70s, we now have a snow advisory. Weather warnings on tv..Sheesh!
I'm sure icy temps will kill mealy, but possibly TJ too.
I don't know what to do.
Does anyone know lows TJ can endure? It's a young plant.

One other thing. Perhaps I'm in denial but could it possibly be Perlite I saw? lol. I'm serious..

Xero. Regarding your third paragraph. Are you saying Faucaria should be watered more often, or higher humidity?
Actually, the humditiy in our home has been sky-high..some days 80+%, which is one reason I thought if by chance the Faucaria had hidden mealy eggs, hatched..
Dry air and wet soil seems to waken insects, you know? But I swear, in winter my succulents get just enough water so they don't shrivel. Now that days are longer, and 'had' couple wks of direct sun, they were watered more. But are not in prolonged wet soil.
Xero, thanks for the chuckle..fresh air and sun..You mean ice and clouds..lol..

Wase, which direction does your window face?

Jo, first, Belated Congratulations! And why was I not invited to your wedding? lol, j/k. What a wonderful idea, giving plants. I love it!
Every so often, (on another forum) a newbie joins GW for the sole purpose of asking which plants to use/give away at their wedding/reception. If ever someone asks again, I'm going to direct them to your photo.
You and your, now wife, chose wonderful selections. Much hardier than tropicals. And can live for years.
Jo, is the brown pot (pic 1), a container you made? Very nice.

Oh you guys can bet my plants were inspected and will continue being..Mealy is the worse!
So far, the Faucaria hasn't any white goo..Does anyone know how long it takes Mealy to reappear? In other words, if there is Mealy, after cleaning/repotting/spraying, does it take days, weeks, month before seeing them? The white goo?

Biwako. The problem, (reason I discard.) We live in IL. I have 300+ plants..If one plant gets Mealy, because there's 'x' amount of room to deal with, I worry others will get catch those disgusting creatures. I don't enjoy tossing a plant..it's heart-breaking. If a plant had, say mites, I could control the situation, but not Mealy.
Other than summer, plants are enclosed, indoors, which in IL mean about 7 months per year! Any other insect isn't much of a problem, but those @%@#% mealy can't be beat!

Another problem, even though the room is cool, would placing Faucaria outdoors, in 30-40F temps, suddenly, kill it?
Biwako, since your plants are outdoors year round, they adapt to the temps..similar to placing a plant that's been indoors all winter, then set in sun..it'd sunburn. Know what I mean?
Do you think my Faucaria is stressed? I'm still in denial. If you don't think it's the flower, maybe it's Perlite..lol..Thank you all, Toni

    Bookmark   March 28, 2009 at 2:18PM
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Hi Hope;

My window faces directly south..
All my other plants thrive here, at least most of them do..
I have some dried up leaves that I need to pull; plus, do you let these guys dry out completely in the winter inside?
I water them about once every 6 or 7 weeks inside in chicago..although I just watered everyone very well, hoping for some spring weather, but, after a warm week or so, its going to snow 6 inches here today, so so much for spring!

    Bookmark   March 28, 2009 at 3:37PM
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My Faucaria have seen upper 20's F and I have not noticed an damage. Even if some of the leaves get frost-bite, they will be replaced with new growth.

    Bookmark   March 28, 2009 at 6:12PM
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Wase, think our weather better study the calendar..lol
Can you believe it? It was so nice a week back..Beautiful. Sunny and warm. Outdoor plants have sprouted.
Now, w/the snow coming, who knows what'll happen. sigh.

In winter, when succulents are dry, very dry, they get a hearty drink, not sips, but only watered when their soil is totally dry.

If some of your leaves are dry, please don't pull them, remove with scissors. Ouch. lol
Watering depends on soil, room temp and pot material. Clay dries out much faster than plastic.
Soil-less mixes and warm temps dry faster. Small containers dry out much faster than large, which is one reason I prefer small containers.

Did the leaves recently brown? If so, it's possible, since sun rays are stronger you need to water more. Not so soil stays sopping wet. Water thoroughly then let dry before adding more.
Is it the tips drying or the entire plant? Toni

    Bookmark   March 28, 2009 at 6:17PM
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