Jasmine: Maid of Orleans

birdsnbloomsMarch 24, 2009

Anyone have a MOO's?

My Maid is several years old. She flowers 10 months out of the year, had, healthy green leaves until this past week when its leaves started yellowing.

The first thing I did was check for insects. None.

She hasn't been fertilized, ST'd or ES'd all winter. Nor repotted. Could this be the problem?

She was in bud and bloom around the time leaves started yellowing.

Could flowers be zapping energy from foliage?

It's not a mineral defiency. None that I've ever seen anyway. Unless it's a nitrogen defiency??

Leaves went from deep green to yellow..No splotches. Some feel dry. No dew or stickiness.

I'd really like to keep my Maid. Anyone have ideas?

PS. It gets humidity and adequate light. Every so often it's showered, (plant is in the bathroom) and daily misting. Toni

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jeelli(5/6 CT)

My MOO does the same thing from time to time- it's 4 y/o.
Belle of India too- just got that a month or so ago. Pale yellow leaves, but it's flowering. They both get Epsom, so I'd love to hear the answer/ any suggestions.
As an aside- I just re-discovered spider mites on one of my other Jasmine plants. One of the ones I didn't bother to spray. Thank goodness today is nice-ish, cause everyone needs a spray when I get home. Just more work... :(

    Bookmark   March 25, 2009 at 10:30AM
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Jeelli, do you think it's common MOO's do this after 4 years? This happened to a previous Moo too..lol.
Im thinking of unpotting, tossing old soil and adding new..I should have repotted sooner.
I wonder if Jasmines like acidic soil. If they do, then fresh soil is important cause old turns alkaline. I hope someone has an answer.
BTW, sorry about your mites..those suckers! Spray ASAP. Yes it's work, (sigh) but worth saving. Toni

    Bookmark   March 25, 2009 at 10:50AM
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Thanks for asking this question. The same exact thing happened to mine last year. I loved that plant. I couldn't even imagine what was wrong. It happend fast and suddenly.
It's dead now..:-(
Great question.
Hope everyone is well!

    Bookmark   March 25, 2009 at 7:12PM
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I've had this happen and it could be a couple of things.

First, MOO is very fast growing when it's happy, and even when it's not putting out lots of new growth it's still growing roots. Eventually the root ball fills up the container and it's not getting as much micro nutrients from the soil and it's drying out much faster. At this point, you either need a larger pot and fresh soil mix, or you need to divide and/or root prune the plant. Four years in the same pot is just to long for this one, I'd say one to two years is best.

Second, even in the best of circumstances, winter indoors in Northern latitudes is hard on MOO, and she tends to sulk. The humidity indoors in a centrally heated home is just not going to match a June day with the windows open. And air movement, that secret ingredient to happy plants, is often neglected. Spider mites can hide under leaves and stems, and you won't feel stickiness or dew; but if you wash off the underside of the leaves when the plant is showered (and I mean really hose 'em down and rub the leaf axils to wash off those pesky &^%&^%!) I don't think it's just mites. So I think yellowing leaves is a sign of general stress at this time of year.

Finally, now that the days are getting longer and the temps are warming up in sunny windows, the plant needs more water than we're used to giving it during the dark days of winter. Basically, watering needs to match the amount of light and heat it's getting, so that you're avoiding both dry roots and a cold, wet, soggy rootball.

Of course, it could also be that MOO just looses steam after a couple of years and needs to be restarted from cuttings, but I have seen a couple of very old specimens that seemed to be doing just fine.

FWIW, I've never been able to keep a MOO alive for more than a couple of years either, but I keep hoping!


    Bookmark   March 26, 2009 at 10:14AM
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jeelli(5/6 CT)

Now that I've sprayed ALL of my babies (Murphy's Oil, Neem Oil AND FE!) I think I'll go home and repot. I have a MOO from Walmart, and it's not having this problem- in fact, I potted it down after the summer b/c I felt it was over potted to begin with and it was floundering. My 4yo has been in the same pot for maybe 2 years or so, and the baby is in a tiny 3" clay pot, so maybe it's time.
I also need to figure out what the heck is wrong with my humidifier- it stopped working a month ago... kept shutting itself off, and I had cleaned it...

    Bookmark   March 26, 2009 at 10:33AM
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Mike, I didn't know you had a MOO..how long have you been growing plants?

Jim, seems you know a LOT about MOO's or is it Jasmines in general?
When you say they're fast-growing, how fast do you mean? I agree with you, considering my Moo started out in a 4" pot. I purchased two, considered keeping separate, in different rooms, as an experiment, but they looked better planted together, compact.
Over the years my MOO's were repotted. When plants are repotted, they're planted in containers 1-2 sizes up, and only if needed.
Mm MOO's tallest stem is 33", (measured.) LOL. Last week it got trimmed, thought it help.
Besides adding fresh soil, I'm thinking of pruning, big time. What do you think? Its last trimming job looks like a bad hair cut. lol.

Jim, I agree about 'Natural Gas' and its effects on plants. Our house is set up, well, rather odd. The back plant room, (alleged 3rd bedroom) and bathroom, (neigboring the back room) and kitchen are unheated. The DR and LR, off the kitchen have vents..front plant room, off the LR, have an unworking vent. We got screwed when buying this place.

Upstairs, where MOO lives: there's an unheated hallway, two bedrooms, 'on either side of hallway,' BR's have vents, but they're never hot, in fact, barely warm. At the end of the hallway is the bathroom. Vent doesn't work, so the bathroom is semi-unheated. MOO lives in the bathroom. Temp are betweem 64-67F, a guess. Huge picture window faces west. Moo lives in this window.
There are 4 ppl living here, we shower daily. So, the bathroom is fairly humid. In the bedroom is a small humidifer, kept on at night. When I shower, Moo and other tropicals join. lol. Moo gets showered 1-2 times per wk..(not soil, only foliage.)
Tropicals are misted daily. On warmer days, 60F+, the window is opened, so plants get a nice, fresh breeze. (Not cold air.)
Moo is placed outdoors, weather permitting, spring, summer and part of autumn.

Jim, since you have a Moo, you're aware they're year-round bloomers.
Have you noticed, when your Moo blooms, some foliage yellows, hardens and drops? Or is it my MOO? Am I not supplying enough fertilizer? I admit, I get lazy at times. lol. I realize Moo needs fresh soil, but what about fertilizer?
Which fert is needed? Flowering, All Purpose, balanced? What about micro-nutrients? Minerals? Do MOO's need additional Iron? Though I doubt my MOO has Chlorosis.
What about pH? Acidic, neutral or alk? BTW, I Googled Moos but there's very little info. Even browsed plant books, found nothing more than basic care.

Jim, I mix large batches of soils and soil-less mediums. What type of soil does Moo need? Acidic, etc, back to that again..lol

Watering: When plants are watered, they get a hardy drink. Enough, water seeps out of drainage holes. Water doesn't sit in pot, and I firmly believe soil needs to dry between drinks. In other words, plants are not overwatered.

After reading your first paragraph, this is what I'm going to do..Remove Moo from its pot. Discard old soil. Check roots for size. If rootbound, they'll go in a larger container. I fear root pruning..lol.

I'll recheck for mites, do the white-paper test. But Jim, I doubt my Moo has insects..Still, one never knows for sure unless inspecting is done, which, btw, I frequently do, (on all plants.)

You said you've seen old specimens that are fine..Were they in pots? in someone's home? conservatory? Do you know their age? What size containers? Heights?

Some potted plants die after 'x' years. For instance, one plant book stated, potted Citrus die at 10 yrs old. I don't know if I believe this, but the author may have a point for some types.

I really want to save my MOO. I don't have other jasmines. Forget Night Blooming! Cannot grow them if my life depended on it, and they're truly beautiful.

So, if anyone knows MOO's pH, this information would help..I'd like to know before repotting MOO.
Jim, thanks so much, Toni

    Bookmark   March 26, 2009 at 3:20PM
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I have a stupid MOO TOO, lol! The damn thing drops its leaves during winter if you don't give it supplemental lighting and warm temperatures. I find that mine likes to be consistently moist, but not sitting in water. If mine sits in water the flower buds turn purple and drop off.

The plant book I have says that they like a more acid ph, and say that they get iron chlorosis like gardenias do. I moved my moo into brighter light and gave it a little algoflash and some cheleated iron and it is starting to tentatively bloom. The low light really makes them hate life, I think! Even when I repotted mine last summer, it didn't seem to do much better. I'm going to regularly fertilize it with algoflash this summer and see if that helps with blooming and also the sickly yellow leaves it seems to get. Also, adding epsom salts with a complete fertilizer makes mine happier too.

I find that they are easy to start from cuttings (that had bloomed). I have one that seems to be really green! It was soaking in water too, and is in a tiny plant cell. It hasn't grown much but so far it looks healthier than the mother plant.

I think it's just a fiendish plot to drive us all CRAZY! ;D

    Bookmark   March 26, 2009 at 4:16PM
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Are you kidding toni??
How long have I been growing plants?lol
The question you should be asking is..How long have I been killing plants? Over 20 years!

I got a MOO from an Asian friend who had a HUGE MOO and a Jasmine Duke that was about 3 feet tall...If you want to know how they keep theirs healthy, maybe I should seek her out again, ask her, then come on here and share her secret. But they never have an answer. They just say" I don't know". She is not the only one that has these. I know many Asian friends here in Lowell who own them, and they grow theirs in outside dirt...Of all things!

It all started when I begged my friends mother for one of her MOO'S. She graciously gave me one in the spring of 2007. and it grew well all that summer. The flowers come and go very fast though, but smell heavenly! Then when I brought it indoors and put that in FULL sun at my work windows, it just yellowed up,then the leaves semed to have rotted besides, dropped off with withering stems, and then died faster than any gardenia I ever owned. I thought denias were hard to care for...I thought maybe the FULL sun killed it.Who knows.

Merciepoo, try growing one of these..lololol

I have another friend that kepted hers under a tree all last summer, and that thing was always loaded with flowers.
It was at least 2-3 feet tall also in a huge pot. I felt Not even in full sun! The soil that I checked it was in, as I always do to other peoples plants, was black and rich. It was pure compost she used! I don't get it. I guess they were use to growing those in their native country...or luck is on their side.

I have also never had an Asian friend that has not failed at making plumies to bloom either. They say, " NO SPECIAL SECRET", I say "whatever". I think you either have it or you don't, that's it...:-(
Sot of like this..
Some people can work out EVERYDAY as I, and never put an ounce of muscle on, and yet others hardly do, and get in shape pretty fast.Grow big and strong with very little effort. I think our plants are much the same..lol

At least I still have my Jasmine Duke thatshe gave me at the same time. It is bloomong all over the place right now. I think I asked about that one, somewhere on the forums last summer. Maybe I will take a pic and post....
I find it does awsome when I keep the soil in the pot warmer all winter. Maybe the roots to these type of plants need to be very warm even during the winter months?
One of my friends did have a heating matt under hers.Hummm

    Bookmark   March 26, 2009 at 11:27PM
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Mercipoo, you are a RIOT! No matter what mood I'm in, (not in the best today,) you make me laugh..Thanks! :)

So, acidic it is. My poor Moo is awaiging surgery on the LR floor.
Normally, after repotting, plants do not get fertilized, but here's what's going to happen. 1. fresh (acidic) soil. 2. ES's. 3. ST. 4. 1/4 teas Vinager. 5. half-strength fertilizer. The problem is I don't know which fert to go with. I have fert for acidic plants, but don't know if it's TOO acidic..hmm.
I dread pruning completely..it's gotten big and new growth is forming where old dropped. Perhaps I'll avoid the
Thanks for checking.

Mike, I had no idea you've had plants so long..When you first joined GW, for some reason, I thought you recently started growing plants..Maybe citrus???
When you posted pics they looked professional, which is what was confusing..Especially your citrus. They're beautiful.

Like your friend, my MOO will be potted in rich soil..no soil-less mix for that girl.
How do her plants do potted in genuine soil?
I also have to work on my Stephanotis..The Steph is doing fine, but no blooms..it's leaves are shiny green, lush, but it's never once bloomed..boohoo..Steph flowers are so fragrant.

You want blooming Plummies? Come spring, plant in the ground..
A few years ago a a man in HI shipped Plumes at 1.98 each. I stocked up, planted in the ground. The only problem is they are extremely cold-sensitive. A little cold and goodbye which is how I lost mine..But if you lift before mid-Sept they should do okay..

    Bookmark   March 27, 2009 at 7:01PM
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When I first came here, I didn't just happen to fall upon this site. Neither did I come here, because I had just started growing plants and wanted to know. Nor did I come here as a pro.

I came here because, I was a mass muderer of my plants,and needed some serious help after all those years!! lol.

I was deperate to make it right! So, I searched and search, and it so happens that I fell amoungst the nicest bunch of people including "you", on the best site I have been to so far.....:-)
After 20 years of failing most of my plants, I can say I have had a couple of years of saving most of my plants!!

Thanks so much for all you have done and you do, everyone!
Thanks for being interested in my sucess, and my plants too..:-)

    Bookmark   March 28, 2009 at 4:58PM
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Im a lazy gardener, so please understand IÂm pointing this out only for other lazy gardeners.

Sometimes they just do that, and they still survive. I think mine do it more as they age becuase they want bigger pots, but I just can't let them get any bigger.

Have had M of Os for yearsÂone I kept so long I got tired of having to break branches to fit it through doorsÂand I would have given them up for dead countless times if I didnÂt know better. For me, they turn yellow, defoliate completely (looking truly dead), and then bloom and regrow over and over all winter long, only looking spectacular when I can get them outside for summer.

I know. That means they make a huge mess indoors and are not attractive. They get spidermites, even. I'm amazed at those of you who apparently have gorgeous plants indoors. But I put up with it because I'm lazy and I know they will do their Lazarus act, and there is nothing in the world quite like smelling that Scent-of-the-Tropical-Gods while a blizzard rages outside. In fact, thereÂs just nothing quite like that scent.

So for people like me, IÂm just sayinÂ.

    Bookmark   March 29, 2009 at 1:16PM
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Hey Mike...All I know is the time you posted pics, your plants looked like Show Plants. Beautiful!
I assumed you recently started growing because of your questions. Know what I mean? After seeing your plants, I thought, this guy is not a novice. Actually, I wish you would do more posting. lol.
Well, thanks for the compliment, (blush,) lol, and if you're serious, I'm glad I helped. It's sad though, when people care for 'x' plant in different ways, another can't accept the fact there's more than one way to do it. There isn't any one way if you know what I mean.
Anyway Mike, I'm glad you're here with us. You seem like a very nice person. Asking questions is one way of learning, actually doing it, is another way.
How are you feeling? Better I hope...

Mare, I love your comparison between Lazarus and MOO's. lol
Lazy Gardener, huh? You can't be too lazy if you have a Moo large enough to be hauled with a crane. lol.

Mites and other insects are a constant Winter battle, especially with some plants. I too have gotten lazy. You see, Mare, I mix an organic insecticide. Normally, every two wks during winter I walk around the house, spraying each plant w/this non-toxic spray. This winter, I grew lax, stopped spraying. And look what happened to Moo. lol. I still can't find bugs though. Toni

    Bookmark   March 29, 2009 at 4:20PM
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My MOO is green, with a few pal-ish yellow leaves; however I do not have any buds. It is currently growing up a trellis that gets afternoon sun (San Antonio, TX). Is any reason it is not producing buds? Also, do MOO need more acid soil? Any help would be great. Daniel

    Bookmark   March 29, 2009 at 5:51PM
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Oh, Toni, will you pleeeease share your organic insecticide recipe?? (I'm sorry if you already have somewhere and I missed it.) P.S."Crane MOO"...LOL...!

    Bookmark   March 29, 2009 at 6:33PM
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Daniel, Mersipoo said soil needs higher numbers. Before she replied, I researched Moo's..the only site I found said Moo soil should be, pH 6.4, which is slightly acidic.
If you have a pH guage or strips, test the soil.

Mare, sorry, been working on plants, and browsing for some too. lol
The problem is when I make up a batch, I no longer measure. If a little more or less of this or that is added, nothing will harm plants, pets, people.

Insecticide..Especially against Mites:

Mister, 15-20oz
Room temp water, 3/4 filled
2-4 drops dish soap..I don't use Dawn.
1/4-1/2 teas..Finely chopped garlic or Garlic pill 'gel'.
1/4-1/2 teas...Lemon, lime or grapefruit juice and rind.
1/8-1/4 teas...Cayenne Pepper.

Let water sit overnight. Next day, add all ingredients. Add a little more warm water, shake vigorously. Spray plants thoroughy. If you spray every 2-3 wks, your plants should be insect-free.

Cayenne Pepper, Rind and Garlic can be a problem clogging holes in most sprayers. I've found using citrus juice, (not orange) and Garlic Pill gel works better.

I have a pump=mister with larger holes..Because holes are bigger, there's less chance of clogging.
I haven't tried this yet..1/4 teas of Cayenne pepper and one cup of water..Boil. let cool. Instead of adding pepper directly in mister, add the cooled pepper brew. Shake.

Top ingredients plus 1 capful of Fish Emulsion. This recepie must be discarded after use. FE, like any other fertilizer spoil. Apply a second application 1 wk later.
In summer my plants go outdoors..Before bringing them in, each are sprayed with the above concoction. FE is actually an organic fertlilzer. By spraying, it not only prevents insects, but works as a last foliar feeding. (I stop fertlizing in autumn.)

Yellow STicky Traps..they're fantastic! They're usually purchased, but if you have Tanglefoot Glue and yellow paper/cardboard, it will do the job..Super-glue might work as a substitute. Yellow attracts insects, so paper has to be yellow.
Yellow paper or thin cardboard, cut into 4x4" sections. Paste on glue.
They sell holders. Paper fits inside the top clips.
If you make your own traps, and don't have holders, stick paper between leaves/stems.

I have one other recepie, for drastic infestation, but it's risky. It involves cigarette butts, so, it's probably best I pass it up.
I've used this recepie a few times in the last 20 years, and never more than once in a year's time.
But honestly, IMO, it's still safer than using chemicals.

Mare, if you spray using the top recepie, I'd 'almost' bet you'd never see mites again. :) Good luck...Toni

    Bookmark   March 30, 2009 at 1:58AM
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Wow--thanks, Toni! Do you get an odor from the garlic?

    Bookmark   April 1, 2009 at 7:00PM
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Mare, there's quite a few garlic varieites. I found, stronger-smelling garlic works better..Mites don't like the smell.
I usually leave 1-2 cloves in water, overnight.. Anyway, if there's any odor it doesn't last long. Same with Fish Emulsion. Besides, I'd rather deal w/a smell 1-2 days, than insects. Toni

    Bookmark   April 2, 2009 at 8:10PM
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Hi Everybody,

I'm just getting interested in these beauties. I have a Stephanotis coming this week, and thinking on a Jasmine. Presently, I have lots of hoyas.

Toni, thank you so much for the organic insecticide recipe. I have chemical sensitivities and appreciate any and all non-chemical ways of handling problems.

There has been a lot of discussion about the ph and acidity of the soil. Has anyone considered their water may be too akaline/hard and hence, the soil too akaline? A little vinegar in your water can adjust your acidity to what it needs to be, around 6-ish.You might start with a tsp to half a tsp. You'll have to test to see how much vinegar you need. Since I haven't had jasmine, I don't know if this will help. Just a thought.


    Bookmark   June 30, 2009 at 10:13AM
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Please let us know how the stephanotis does...I have never been able to grow one through a winter. I can grow just about anything, but that plant, God I am hopeless..

The vinegar in water is a great point, I actually do this, and my plants are basking in greenery. Since my water is at a PH of 7.5-8.5,it definately makes a HUGE difference.

And, toni, once again, thanks for that organic pesticide! It got my plants through the winter almost unscathed!

    Bookmark   July 3, 2009 at 8:19AM
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Sande..I hope it works. Like you, I cannot tolerate chemicals, can't stand walking down aisles at Home Depot that are stocked with weed killers, insecticides, etc..I hold my breath..lol
Actually, I add vinager every so often, but should do so more..Epsom Salts too. Gardenias, Hibiscus and some ferns need these ingredients. But thanks for mentioning it.

Mike, so far my Steph is doing fine, but still, no flowers..boo hoo..lol..I'm thinking it needs a lot more fertilizer..I can't recall if Stephs need acidic soil. If so, that's easy to fix.

Why can you not grow Stephs? What happens? What type of light were they getting in the past? Mine still need to go outdoors, sigh..but afraid it will burn..or something stupid might happen, so it's still in the upstairs, west, bathroom window awaiting to go outside.

About the organic pesticide, I'm happy to hear it helped..One thing I forgot to mention is, I spray this mix every two to three wks as a preventative..I truly think it helps, but that's just my opinion. It's been a long time spotting mites, so my belief is the mix keeps them away.
One insect I haven't licked is Mealy..they are the worse. While browsing the forums, someone mentioned adding Citranella, sp, geranium/pel, around the soil. Remove leaves from the plant, let dry,..After they're crispy, sprinkle some on soil. I don't have or even like Citronella, it smells exactly like Raid, yuck, but it's organic despite its stinky odor. So, before winter, I plan on purchasing a Citranella plant. I collect geraniums anyway, so might as well add one more..lol. I'm thinking other scented geraniums might work as well, but not sure. I might buy citrus scented, too. We'll see if it works. One succulent I bought had mealy. I did everything suggested, including Rubbing Alcohol, but it got worse..I tossed it. If I'd thought about adding geranium leaves, I'd have tried it. Okay, take care guy..Since temps have once again increased, I'm taking more plants out..don't have many left..thankfully..I'm waiting for plants in the sink to settle, then out they go..Toni

PS: I started this thread when my MOO was losing leaves, but after a dose of SuperThrive, Moo is going to make it..in fact, there's a few flowers..gotta luv Moos..lol

    Bookmark   July 3, 2009 at 5:35PM
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yellowthumb(5a Ontario)

Hi Toni,

I laughed so hard about the aisle of weed killers, MG liquid ferts etc. I thought I was the only one hate that aisle. Every time after accidentally entering that section, I have to run out of it. I just don't like the idea of spraying weed killer and MG fert on my lawn. I always fert my lawn using Soybean meal if I remember in the spring, otherwise, they don't get anything except their own leaves. I always use my lawn mower in the mulching mode. If there are weeds, I pull them up with my hands. Lot of work indeed.

I lost the battle with Mealy too. So many times I thought I won the battle only until one lovely sunny day. I discarded my 5 years old big MOO due to mealys. I just can't get rid of them, and even worse they will try to spread to other plants.

    Bookmark   July 3, 2009 at 8:24PM
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Yellow thumb, did you pick your screen name because you're in-between a green and brown thumb? Very creative.

It's funny, I think there's quite a few of us who feel the same about chemicals; on the other hand, there are ppl who linger in the chemical aisle..ever notice, or are you running by too fast to notice? lol
If you see someone zooming alongside you, it's probably me..lol.

I hate when my neighbor treats their lawn..I know it was treated before getting out of bed. My breathing is different. Nose stuffed. It's hard to catch my breath. Then when I come downstairs I look out front, sure enough, there's the sign on their lawn, left by the landscapers. Neighbors on the other side have two children, so they don't spray, but the prior owners did..it was awful waking when both sides were sprayed the same day..sheesh. now that it's been reduced to 50% it's a little better. Even though the chemicals are odorless, it still effects my breathing.

I do the same with our weeds..after 'hand-plucking,' I run the mower over a pile, chop them up.
What does Soybean meal do for grass? Our grass look pretty bad..I'm not into grass, but as long as it's here, I might as well try improving its look..there are more small weeds than grass..lol..

I laugh when ppl say, they can rid mealy but can't do anything with mites..mites and scale are the easiest pests to rid, 'if they're spotted before devouring a plant, and sprayed.' Mealy holds on for dear life. lay eggs, and spread to other plants..
When your MOO had mealy, what did you do? If it had been my Moo, being 5 years old, I'd have taken it outdoors, removed the entire plant from it's pot, discared soil..
if necessary, and this I deem drastic, but maybe cut branches down a couple inches from soil line. I'd have then sprinkled dish soap over leaves and roots, kneeded soap into all parts of plant, then hosed/rinsed off.
I'd have cleaned the pot with bleach or repotted into a new, clean pot. Plant would then be set in medium light and inspected daily. I'd have then used my organic mix, Fish Emulsion and a little rubbing alcohol. Sprayed thoroughly.
A 5 yr old plant is too sentamental to toss, it'd be so difficult. I bet you were very upset discarding it?

If any stems were alive, you could have tried rooting cuttings. When you're dealing with small sections, it's a lot easier keeping pest-free.
Well good luck. Toni

    Bookmark   July 4, 2009 at 3:19PM
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Here's a thread from the Hoya forum of GW. It might be of interest regardig pests.

I purchased my Steph on ebay from emeraldgoddessgardens. I have to say I was impressed with Shirley, and what she sent. I repotted it today and since I haven't had a chance to kill it yet, still looks great.


    Bookmark   July 4, 2009 at 3:34PM
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yellowthumb(5a Ontario)

Hi Toni,

My thumb was black, really black before I know this site. Then it's transforming into brown, and now yellow. One day I will re-register as green thumb, I hope that name is not taken yet. If it has, then I will name myself darkgreen thumb. What do you think?

I am not into grass at all. The soybean meal is good for grass, really greens the lawn up. I normally top dress in the early spring. Takes about two weeks before you see a difference. I never used any chemicals on my lawn, my right neighbour always use all kinds from the box store. Funny though, my yard has lots of earth worms, but the right neighbour has none. Birds really enjoying lurking around my yard walking on the not-so-pretty lawn, waitting to snap a bug or an earth worm. I think you just have to accept that the nature works this way, all kinds of things living together. Our sense of a beautiful lawn is just too artificial.

I tried all kinds of ways to rid the mealy on that MOO. I think mealy has a trick laying eggs inside the bark or below the soil line around the roots. But I got rid of the mealy from other plants, no problem. I think it's just the MOO making mealy easier to hide.

Thanks and good luck.


    Bookmark   July 4, 2009 at 5:32PM
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Sande, it was actually posters on the Hoya Forum who discussed crunched, scented geraniums on soil to prevent mealy.
I've been using Listerine since 1982..Sometimes I'll add a 1/2 capful in my mix. Generic not brand name mouthwash.
Wonder if it makes a difference?
Got the idea from Plant Grower, tv host and author, Jerry Baker. He uses all types of old-fashioned and safe ingredients. Toni

    Bookmark   July 4, 2009 at 6:17PM
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I've got some Jerry Baker pamphlets around here somewhere but don't remember any of his formulas offhand. Never tried Listerine for anything except outside flying bugs that bugged me, and that doesn't work.

I had a Sans that had mealybugs that defied every thing. New pot, new soil, alcohol (couple of times), alcohol and dishsoap, neem oil.. I finally scrubbed it with a toothbrush, roots and all very well in soap and alcohol (I think) and potted it in hydroton. That did clear up the mealybug problem.I will not tolerate mealybugs because it's better to sacrifice one plant than have it on all of them.


    Bookmark   July 4, 2009 at 9:22PM
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yellowthumb(5a Ontario)

I had a dream recently, it was a sunny day, my gorgeous gardenia was loaded with new growth. When having a closer look with happiness, I found mealy bugs hiding all over the new growth. I woke up immediately. Thank god, it's just a dream.

I did all kinds of experiments with mealy bugs.
Spray them with 70% alcohol, soap, end-All II, etc etc, always a small percentage will survive whatsoever.
I put them in plastic bags and bake under the full sun for 3 days, they sweat and dehydrated, but all survived.
I throw them out in the snow for half an hour, they started moving right after bringing indoors.
I soak them into the water, after 24 hours, still alive.
I pulled the infected plant up, after a month, the plant became completely dry, but the mealy still moving and small mealy still hatching.
I throw the plant away, only the clay pot left, after a month, I found small mealy hatching around the edge of the clay pot.

Mealy bugs are insects from the hell, I am scared of them, truly!

    Bookmark   July 5, 2009 at 12:43AM
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Hi Sande and Yellow..hope you both had a nice 4th.

Sande, do you have JB pamphlets or books? I think mine were lost or tossed when we moved here 20 yrs ago..Baker wrote one book I particularly liked, dedicated to house plants. I might look for a copy. Since they were published in the 70's they're probably out of print, so if I can't find a new copy, I'll hunt for used.
I found two other out of print plant books, used, on Ebay. One was 1.00. What a bargain! The book's name is Hyponex, the first plant book I bought. This is my third copy..lol

Sande, what did you use Listerine for on your outside plants? For insects? I think I read it's also supposed to prevent or cure fungus, especially roses. Not sure though.

What is hydroton? Did your Sans make it? Is it mealy-free or did those creatures from hell win? I agree it's best discarding one plant than chancing other plants getting infested. Then again, I have some rare plants that would be difficult tossing. Therefore, I'd do everything in my power trying to save it.. Only if it was impossibly infested would it go. If cuttings were possible, I'd try that.

Yellow, lol..did you really have the Mealy dream? Wow, if so, that IS weird. Your subconsious is hung-up on mealy, worrying non-stop. How many times did you find mealy on plants?

After your experiments, it sounds like they're impossible to kill! I can't believe they lived in snow. Perhaps if you left them out longer than 1/2 hour they'd have died. What was the temp that day? You soaked in water? Were there entire bodies submersed or were their heads above water level? I wouldn't think it possible! They're like roaches. I've read roaches will survive a neucler war..how gross..Maybe mealy will too. If so, what will happen to plants nationwide? Will they all be devoured?

I wonder if your plants had Soil Mealy..before using the clay pot, you better wash it out with bleach..scrub and rescrub. Soak overnight in soapy water. Also, check neighboring plants.
Thank God my plants have been fairly insect=free over the years. In the last 4-5 years, the only plants that contracted mealy were two Purple Passions/Gynuras. One variegated. I tossed them. Last winter I won a succulent on Ebay..one arrived with a white coating which I assumed was Mealy..I used rubbing alcohol, but it died anyway..I'm not sure mealy was the culprit, it also looked like mold.

I don't blame you for fearing them...ever see a magnified picture of mealy? They're disgusting..if they were large bugs I'd run away..lol.
My biggest fear is spiders..I dont care how helpful they are, how they eat plant bugs..I'll treat plants without their help, thank you..lol..I fear the tiniest of spiders, even 1/4"..so you can imagine seeing a 3"+ spider..oh God have mercy..Sometimes when I order plants from Fl or Ca, I worry a big spider will be in the plant..over the years, I found different types of reptiles..I tried catching them, but they're fast. Last autumn, I found a coccoon in my Crown of Thorns..The only reason I discovered it was my Crown had 2 or 3 leaves left..I wondered, what the heck? I took the Crown to the sink and voila, the coccoon was living on this plant. We thought it was a butterfly, but it turned out to be a King Moth..lol. I took care of this little guy/gal until it left its home. He/she was huge. Bad ending so don't want to get into it, but I tried.
Ohh, gotta go, I'll finish later..lol...

Baker uses some rather odd stuff, including urine. LOL.
If I recall, it's applied outdoors, possibly to keep certain wildlife away.
On the other hand I learned a lot from him..Even recycling containers that come in handy at times. Since reading his book, I've become a pack rat. lol. He's even discussed saving and using water from humidifers, washing machines, and so much more..
It makes sense, it's a way to save $$ on needed supplies.

    Bookmark   July 5, 2009 at 7:00PM
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Hi Hopefulauthor,

I have taken to saving a lot of containers also. Cottage cheese, yogurt are good. Also pop bottle can make small terrariums, or cut and inverted, great small planters.
As to water, aquarium water is great fertilizer, but I have soft water so can't use it. I catch rainwater and use it as much as possible. It has a lower ph than my regular water.

I had, and emphasize 'had', JB pamphlets. I don't know if I still have them or not. I've moved too many times in the last 10 years to have a clue.

As to the Listerine outside, I meant it was being used as a people pest deterrent. I had received one of those forwards in my email box that said it helped...but it didn't.

Hydrotron is a volcanic material that has been heat treated to expand it and allow it to be porous. It is basically a way to do hydroculture. That is a subject onto itself.

The Sans had 3 plants in the pot. Two are doing just fine but the third one seems to be shriveling as tho it isn't getting enough water. Some times changing from soil to water is hard on an established plant, as they must make water roots. However, I haven't seen a mealybug since it's scrubbing and subtrate change.


    Bookmark   July 6, 2009 at 6:37PM
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