Weird cobwebs on my rosemary!

annewaldron(SoCal,10)August 15, 2005

Something is trying to make a cocoon out of my rosemary! I can't see any kind of spider or bug on it, all I see are webs and little teeny pellet looking brown things on the web. The rosemary itself looks mostly OK but there are a few brown leaves in where most of the web is...

What should I do? And if this is a bad thing, can this "thing" travel to my other herbs?


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Because the bugs I get in my part of the world may not be the same bugs you get, I won't attempt to identify your problem.

But a good spray with some Garlic Spray would probably help. It's a good all-rounder.

Soak 1/2 cup crushed garlic cloves in 1/2 cup vegetable oil for one week. Add a little liquid soap and dilute the mixture - 1 part mixture to 10 parts water. Garlic spay will kill and repel aphids, woolly aphids, bean fly, stink bugs, crickets, grasshoppers, red spider mite, sawfly larvae, scale, snails, slugs, thrips and caterpillars, mosquitoes and ticks, the adult moths of leaf-miners and mealy bugs. It is an effective fungicide when used 3-4 times a week against potato blight and damping off.
Crush 100g garlic, 2 chillies and 2 onions and cover with water for 24 hours. Strain and add enough water to make up 2 litres.

    Bookmark   August 15, 2005 at 6:47PM
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You know, this year has been a cobwebby year in California! Must have been all our winter rain.... If Daisy's garlic spray doesn't work, I'll eat my hat! :o) or a good shot of water might work... my BF's mugo pines have been covered in webs. I just hose them off....

    Bookmark   August 15, 2005 at 6:57PM
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PurpleRainbow(z8 NW WA)

You might have spider mites. I found this:

An efficient way to sample vegetation for mites is to hold a sheet of white paper or foam board under a branch and tap the foliage sharply. If mites are present, they will be dislodged and appear as slow- moving, dark specks on the paper.

at the site linked below. The site recommends pesticides, I ignore that part. Couldn't come up with a picture of an infested plant though.

If you can't do the garlic spray right away, soap and water could take care of it for a while. I've got to get enough garlic to brew up some of that spray myself. Thanks for the recipe!

Here is a link that might be useful: Spider mite info

    Bookmark   August 15, 2005 at 9:17PM
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Sounds like spidermites, and they move FAST and yes they spread to other plants and FAST. So move fast. I don't know the best spray for them, but the garlic pepper is a good one. Orange oil might be helpful, but not sure. The organic board would have suggestions. The link below is a nice image pretty far along. They start out less obvious with just whispy webs and hard to see mites. But they move fast and will continut to web your plant until they do basically make a cocoon out of it and are in such high concentrations they become obvous and they will kill your plant. The paper trick works great. Flick onto the paper and look for things moving around. The dark spots could be dead plant or plant covered by mites.

Good luck.

    Bookmark   August 15, 2005 at 11:16PM
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I've got crushed garlic soaking in oil as we speak! I'll use soap water in the interim. And I'll move the plant to the other side of the deck (no plants there) until I have this under control. Regarding the pic of spider mite infestation: it looks KINDA like that, but the "pellets" look bigger and there are far fewer (at this point).

Thank you ALL for your recommendations!

: ) Anne

    Bookmark   August 16, 2005 at 1:03PM
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OK, now it DEFINITELY looks like the picture. So I made a soap water solution, but I honestly wasn't sure of the ratio, so I'd say I put about 1 tablespoon's worth into a regular sized spray bottle full of water.

What is the correct ratio of soap to water? (and how much soap should I put in my 1:10 garlic recipe spray?)

Thx- Anne : )

    Bookmark   August 17, 2005 at 1:00PM
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PurpleRainbow(z8 NW WA)

That might be a bit heavy on the soap, but if you rinse it off it should be fine, probably will be fine even if you don't. Be careful of too much soap in the soil, it can kill a plant if there is too much. (A neighbor who got mad at me dumped soap in a planter of mine once.) If you think you have too much soap in the soil, run water through it to remove as much as you can.

To a pint bottle of water I add a small squirt of dishwashing liquid, I'm not sure of exact measurements though I have seen them.

My understanding from house plant growing is that spider mites thrive in arid conditions. I don't see them outside here and we typically have fairly humid weather.

    Bookmark   August 17, 2005 at 4:43PM
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I only sprayed once, so I'll dump out half the water and refill. In the meantime I've e-mailed the recipe poster to get more info.


    Bookmark   August 17, 2005 at 5:18PM
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When you dilute the mixture, just add a squirt of detergent. About the same amount you'd use to do the washing up. It's not a critical measurement. The purpose of the soap is to help the spray adhere to the leaves better, and it also has a smothering effect on bugs.

    Bookmark   August 17, 2005 at 6:09PM
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Ah- now I understand soap's purpose in this recipe- will do- thanks!


    Bookmark   August 17, 2005 at 7:29PM
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So I sprayed my rosemary with the soap water and everything looked pretty "inactive" for a few days, but now I notice "they're" back at it again. How often is safe for using this soap spray? It's a relatively new plant- only 6" tall with just a few 'branches". My garlic spray recipe will be ready on Monday...


    Bookmark   August 19, 2005 at 4:35PM
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Marie of Roumania(z6 MA)

if the webs are numerous but wee, then yep, it sounds like spider mites. fortunately, spider mites hate water. if ms. rosemary is in a pot, put her in the shower, leave the (not too hot!) water running for 5 minutes or so, then let her drain thoroughly. repeat weekly. if she's planted in the ground, give her a thorough blast with the hose every couple of days for awhile.

if the webs are larger, then it sounds like something caterpillary & you'll need sterner measures.

good luck!

    Bookmark   August 21, 2005 at 10:16AM
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CA Kate

The webs and the pellets sound like tent caterpillers.

    Bookmark   August 21, 2005 at 6:06PM
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OK I have to admit: I threw out the plant. I've only had it for a month- it wasn't big, so I'll start again. When I looked at it yesterday, the webs/pellets were so thick around the base of the plant that I couldn't even see the stem anymore and lots of the leaves in that area were starting to look rotten.

I hate to have given up on the rosemary, but I was so afraid it was going to spread to other plants that I made an "executive decision"!

But: I now have the garlic spray recipe ready! So should I be giving the other plants an occasional preventative spray?

    Bookmark   August 22, 2005 at 2:09PM
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