Spider mites...

oberciAugust 9, 2012

Hello fellow hydrangea lovers,

So my poor babies have been suffering from a serious spider mite infestation, along with a few other plants in my garden. I'm a new garner basically learning as im faced with each new issue, and i actually had no idea it was spider mites at first. I saw webs but thought it was just spiders, and unrelated to the fact that my plant was deteriorating. I thought maybe i was underwatering, or it was sunscorch, or snails... I fixed all those problems, and while the plant thanked me for it by putting on new growth, inothing ever even got a chance to grow out completely before becoming discolored and drying to a crisp. Then, my very young potted wisteria began to suddenly shrivel up and die all in about two weeks time which forced me into a desperate panic. The local nursery educated me on how to identify the oroblem as spider mites, and when i got home, i finally realized the same thing was all over my hydrangeas and had been for weeks now! Face slap!

Basically, there is a LOT of damage and on some plants many leaves have fallen off. The poor things are still Producing flowers by some miracle but they are about 4 inches across, rather than the usual, oh i dont know, 10 inchess! I sprayed them down with a miticide, but what else can i do to help these revive? I hear that getting rid of these mites can be as easy as hosing the affected plant down every evening so the foliage isnt as dry, but i think i read on here before that hydrangeas dont like to get their leaves wet...Or is that only a problem during the day?

How can i avoid infestations in the future and how can i spot the pronlem earlier? Am i dealing with it correctly right now? I would appreciate any help from you more experienced gardeners.

Also, many of my leaves are also chewed up and i have no idea by what. There arent really any snails in sight as ive been applying Sluggo, but they still seem nibbled at. Is this also from the spider mites?

Thank you all your help!

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luis_pr(7b/8a)

I would not worry about reduced bloomage or smaller flowers while in the middle of the summer months (and in the middle of a drought if that aplies to you). It is quite normal for any plant to produce less and smaller bloomage during this highly stressful time. As a matter of fact, I went thru my garden on Saturday to find some roses to take to my Mother and could not find any. There were few blooms and the ones that the plants had were quite smaller than they used to be in the Spring!

You can deal with the spider mites as you have been doing. If you wish to, you can also give them a shot of water early in the morning too. Getting the leaves wet can be a problem if the water tends to remain for long periods in the leaves but I doubt water will not evaporate quicly this time of the year. Just do it in the morning so the sun can help evaporate it.

You can also release beneficial insects who will also feed on the spider mites but provide some water for them to stick around in your garden.

The nibbling of the leaves may be done by other pests and you may have to catch them in the act (that is, identify them) in order to apply a correct fix for the problem. I suggest spot checking several times during the day and at night. Many pests will eat leaves at night and hide under the mulch or rocks during the day. Be on the lookout for caterpillars and japanese bettles.

    Bookmark   August 10, 2012 at 12:29PM
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Viognier

Hi! could this be cause of spider mites? The new branch are growing, but just couldn't survive long...

    Bookmark   October 2, 2012 at 12:22AM
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luis_pr(7b/8a)

If the soil becomes oxygen deprived due to too much water, it may cause that.

    Bookmark   October 2, 2012 at 1:45AM
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luis_pr(7b/8a)

If the soil becomes oxygen deprived due to too much water, it may cause that.

    Bookmark   October 2, 2012 at 1:48AM
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