Help! What's wrong with my potatoes?

aiedailJanuary 6, 2014

This is my first time growing potatoes and i am a total noob when it comes to gardening. A few days ago my potato plant had a bit of a whitefly infestation so i looked up remedies online and found that whiteflies could be deterred by using a solution of 50% rubbing alcohol and 50% water with a bit of dish washing liquid. i tried to get as much of the whitefly eggs off by using a rag, maybe i shouldn't have done that as i bruised some leaves? So i sprayed the plant with the solution and the following morning i saw that the leaves had dark spots underneath and some of the leaves had already turned a real dark brown and have curled up. What did i do wrong? Any help would be greatly appreciated.

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What you sprayed probably was too harsh for the plants, that is not a good plant spray. Time of day the spray was applied is also a factor.
An Insecticidal Soap spray, applied either early in the morning or at dusk, is somewhat effective as would a Neem Oil spray.
The linked article below may be of some use.

Here is a link that might be useful: About Whiteflies

    Bookmark   January 7, 2014 at 8:09AM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

What did i do wrong?

==>>>> you over-reacted .... and used some voodoo remedy in high concentration ... and expected an immediate .. perfect result ...

all to do now.. is give it time.. and see how new.. fresh.. unaffected shoots develop

if they remain free of the problem.. then problem solved

if not... we will act then ...

i suspect.. that all the browning is where the bug assaulted the leaf surface.. and your remedy.. then burned the already affected area ... or your stuff just burned it gratuitously ....

now.. as a noob... how did you define whitefly as the issue .. and are you 100 % sure they werent something else????

the first rule of noob-dom.. is dont over react ... the plant would not have died.. had you waited a few days .. confirmed the Id.. and asked us for some suggestions ... 50% of anything tells me.. its too harsh .. unless its 100% water ...

all that said ... this will end up a rather large plant.. a few discolored leaves wont mean much of anything in the long run ....

#2 rule for noob.. dont love it to death ... lol

good luck


ps: in 40 years of gardening.. i have NEVER used rubbing alcohol on a plant .... never occurred to me to hose down a plant with alcohol ... myself ... maybe.. lol ... but not the rubbing stuff

    Bookmark   January 7, 2014 at 10:59AM
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Thanks for the help guys. I think you guys are right. I think that the solution was way too harsh and that these are something like chemical burns. The plant is doing okay. the new shoots dont have any of those burns. For the future though, are these really whiteflies? And don't worry next time i'll try to restrain myself from doing anything drastic and not love them to death, haha

    Bookmark   January 7, 2014 at 10:42PM
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A number of methods of control of Whitefly are listed in the link I supplied above, starting with Yellow Sticky Traps and sprays of water to Insecticidal Soaps to Neem Oil sprays. Due care in the use of broad spectrum poisons is necessary since they not only will kill off any predators but will also kill off the beneficials and pollinators.

    Bookmark   January 9, 2014 at 6:47AM
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Adult white when they're disturbed. Do you have flying white insects on your plant? If you have white fly, you will get eggs 'glued' on to primarily the undersides of the leaves. Your picture may be misleading, because there is no size reference to the tiny white specks, but it doesn't even look like white fly.

    Bookmark   January 19, 2014 at 1:59AM
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