Getting rid of scale, then planting plants in garden

sbrow156(Cairns QLD Australia)February 5, 2013

I have a couple of potted plants and they have scale. I have been spraying them and it doesnt seem to be getting any worse...all newer leaves are free from scale also.. so I am hoping i have beat them at their game. (Though they were SEVERLY infested! Like the whole main stem was covered!! and on one plant nearly all the leaves had small to HUGE amount all over them.) Anyway I want to replant these plants in the garden and put different plants in the pots. I am worried for 3 reasons...

1. That the scale hasnt gone and that it will then infest all my other plants in my garden if i replant them there..

2. The pots have ants living in them (lots of them) (although they have started to dissapear since i have been spraying the plants to get rid of the scale) anyway im worried that the ants will transfer the scale somewhere else..

3. I want to reuse the pots but the potting mix will be no good anymore because of the scale? right? if i did reuse the pots would i have to scrub them down and chuck the current potting mix because of the scale maybe being in it?

Please give me some do i reuse my pots and plant these plants in the garden without being scared that scale will get everywhere? :S

Attached is a pic of the plant to show the type of scale (its a citrus.. and yes i know the rootstock is growing)


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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

I have been spraying them and it doesnt seem to be getting any worse...all newer leaves are free from scale also..

==>> you know.. a dead scale looks jsut like a live one.. the dead carcass isnt going to magically disappear ...

and the fact that the ants left.. might be your second clue they are dead ... ants harvest honeydew from some scale ...

put on a glove.. and wipe off all the scale ... and observe...

and i think.. put away the chems for a while..

potting media.. NEVER reuse it.. its spent.. its not a scale issue ... besides scale doesnt live in the media ...

ALWAYS sterilize all pots before use or reuse.. 10% bleach will do the trick ...

i usually sterilize my potting media also.. especially if used indoors .. see link ... which would solve your scale worry.. but for it being old used up media ... jsut throw it in the compost pile ...

media is engineered from a multitude of things.. and those things breakdown.. and dont do their job properly.. so its not worthwhile to reuse it ... drainage is usually the prime need for media.. and as peat and bark.. etc.. breakdown.. water will be 'held' vs drained.. leading to future problems.. its the predictability.. that makes use easy ... and when it gets old.. you cant predict ...

and .. of course.. those damaged leaves will not recover ... but as long as they are green.. they are processing sunlight ... the future is in the buds ...

i didnt know citrus had one inch thorns..

i think i got all your questions ... ????


Here is a link that might be useful: a lot of peeps here mock me for such.. but hey.. it should put your mind at ease ... if nothing else ....

    Bookmark   February 6, 2013 at 9:35AM
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sbrow156(Cairns QLD Australia)

Yes i must go and try and scrape off all the scale on the leaves then but yes they are still green so im hoping that means the plants still good. No new growth yet though. The thorns are on the rootstock. Anyway heres a dumb question but if media breaks down after awhile and is unusable then what about the soil in the garden? thats been there forever. Wouldnt that be crap soil for plants? I always thought that potting soil was better then garden soil...but i mean you cant replace the garden soil and the plants seem to do ok so...?

    Bookmark   February 6, 2013 at 6:26PM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

Potting medium is better for plants IN CONTAINERS. It does break down in a fairly short period of time because of the ingredients.

Garden soil is great for the outdoor gardens but turns into something very un desirable in a container. Garden soil is composed of clay, silt, sand, and a little bit of decomposing organic content. That's why it doesn't totally break down in the garden.

An enormous complexity of microbial and macrobial activity is part of an outdoor soil system. When you remove a bucketful of this soil from this system, it turns into muck, cement.

Garden soil belongs in the garden, not a container.

    Bookmark   February 6, 2013 at 8:03PM
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