Spittlebugs on Pennisetum

forensicmomSeptember 20, 2012

I planted 8 pennisetum at the park near my house a week and a half ago. I've watered them very good, every other day but they're still turning brown. They were all root bound and ALL had evidence of spittlebugs at the base.

I'm not sure what could be causing the browning? Water, spittlebugs or root issues?

I just replaced all of these because the ones I planted last year did not come back at all. Everything else (miscanthus, knockout roses, black eyed susans and a few others) thrived with the same amount of water, sunlight, soil, etc.

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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

well.. it is fall.. its a grass ... they were abused stock all summer [??? they are buggy] ... recently transplanted ...

could they simply be going dormant a bit early ??? pix????

do you see any life deep within the plant ????? what i might loosely call.. next years buds????

or are they evergreen in your zone????

save your recpt ....


    Bookmark   September 20, 2012 at 8:50AM
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jean001a(Portland OR 7b)

Spittlebugs are a problem in the spring & early summer. Don't know what those grasses had. Have?

Why turning brown so early in the game? Likely the original rootballs are dry.

    Bookmark   September 20, 2012 at 9:59PM
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Thanks for responding. Yes, I'm certain they are spittlebugs. I'm a master gardener and we studies these, so I'm familiar. They have been well watered every other day since planting. Several are turning more brown then the others, which is why I asked if it might be the spittlebugs. Just not sure. I guess I will have to wait and see.

    Bookmark   September 23, 2012 at 7:28AM
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jean001a(Portland OR 7b)

We need pictures.

Further, plants turn brown within a week of when they were planted if they have a water problem in the original rootball -- is the original potting mix wet, dry, or moist?

    Bookmark   September 23, 2012 at 10:47PM
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Spittlebugs are very easy to see and tell if present because of the spit ball they form on infested plants. Mostly they are not enough of a problem to require drastic control measures and simply knocking them off plants with a sharp water stream is enough. Some sources do mention apply a pesticide under pressure, something that would knock the wee buggers off the plant with the pesticide most likely doing more harm to any predators then the target.
A very large population of spittlebugs may cause harm to plants but I've not seen that yet even as an Advanced Master Gardener.

Here is a link that might be useful: About Spittlebugs

    Bookmark   September 24, 2012 at 6:56AM
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You say they were rootbound. Did you tease out the tangled roots or cut them so they could grow outward? This sounds like shock to me. Too long in the pot and then transplanted to another place. Maybe dogs peed on them in this park? Just guessing here.

    Bookmark   September 26, 2012 at 4:11PM
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