Drowning spider mites - Really? How did it come to this?
Maybe somebody will benefit from my story of errors... I may have an addictive personality, so plumeria may not have been a good thing for me to try, since I live in a 2/2 condo in NH. Yes, my spare bedroom is a plumeria grow room... That might have been my first and biggest error. - Don't try forcing a plant to do what isn't natural if you know only what you have read online...and you have no place to do it properly.
Problem is that I had really good success with the ones I brought back from Hawaii in May. No issues at all - grew fantastic just sitting in a sunny living room window. My wife said, "I can't wait for these to bloom, I love the smell so much. It reminds me of our trips to Hawaii." So, I bought lights, so they could grow better. My thought was to get them to skip dormancy, to prevent rot. I read about it online. :)
That seemed like a waste to only have 2 plants under 2 200 watt cfls. So, in September I bought six cuttings to root to go with my original pair that were lonely. And of course, I had to have bottom heat, so I made a heater using incandescent rope lighting (I read about it online). If, I would have stopped there everything may have been okay. But no...
I used the bag method on those six cuttings which I read about online... Some friends thought what I was doing was awesome and asked if I could grow some for their patio. I said sure - the more the merrier!
So, I expanded my operation and ordered a variety of no name cuttings off ebay that included 9 cuttings that averaged 28" for $23 shipping included - nobody bid on the poor guy's auction. Meanwhile, half of my 6 bag method cuttings rooted and I said - THIS IS EASY! Oh - silly me.
I had rearranged how my heat "mat" was arranged and all 6 of the bagged cuttings cooked and all the beautiful roots melted away. Some rebounded, some didn't. I asked for advice here for the first time after that fiasco.
Some of the second batch of cuttings were too big, so I chopped them in half. I was even able to get two mid section cuttings to root. So even though there were setbacks, things were still looking good!
Then I ordered the famous Blue plumeria (if you are new here - they don't exist) from Thailand. Please don't make that mistake!
Right about the time those arrived, I noticed that my original 2 plants had leaves that were yellowing, turning brown, drooping and falling off. I thought it was rust, so I sprayed them with fungicide 3. Over the next 2 days they lost almost all their leaves. Then the plants rebounded and were happily growing again and then what?
It turns out that I actually have spider mites, I finally saw the webbing between leaves and the mites moving around. So I sprayed them with Neem Oil. I read about it online! However, I didn't realize that my leaves were going to fall off again. I did NOT read about that part... I even bought a humidifier for the room... Oh yeah, I needed more space, so I purchased a heat mat and more lights... Did I mention that I may have an addictive personality???
So tonight, I filled up a trash can with 105 degree water and dunked each of my plants for 10 minutes. I read about it online! It is supposed to kill the eggs too - so I'll keep you posted. The only unusual occurrence was some on the plants had dozens of extremely tiny white spots on the stems and leaves. I am unsure if that was sap or if it was the dead mites/eggs. These little buggers are going to drive me crazy, if this doesn't kill them.
Hope everyone has a great holiday season! My Christmas wish is no more spider mites, so I can get some plumeria to bloom for my wife this summer!