HELP! Black bugs and now a white fungus?

counselor4444(6A NJ)December 15, 2007

ok, so I posted last weeked about buying a plumeria clipping on my honeymoon and bringing it back and planting it and now it is 8 mos later and it is extremely important to me to keep this thing alive. Since April when we brought it back from hawaii, it has grown to almost 2 feet tall and has 10 large green leaves. Now that it is winter in the northeast, I've brought it inside and it sits inside near a large window. i water it only when it gets really dry.

so, last weekend I posted on this forum that i noticed dozens of teeny tiny black/dark brown bugs crawling on its leaves. some seem to suspend from a weblike string. I'd take a picture but they are so small my camera won't focus on them. someone suggested that i buy something called "garden safe" so I am going out to buy that today. hopefully home depot has it.

Now today i went to look (the bugs returned after i doused the plant with water really well last weekend to get rid of them) and i noticed a white fungus/mold on the bark. i've uploaded a picture below.

i can't stress how important it is to me to keep this plant alive. can someone please help me? is this related to the bugs (mites?) or is this b/c i'm watering it too much? what do I do?

Thanks in advance.

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counselor4444(6A NJ)

here are 2 pics of the entire plumeria in the window :

here are two pics of the bark.

this one shows the white fungus/mold on the bark:

this one shows the whole bark (note how the lower power of the bark is turning a darker green and looks leathery):


    Bookmark   December 15, 2007 at 10:46AM
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You have spider mites for the fungus use hydrogen peroxide (H2o2) 3% from the drugstore see link:

Because this is the time of year many new growers and some that are not so new get introduced to the world of the spider mite. I thought it would be good to give a commercial Plumeria growers view of the issue.

When one gets an infestation of spider mites immediate actions should be taken in order to prevent a out of control situation. First the grower needs to select an insecticide appropriate for this particular insect. Second it is VERY important to know the life cycle of the mite you are targeting. The next is to have the proper application (and protective wear equipment) and knowledge of how to spray for effective control of the insect. And remember for eradication more than one application of spray will be necessary.

The following is a list of control agents:

These will work to some degree;

Malathion* ("Malathion is an insecticide of relatively low human toxicity"), Horticultural Oil*, Neem Oil, Broad spectrum systemic sprays (Orthine - Isotox), Insecticidal soaps.

(Most agricultural colleges do not recommend any of the above see links at bottom of page.)

*1.25-2.5 oz. for 1gal. Water for summer application, reduce for greenhouse conditions.

To add Malathion use at recommended dose for both products. Do not use if temps will exceed 85 degrees the day of spray you will kill both the mites and your plants LOL.

These will work better;

Floramite, Avid, Akari, TetraSan 5 WDG, Forbid, Hexygon DF and the addition of Stirrup M (sex attractant pheromone).

And lastly, hosing off plant with a fine but powerful water spray will work in certain environments.

Before proceeding, use good judgment by wearing the appropriate protective gear, then choose the best sprayer for the particular task. Do not use a hose end sprayer for safety and the environments sake. Make sure to follow manufactures directions and precautions for the spray material. Read the entire label for the product.

Spraying method should include spraying the entire plant: This means special attention to the undersides of the leaves, the tips of the apical and lateral stems**. Make sure you do appropriate follow-up applications. Follow the manufactures directions in all cases for repeat applications.


**Plants have two different types of stems, the main stem, called the apical stem, and the side stems, called lateral stems. The apical stem extends all the way from the roots to the tip of the plant. The lateral stems branch off from the main stem in regular intervals. On a tree, the apical stem would be the trunk, while the lateral stems would be the branches.

PS These are a few educational links for spider mites;

    Bookmark   December 15, 2007 at 10:55AM
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counselor4444(6A NJ)

Thank you so much for the information.

I will go to the drug store today and purchase the hydrogen peroxide.

As far as the mites... my concern is obtaining one of these remedies where I live... Home Depot has a small gardening department (but it is VERY small now during wintertime so I don't know what they have), I may have to go to a mom and pop local gardening/plant store and see what they have... but again I don't know what they stock in the winter.

I will keep you updated on my progress. Like I said, this is very important to me. So, I hope I can find something locally.

Someone said to get a produce called Gardensafe. What do you think about this product? Does it contain the chemicals you mentioned above?

Thanks again!

    Bookmark   December 16, 2007 at 7:56AM
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bigshoes213(7 Sardis, Ms)

I have not had a chance to grow plumeria but would like to one day. However I have the same problem. The hydrogen peroxide helps but doesnt get rid of them for good. I use it at 30% and just pour it onto the dirt. I have read that you can place 1/2 inch of sand over the dirt and the fungus gnats do not like to lay eggs in this. Also I have found that placing small bowls of water around my plants attracts the gnats themselves and they drown.

Also They say watering from the bottom helps.

Give me a few days and I will let you know how it is going. I just placed the sand all over my plants about a hour ago. Oh by the way I grow amaryllis bulbs, africian violets, and others. Good Luck!

    Bookmark   December 28, 2007 at 1:54AM
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