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Any advice for treating bamboo mites in NW?

Posted by susan_westseattle z8 WA (My Page) on
Sat, Apr 29, 06 at 20:34

We've put in several bamboo varieties at our home in Seattle. Our first planting was golden bamboo given to us by a friend. We installed root barrier and it's growing great, but those plants carried bamboo mites. The mites are now spreading to the Phyllostachys aureosulcata alata that we put in last year.

The plants are fine except for the really unattractive yellow striping of the leaves. Is there anyone, especially in this region, who has had success in dealing with these little buggers? Last year I started spraying with the dishsoap/veg oil combo some recommend, but it didn't seem to make a difference. Anyone have success with that or other remedies? I want those green leaves back!

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Any advice for treating bamboo mites in NW?

I don't know what mite you have specifically but I have had good luck with Clarified neem oil. You can pick up the concentrate at WalMart for about ten bucks, It is sold as Fungicide 3. I had a problem this winter with mites on a banana plant indoors after 3 treatments over a 2 week period I couldn't detect any more mites.

Here is a link that might be useful: Product picture

RE: Any advice for treating bamboo mites in NW?

  • Posted by kudzu9 Zone 8b, WA (My Page) on
    Sun, Apr 30, 06 at 2:50

I'm in the PNW and the only thing that I know that works reliably on spider mites (which it sounds like what you've got) is abamectin, which is sold under the brand name of Avid. It's hard to find and expensive (I paid $125 for 8 ounces of concentrate, which makes up to 400 gallons). But it definitely works. I do mix a little horticultural oil in when I use it to help with coating, but, in my experience, oil alone will not control spider mites.

RE: Any advice for treating bamboo mites in NW?

  • Posted by madake 8-Washington (My Page) on
    Tue, May 2, 06 at 11:30

Like Kudzu I have had limited luck with the oil/soap treatment (I tend to burn my plants with too much oil). It worked on a few of my plants (once the burned off leaves came back :) but I have one plant that I have not hand any luck with (still in a pot) which I plan on hitting with chemicals this spring... abamectin sounds good but I don't know that I can justify that kind of cash yet... but then again I don't have near the amount of bamboo that Kudzu has around.

RE: Any advice for treating bamboo mites in NW?

  • Posted by bboy z8 WA USA (My Page) on
    Sat, May 6, 06 at 16:45

Pay a visit to Clinton Bamboo Growers, in Burien. They have some nice bamboo (and companion plant) demonstration plantings to look at and know how to keep their stock clean, can tell you what works (it's a multi-step approach) for them. Maybe come home with some new acquisitions as well.

RE: Any advice for treating bamboo mites in NW?

Thanks for the advice everyone! I've purchased from Clinton's and the people there are great. I'll check into all these suggestions...if anyone else has input I'm happy to hear it.

RE: Any advice for treating bamboo mites in NW?

I just figured out what was wrong with my black bamboo I got at the green elephant trading March of 05; spider mites. It was my first bamboo and I tried to learn as much as I could before getting it. At first I thought they were old leaves, and being newly transplanted put them in shock, so I ignored the warning signs. Now most of the mature canes that came with the clump are almost all dead, and a few that are left are slowly turning gray. Fortunately bamboo is resilient and the new shoots are still coming, and are not too badly infected. Now that I know what I am dealing with I can make a plan of action.

Word of caution and warning to those trading plants; please make sure you check them out and that they are pest free before trading. This way it will keep anything from infecting anyone elses garden. If you are receiving plants check them out thoroughly before planting them in your own garden; this way you avoid losing plants. For those of us newbies do not ignore any spot, discoloration of your plant, it may be from being hot, it just need water, but better then to be over cautious then lose most of your plants.

I have to let myself off the hook a little because I am dealing with a non-curable disease that leaves me bedridden a lot.

Lesson learned, so because I had it on hand I soaked my bamboo with some insecticide spray until I can get something that is for spider mites, and maybe my new bamboo from the spring will be saved and next springs crop of shoots will grow up beautiful!


RE: Any advice for treating bamboo mites in NW?

  • Posted by bboy z8 WA USA (My Page) on
    Mon, Aug 7, 06 at 3:00

Mites shouldn't be killing culms, that is probably another problem. Usually they make the leaves look variegated, silky and sooty, may cause them to fall prematurely.

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