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Piper Nigrum - Disease

Posted by mightytsar OH (My Page) on
Fri, Feb 12, 10 at 14:00

I have a Piper Nigrum vine and it is starting to grow well but I have little translucent balls all over it. I thought it was spider mites but I don't seem to see spiders. I tried Neem but it burnt all the new leaves. Any help on identification and eradication would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks, Sean

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RE: Piper Nigrum - Disease

  • Posted by jean001 z8aPortland, OR (My Page) on
    Fri, Feb 12, 10 at 19:00

More than likely, that's a normal phenomenon. Similar to guttation -- water exuded at the leaf edges. Likely your plant is in a high humidity environment with moist soil or potting mix.


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RE: Piper Nigrum - Disease

jean001- Thanks a lot for the feedback. I send out an email, at the same time I posted this, to:

Ron Becker
Program Coordinator
Agriculture and Integrated Pest Management
Ohio State University Extension, Wayne County

He said the very same thing. Nice call! I keep this plant in a small room, under florescent lights, with a vent free heater so the humidity is high and it is about 80 degrees. I use a self watering pot so I didn't think I could over water. I think the pot is the problem. Any suggestions on self watering pots?


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RE: Piper Nigrum - Disease

Yes, I have the same issus. is this ok for the plant?


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RE: Piper Nigrum - Disease

Thanks for the post, I couldn't find this info anywhere. My vine is doing the same, and since it had a bunch of new growth and looked happy I didn't want to treat it.. Thanks!


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RE: Piper Nigrum - Disease

My plant looks just like that hard to find out why.
Thanks for the post. Now I know.


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RE: Piper Nigrum - Disease

It's called exudate. It's completely natural and is a way for the plant to release excess sugars through tiny openings in the leaf tissues. The clear 'balls' will eventually dry out and oxidize, leaving tiny black dots that rub off with your fingers.

It does not affect growth negatively, and is a sign that your plant is probably receiving too much light. Light = Photosynthesis = Sugar Production. Excess Sugar = Excess Light.

Don't feed it for a little while, reduce the light to partial shade (around 8 hours a day of filtered light is fine), and make sure that you are keeping the soil moist, but not sopping wet.

Like I said, I don't see the exudate doing any harm to my vine, but if you'd like it to go away, follow my instructions and see where that gets you. Every vine is different, with a different personality. You'll just have to experiment and see what works for yours in particular. If it starts going downhill, change back to the way it was until normal growth resumes. Then, try something different or less intense.

Good luck.


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