Q: I want your assist in figuring out what’s attacking our massive ficus hedge that surrounds three sides of our property. I’ve taken samples of the white cottony illness to 3 native nurseries and have gotten totally different solutions every time. It is a recurring downside however has gotten worse this previous yr. I’ve used Spinosad beforehand so undecided if it helped or not. We reside close to the ocean in South Laguna Seashore so moisture might be a problem. The hedge could be very tall (12 ft) and is the primary barrier/fence so I don’t have entry to each side for spraying. Would love your tackle this.
A: Out of your images, I might say that your hedge has mealybugs. These are soft-bodied bugs that type massive colonies, particularly on tender rising suggestions of panorama shrubs. They’re troublesome to regulate with insecticidal sprays as a result of they like to hang around in inaccessible locations.
Mealybugs are virtually at all times accompanied by ants. The mealybugs excrete (really, poop) a sticky, sugary substance known as honeydew. Ants will harvest the honeydew and, in return, defend the mealybugs from any bugs that want to eat the little poopers.
My first advice is to take steps to control the ant population. Use ant bait and/or Tanglefoot to maintain ants away from the mealybugs. Mealybugs have many pure enemies that think about them a simple meal, but when ants are current, they are going to drive away these useful predators. Because of this, you additionally wish to keep away from spraying pesticides since you don’t wish to kill the nice bugs.
Utilizing an everyday backyard hose with a jet nozzle, you may blast lots of the mealybugs off your crops. This gained’t take away all of them, however it can scale back the inhabitants fairly a bit. As soon as the ants are excluded, the useful bugs can end off a lot of the remaining pests.
Q: I’ve 4 whole 50-year-old hibiscus, all in a row, and one appears to be dying, although its limbs aren’t but brittle. Is the white discoloration on the limbs an indication of illness? I in the reduction of all 4 crops with the identical instruments, with out cleansing them in between. There may be some discoloration on the opposite crops too. Are all 4 doomed? Recommendations?
A: The images that you simply shared with me present a white, blotchy-looking materials on the floor of your hibiscus’ trunk and a few fundamental branches. Contemplating the age of the shrubs, I think that this white stuff is a few type of fungus.
One of the frequent fungal plant illnesses is armillaria. This species assaults all kinds of panorama crops. Generally there are mushroom-like growths seen close to the underside of the trunk, however not at all times. Armillaria will be prevented by avoiding overwatering and different stressors. At present, there isn’t any efficient antifungal therapy for this illness. Which means, identical to your mother at all times stated, an oz of prevention is price a pound of treatment (particularly when there isn’t any treatment).
On this case, it could be time to exchange your hibiscus.
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