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Spider mites... again!

Spider mites... again!
Posted by Kate from NC on 2006-03-07 08:02:00

I had a palm, and it developed spider mites. So i just got rid of it. 6 months later, I got another palm (from a chain hardware store). Now it has spider mites!! Where do they come from? How can I block them?? Do i just have to constantly clean my plants?
I'd appreciate any advice. PS., I was hoping for a realtively low-maintenance plant, and I am willing to start over, again.
  • spider mites
    Posted by andi from b.c. canada on 2006-03-09 08:47:00

    Hi there,
    Spider mites can show up when the room is too hot and too dry, that's why it is a common problem in the winter. Unfortunately palms are also susceptible to spider mites. They are so small that they could have already been on the plant. Is your plant in a room with a fireplace or near a heater? Most house plants would prefer a minimum of 50F. but no more than about 75F. Your plant is in need of more humidity, misting the plant usually will get rid of the spider mites, or take it into the bathroom and turn your shower on (not on the plant,ha) and give it a good steaming. Not sure what type of palm you have, but if it is a type of parlour or kentia palm, it will tolerate a little less light in the summer. And while Home Depot or other chain stores can be a good bargain for plants, they just never seem to have anyone looking after them except to water once in a while, much better to go to a garden store where someone spends 8hrs. a day looking for bug and fungus problems. So I hope this helps you out and good luck! Andi
    • Spider mites again
      Posted by Kate from NC on 2006-03-10 07:35:00

      Hey! Thanks for replying! I think I will take your advice and visit a garden store/ nursery. The room I am keeping it in is warm and dry, and I mist it/ water it, but perhaps not enough.

      I keep the 2nd plant that i have gotten in the same location as I did the first-- is it possible that the mites are coming from within my house? It is on a second story, near a window that is kept closed (98% of the time).
      • Spider mites
        Posted by will creed (wcreed@HorticulturalHelp.com) from NYC on 2006-03-16 02:05:00

        Hi Kate,

        Spider mites don't really appear out of thin (warm, dry) air, although it often appears that way. The spider mites were on your palm from the outset. When conditions are right, they multiply very rapidly and suddenly become very noticeable.

        There is nothing you can do to totally prevent them. Do check your plants very carefully before buying them, especially the undersides of leaves. And check them regularly as part of your routine care. This is especially true for mite-prone plants such as most palms.

        When (not if) you find them, the key to effective treatment is not what you use but how throughly you apply it. A soapy water solution works very well as log as you drench all leaf and stem surfaces until they are dripping wet.

        Let me know if this is unclear or contact me directly if you want my article on indoor plant pest control.

        Will Creed
        wcreed@HorticultralHelp.com

        Insiders' Plant Information

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