De-scaling a fig... or just about any other plant
Bird-brained helpers deserve applause
Recipe: Pepper spray for plants
Plant chemicals: Healthy plant, healthy people
Just a dash of fireplace ash for the garden
Other uses for stashed ashes
Unusual words: Pale leaf and bug hatch
Mentors brush off aphids, leave great books behind
Celebrating a white birch Christmas
Making more light indoors for healthier plants
When travelers learn to zone, home gets greener
In our garden: Bag a plant, swaddle a gardener
45 mph garden: House finds itself in shade of a houseplant
How to re-coup missed issues, nix extra index
Arrows point to a soft brown scale (left side) and its giveaway -- the shiny, sticky dots of honeydew it drips onto leaves below.
Soft brown scale (Coccus hesperidum) is the scale most often found on houseplants, especially citrus, Ficus, ferns and ivies. This one is living on a bay leaf. Its sister may be imbibing from a nearby orchid if it was able to crawl across adjacent leaves or drop from overhanging foliage. It's a bit more than 1/8 inch log, about average for a full grown member of its species.
Early control is the key to staying ahead of these ubiquitous pests. Shake hands with the plant regularly, checking leaf blades for shiny, sticky honeydew that's telltale even before the scales are large enough to see easily. Look on leaf undersides, too, for adults. Rub off the adults or kill them with a dab of rubbing alcohol, being careful not to get too much on the plant, as it can burn some leaves. However, you shouldn't quit there, since there are almost certainly crawlers at work if you see an adult. Apply an insecticide, too or wash the plant thoroughly with soapy water and then a forceful rinse.
To keep a houseplant healthy, keeps its leaves clean. Cover the soil surface and spray it thoroughly with a mild soap solution, then shower it off. Clean leaves receive more light - that's more energy -- and the bath washes away pests.
A full-spectrum bulb in a cast-off shop lamp might be the thread an indoor plant hangs by, in winter's dark days. Above: This might not be much but left on 24 hours a day, it's better than nothing and may be what keeps our excess jades healthy until we find them homes!
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In this issue you will find answers to these Search terms:
applying ash to gardens
cottony maple scale
handling wood ash
hot pepper solution
hot pepper spray recipe
immature lady beetle
medical uses of phytochemicals
midwinter fire traditions
monkey puzzle tree
natural enemies of scale
oyster shell scale
pine needle scale
plant-derived phytochemicals chart
scale life cycle
soft brown scale
soft brown scale on houseplants
spread ashes on the garden
vacation plant care
wood ash and nitrogen fertilizer reaction
wood ash uses