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Any of several kinds of small, many-colored sucking insects, usually congregate on new growth (which becomes distorted) of a great variety of plants, including ornamentals, like roses and vegetables. Easily controlled by insect predators, insecticidal soap, botanical insecticides, or traditional pesticides.

Black Spot
A fungal disease causing black spotting on foliage and stems, usually of roses. Most common in areas with summer rain and/or high humidity. Good winter clean up (destroying infected leaves and prunings) and spring fungicide sprays are effective controls.

A sweetish secretion exuded by many insects, including aphids, mealybugs, scale, and whiteflies. The secretion attracts ants, which harvest the honeydew and protect the pest from natural predators. It also develops a blackish mold, known as sooty mold. Heavily infested plants, especially trees, drip honeydew, staining everything underneath, often cars. The best control is to exclude ants (banding with sticky Materials is effective) from the plant and then try to control the source of the pest. Insecticidal soaps will help clean the foliage.

A small, white, cottony-looking insect that infest many houseplants but can also be a pest outdoors. Control indoors by daubing the pest with a cottony swab dipped in rubbing alcohol or by spraying with insecticidal soap. Outdoors, many beneficial insects, including the Mealybug destroyer, provide control. Horticultural oils and traditional pesticides are also effective. You may also have to control ants, which cultivate mealybugs to harvest their sugary secretions (see honeydew )

Powdery mildew
A fungal disease that causes white or grayish spots or powdery like threads on the new growth of many plants, including roses, photinia, and euonymus. Traditional fungicidal sprays are the most effective controls. Antitranspirant sprays may also help prevent infection.

Root rot
A name used to describe a disease caused by soil-borne fungi that kill plant roots. Such fungi thrive in overly wet or poorly drained soil with insufficient aeration. Plants turn yellow, individual branches wilt or die back, and the entire plant may die. The best control is to improve drainage and cut back watering. Very few fungicides provide effective control.

A large group of many-colored insects, so called from there appearance; they are covered with a shield like scale under which they hide and feed. They stick fast to plants, often resembling small bumps on leaves or stems. There armorlike cover makes them difficult to control with insecticides. They infest many plants and are often accompanied by ants and sooty mold. Infested plants are weakened, grow poorly; leaves are distorted or drop; branches or entire plants can die. To control, encourage or release beneficial insects, handpick, exclude ants, and spray with insecticidal soaps, horticultural oils, or traditional insecticides. Sprays are most effective when insects are in the crawler stage.

Spider mite
A very small (extremely hard to see with the naked eye) spiderlike insect relative that sucks juices from the leaves of many plants, especially those of fruits and vegetables. It thrives in hot, dry weather and on dusty, drought stressed plants. It causes stippled foliage, with a shiny yellow or silver coloration, and often covers the leaves with fine webbing. Infested plants are weakened and often die. Control with beneficial insects, insecticidal soaps, horticultural oils, sulfur sprays, or traditional insecticides.

A tiny, white, plant-sucking insect that infest many plants, congregating on the undersides of leaves. Whiteflies are particularly troublesome in warm weather and in greenhouses. They cause plant to loose vigor and leaves to turn yellow. They also produce abundant honeydew, resulting in sooty mold and ants. Control with beneficial insects, including Encarsia wasp. Horticultural oils, insecticidal soaps, yellow sticky traps, row covers, botanical sprays, and traditional insecticides are other control methods.

Sago Palms commonly show symptoms of manganese deficiency in the spring and summer. Often called frizzle top, this name is descriptive because the new growth begins to turn yellow, then brown and takes on frizzled appearance.

You'll need to use manganese sulfate to correct the problem. Many times, a person will go into a garden supply store and ask for manganese sulfate and get magnesium sulfate, which is Epsom salt. It's interesting that magnesium is an essential plant nutrient as well, but using magnesium sulfate to correct a manganese deficiency will not work. Make sure to get manganese sulfate to correct a manganese deficiency.

Household remedies for pest problems:

10% bleach water can be used to control fungus on all plants, including Orchids.

Cleaning your garden tools and flower pots with 10% bleach will help stop the spread of disease.

Rubbing Alcohol on a cotton swab will remove mealybugs and Scale

Lemon scented dish soap (1 tbsp)mixed with water( 1 liter) in a spray bottle can be used for many insects such as mealybugs, aphids, spider mites and white fly's.

Baking soda (2 tsp) and ½ tsp of liquid soap or Murphy's oil soap in 2 quarts of water will protect roses from black spot and powdery mildew for months

2 Aspirin (325 milligrams) uncoated and dissolved in one quart of water is a wonderful foliar spray for diseases like Black spot, powdery mildew and rust.

Vinegar (5 % acidity) mixed with a few drops of liquid soap wreaks havoc on weeds

Note: Use sprays early in the morning and never when the temperature is above 85 degrees unless you are spraying for weeds.