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  1. #11
    Guest
    Hi to you too, Newt!

    I use up this dish detergent because I don't use it for
    dishes. What I really prefer to use is Simple Green (after
    reading Material Safety Data Sheets for a few dish detergents
    and for Simple Green - that stuff is just about safe enough
    to drink, and, I believe, even acceptable in organic
    gardening/farming).

    My suggestion for soaking the soil would only apply to
    the soil borne pests and not work for the above ground
    ones. I have scales on occasion, mostly on bananas and
    palms (and a bad case of plumeria scale), and spraying
    with a soap/water solution works well for them, but you
    may have to repeat the exercise several times. - My
    plumeria takes offense to that, but the bananas and
    palms as well as my Sago Palm (which is really a cycad,
    not a palm) don't mind.

    Aloha,
    Maren

  2. #12
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Maryland zone 7
    Posts
    3,042
    Aloha, Maren!!* That's great to know about Simple Green.* I was given some by a contractor but didn't like the smell so I haven't used it.* Now I know how to use it up!* :)**

    Hope all is well in your corner of the world.
    Newt

  3. #13
    Guest
    yes, the smell takes some getting used to [img]images/emoticons/big_grin.gif[/img], but at some point my
    bottle made it inside the house and hasn't come back out yet.

    We had a dry spell, but I don't think I have lost too many of my potted
    plants (outside, I don't have any inside the house), and absolutely no time
    to water.

    Getting back to the subject of scales, if it is scales that Julie has on her
    dracaena: unlike ants, aphids, and other things that move around quite
    a bit, with scales it is important to actually hit the scales with whatever
    you spray them with, undersides of leaves and all, and recheck after a
    few days. I believe they do actually move, but I have never seen one
    move.

    Aloha,
    Maren
    (Newt: what are you doing up at these somewhat ungodly hours, or
    are you currently in a different time zome?)

  4. #14
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Maryland zone 7
    Posts
    3,042
    Maren, the scales do move, but only when they are young.* Once they latch on to a plant as an adult they stay put and that's when the shell hardens.* Nasty little things!* :shock:

    I'm in the Eastern time zone so I'm 6 hours ahead of you right now as we also went to daylight savings last weekend!* You don't do that where you are.* Your time zone is GMT minus 10 and we're GMT minus 5 until spring when we do the clock dance!* ;)*

    Newt

  5. #15
    Hi Newt & Maren! Thanks so much :D

    Well, I don't think it's scales either... the bugs I saw didn't look like them... I really have no idea what it is or if it means much. My plant is still deteriorating, but I haven't seen any more bugs on it.

    I'll probably be watering it in a few days (still waiting for the soil to dry just a bit more), which will give me the chance to fertilize it. Hopefully this will help. I haven't had the chance to do the soapy water mix yet, but I'll definetly get working on that soon... I have bought a spray bottle, so it's a start :)

    I was thinking of spraying the leaves first, and if I see no change, then try the whole planter in soapy water... The idea is that, because my plant is so week, I'm afraid that taking it out of it's pot will be hard on it... and since the soil doesn't seem to be badly infested... (I found 1 worm, ever, and I looked quite a bit), I'm thinking of trying less "invasive" interventions first. What do you guys think?

    Also, as many of it's leaves are turning brown, should I be cutting them when they do or leaving them on the plant? I vaguely remember my parents telling me it was better to cut dying leaves to give strenght back to plants when I was little, but I have no idea if this was true or if it applies to my dracaena... any thoughts?

    Thanks so much!

    Julie

  6. #16
    [align=left]Hi!

    Well, today I found a new critter, and this time I think it might be a spider mite. Ewww. Under the microscope, I could see what looked like a round-shaped body and probably 8 leggs. I found it when I grabbed the dandelion-seed looking thing on my plant... I noticed the critter on it...so maybe these mites make a different kind of webbing? (looks like this ). It does have a webbing feel, though... it sticks to everything that touches it... Insecticidal soap is on it's way![/align]

  7. #17
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Maryland zone 7
    Posts
    3,042
    Julie, gosh, I'm stumped.* Spider mites come in different colors and are tiny specs unless you look at them under a microscope like you did.* They look like this.
    http://woodypest.ifas.ufl.edu/mites.htm

    Maybe what you saw what their web or something that got caught in their web.*

    Newt


  8. #18
    Hum... yeah, it kinda looked like those. It's definelty not the two-spotted kind (didn't have 2 spots) but it's similar in shape. The webbing is what makes me have second thoughts, because, as I said, the webs don't look like the pictures I usually find online (doesn't look like a web that much, more like dandelion seeds or lint)... I think it must be spider mites, though... no other reason I would have found such a tiny spider-looking bug in something that really sticks & feels like a spiderweb...

  9. #19
    Guest
    the soapy water should help with spider mites too, if it's those.

    Aloha,
    Maren

  10. #20
    Hi all...

    Well this is my input of Dracaena Fragrans.* Having grow up in Malaysia, Dracaena F. is not foreign at all.* Having said that, not alot of people would know what to do with the plant and after reading this discussion, it does happen to us too.* Some blame the sun of being too strong or not enough lights, pests and even superstitious belief that the plant is blocking the way of "it".

    Well from experience, well drain soil (my grandfather use to mix the soil with woodchips and rock granules - 5 soil, 1 woodchip, 1 rock granules ratio), position (once position the plant try not to move around to different location because*the plant*would need to learn to adjust it light intake in new setting), leaf trimming - when leaves start to brown at the tip and spliting occurs cut the leaves across (1/3 from leaf tip), and using pests to*control pests (in Malaysia eveyhousehold would have house geeko, they actually feeds on little insects - mites and mozzy etc...) and sometimes they hid around the leaves of the Dracaena to feed of little insects.* The Dracaena that my family got at home comes from the one that my grandfather look after 60 years ago - we keep cutting the plant down for new cultivation and use the same method that my grandfather used.

    Now that I have migrated to Melbourne, Australia I keep doing the same thing with exception that the geekos are replaced by huntsman spider (familiar spider to US and Canada - they are good spider because they do keep mites and smaller spiders at bay. please be kind to the huntsman and i know they looks horrible but trust me they*are miracles to indoor plants. We just have to clean up the webs!)*and once a month water with "Seasol Seaweed Concentrate" - it is NOT a fertilizer but a health booster to plants and gardens especially in establishing new growth and strong rooting system.* Hope you can fine some similar products at your end.

    Good luck and hope grandfather way helps

    *

    From*land down under*- Kenny

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