Mar 13

Spider Mites

We don’t really have the light for growing houseplants in the Jones’ household, therefore they don’t thrive well here. Most of the windows are small and we’re surrounded by a lot of wooded area.

I pretty much gave up trying to keep houseplants alive.

But that’s okay, because all but one of our houseplants are really food plants. The exception being a Valentine’s Day gift of a bonsai tree. All these plants need to do is make it through the winter, and they’ll be back where they are happiest.

So it was about a month or more ago that both the Meyer lemon tree and the Clementine began losing leaves. I figured it was from being indoors over the winter, and since spring was just around the corner, all would soon be well.

Then I noticed the same thing happening to a pepper I grew from seed. Hmmm.

Upon closer inspection, I saw this:

Gardening Jones shares her experience dealing with spider mites.

Spider Mites weave tiny webs.

And this:

Gardening Jones shares her experience dealing with spider mites.

By the time you see the web, they are happily reproducing.

It was also on the citrus plants.

I gave it a good treatment of diluted Neem oil with a little added dish soap. Then I waited and watched.

About 2 weeks later I saw a couple more webs, so gave them another dose.

Now it has been another few weeks, and it looks like we’re in the clear. Both trees and the pepper plant have a lot of new growth.

Gardening Jones shares her experience dealing with spider mites.

New growth at every junction.

Here’s what I learned:

1. Spider mites are often on outdoor plants, but are usually kept at bay by predators and the weather.

2. They can however hatch indoors when they are brought inside.

3. They will suck the life out of a plant’s leaves.

4. They are way tiny and by the time you see their webs, they are already doing damage.

So, note to self: Treat plants before they are brought indoors in the fall.

Have you ever dealt with spider mites?

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