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Australian and New Zealand Gardening: Ginger plant with curling leaves

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Tonimac
Moss Vale
Australia

August 7, 2011
4:38 PM

Post #8742898

I have what I believe is an Aust. ginger plant native to the Gosford NSW region. The leaves are dark green on the upper side and dark red on the underside. I have been away for two days and when I came back I noticed that most of the leaves have completely rolled up. The plant is about 1 m high with many stems. I live in Moss Vale and the plant is kept on the back deck, which has a clear polycarbonate roof, so the plant is protected from both wind and frost (we haven't had any frost recently anyway). The plant has not been allowed to dry out, and the soil is damp but not wet. It looks as though there is some fine white 'stuff' on the leaves.

Does anyone have any ideas?

Thanks
Toni

chrissy100

chrissy100
Sydney
Australia

August 7, 2011
8:12 PM

Post #8743390

Probably powdery mildew, ease up on the water while it is still cool and spray leaves with a mix of 10 parts full cream milk to 9 parts water.
That is what I would do but there may be other ideas.
Good luck with your plant :)
Tonimac
Moss Vale
Australia

August 19, 2011
9:38 PM

Post #8765723

Thanks for taking the time to respond Chrissy. I've looked at images of powdery mildew, and I'm not convinced that's it for a few reasons. The powder on the ginger plant is best described as being like talcum powder or icing sugar. There isn't the blotchy appearance I've seen in images on the web. If you run your finger over the leaf you can wipe the powder off. Of course that may be what powdery mildew is like, but the leaves are definitely not blotchy looking, and the white powder is in discrete particles. Also, most of the leaves have completely rolled up like a cigar! It's just as though someone has rolled each leaf up into a tight cylinder. The other thing that happened just after my post above is that another plant, nowhere near the ginger plant, has also started to roll its leaves in the same way, but doesn't have the white powder. Instead, at least some of it's leaves have a white cocoon-like substance inside the rolled up leaf. But this plant has very tiny leaves which are hard to see clearly as it is actually a bansai plant which someone gave me that I have decided to allow to grow normally, as I have a negative emotional reaction to the bansai process.
I can still try your solution, but how do you control the spray, it sounds awfully messy, spraying a milk solution around. Could I just manually apply it to the leaves instead? And do I apply it to the stems as well?

Many thanks
Toni

chrissy100

chrissy100
Sydney
Australia

August 19, 2011
10:10 PM

Post #8765759

Sorry I can't say for sure without a picture ...the milk is often just painted onto the leaves of house plants and does not leave anything other than a shine.
http://www.guide-to-houseplants.com/mealybugs.html
Could be this or some sort of scale.
Good luck with it :)

chrissy100

chrissy100
Sydney
Australia

August 19, 2011
10:56 PM

Post #8765787

I had a google and found this ...evidently they are supposed to not look too good after the cool weather,
hope this helps
http://forums.gardenweb.com/forums/load/ginger/msg1109182521424.html

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