All summer, I noticed some red spider mites on my "Lady Margaret" vines, but they never got out of control. A couple months after finally bringing them inside for the year, the mites are absolutely out of control. Buds are drooping and dropping, new growth is dying back, and I stand to lose both plants. Mixes of rubbing alcohol and water sprayed on the plants don't do squat. Mixes of small amounts of dish soap in water are equally ineffective. Horticultural oil sprays are effective IF the plant is doused (including the under sides of the leaves), but those same sprays kill ALL new growth and still do damage to the rest of the mature growth on the plant. It's a bit late in the year here in Missouri to find predatory mites or even mailorder them (without them dying in transit).
After hours of sifting through baloney "cures" and companies peddling their products all over the web, I'm fed up. Everything "organic" and "non-toxic" appears to still be highly toxic. And I just finished hosing both plants off in the shower, letting them drying, and then spraying them with horticultural oil spray, so I'm even more frustrated. Is there anyone among the passion flower enthusiasts who has a decent tip on what might help combat the spider mites without pushing the entire plant to the brink of death? Any help would be appreciated.
With brugmansia, we take off every single leaf to get rid of them. They will come back, but it destroys the mites food source. You may want to try that.
In your case, I'd remove the plant from it's pot, and get rid of all the soil.
Cut the plant back some, and then defoliate it. Repot in fresh soil.
Spray some Avid or Forbid (you can get these in smaller quantities at BGI classifieds, open to the public. There may be other sources to get these smaller amounts of the stuff,
but I am unaware of them. Perhaps another reader could help if so) on the remaining stems once (Forbid) and then again in 4 days (Avid-to get the eggs). As the leaves grow in again, they
should be spidermite-free. That is, unless you have other plants that are infested in the area, in which case you have a whole bunch of treatments to do.
I feel for you. Brugmasnsia suffers quite frequently from this, and we spend a lot of time fighting these nasty buggers! Good luck!
Thanks for your time and the tip! Much appreciated!
This summer, I made an absurd concoction of jalapeno peppers, garlic, and some other junk - an alleged "organic" deterrent for mites - that was supposed to be sprayed on the plants. I ended up inhaling quite a bit of it. Highly irritating for the mucosa in your airway. It's a wonder I didn't drown in my own secretions after that. Not recommended. :-)