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Article: Introduction to Echeverias- my personal experiences in Southern California: echeverias and mealy bugs

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Forum: Article: Introduction to Echeverias- my personal experiences in Southern CaliforniaReplies: 3, Views: 51
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April 21, 2008
10:58 AM

Post #4839944

Help! In 40 years I have never had mealybugs and now I seem to be supplying the whole west coast with them...I have been running around with a bottle of rubbing alcohol and a Q-tip to little avail...insecticidal soaps seem to be too hard on the foliage ...and I am afraid to use a systemic because of their reaction to the soaps. I have been cutting out and destroying affected plants as well as using the Q-tip method..but this is an indoor 'garden' of about 100 different succulents in a long (20') planter--kept dry and in the sun...What do you suggest that I do? Is there anyway of cleaning this mess up without starting over? The plants are not all covered and not all affected with the mealybugs...but with mealybugs they seem to spread so fast that I am afraid to leave this alone for more than 48 hours...And I have been keeping it under control daily for about 5 months now..but I never seem to win:(
Brookfield, CT

April 21, 2008
2:03 PM

Post #4840458

DaBenDan, I share your fustration with mealybugs. Forget the cotton swab method unless you want to dedicate your life to this pursuit. Mealies are just too good at hiding in nooks and crannies for this to be effective. I tried using a neem spray on my collection of assorted succulents. It worked, but was hard on the foliage - removed the lovely gray bloom, or simply caused the leaves to drop off. I may have overdone the neem spray. I wanted to use up all the spray I mixed, so I really soaked the plants. I tried systemics. They work for a time too, but you have to keep re-applying. I worry about the residual effect of this much pesticide on me when I handle the plants and the soil, so I gave up on that method. I found insecticidal soap to be the best solution. It works, and there is no concern about poisoning myself along with the bugs. If you are having trouble with leaf damage the problem is probably phytotoxicity. Can you protect your plants from the sun while you treat them? I keep my plants under fluorescent lights and did not have problems with leaf damage. I can only assume that the lower intensity of the artificial light protected my plants from this problem. By the way I'd love to see a picture of your 20' long planter. It sounds spectacular. Good luck.


Acton, CA
(Zone 8b)

April 21, 2008
2:22 PM

Post #4840553

I have not found Neem oil to hurt Echeverias (though I would not leave on top of the leaves in full, hot sun or it might help the sun burn the leaves)
Perris Ca.
United States

June 13, 2014
10:56 AM

Post #9867069

There is a restricted spray available called Perfekthion (not sure of the sp.) A tiny amount goes a long way! It is a bright blue, has an evil smell and rubber gloves is a minimum must for mixing and applying using a used little kitchen sprayer!!!! It is extremely effective, lasts for ages and doesn't mark the leaves of all those gorgeous cultivars.
As ants 'farm' these pests for the honeydew they produce another product called ant sand is effective in stopping their spread from plant to plant as it kills the pests thus helping prevent new colonies being established. It's readily available at supermarkets in N.Z. s but I haven't looked for it here as I find one, or at the most two sprays over the summer while I am in Perris Ca deals most effectively with the problem while I'm back down under for eight or nine months of the year.

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