I have the yellow butterfly weed Asclepias? that is covered with webs. Leaves are also bleached out looking. Also have on several Missouri violets. I assume it is spider mites because I don't see any other bug. Anything I can do since I don't want to spray insecticide on the butterfly weed.
Webs on butterfly weed and Missouri violet
I cut mine back to 2 or 3 nodes, or below the area that is damaged water the plants and give them some compost. They usually recover well.
If they are covered in webs it's spider mites. They thrive in hot, dry, dusty conditions. They will make the leaves bleach out and they can kill plants qiuckly. Since SM don't like a wet environment spray the plants with a good blast of water (be sure to get the underside of the leaves) a couple times a day, if you can. Don't do it during the heat of the day.
I hate the way they look. Off with the tops tomorrow. Glad to know they will come back
They may not come back if they have SMs. They will suck the life out of the plant. I have lost many plants to SMs before I knew what they were. You can cut them back but keep the plant damp.
I will keep that in mind after I cut them back. And I will try and watch closely and try the water spray. This is the first time I have seen SM to this degree in my garden.
This is the first season that they haven't been bad in my garden...who knows???
I'm noticing the leaf discoloration on my pole beans but ony on the top and the side that doesn't get hit with the sprinkler. They are my #1 garden nemesis.
It is weird in my garden. They hit the yellow only butterfly weeds really hard, but 2 feet away, have left the orange, yellow ones alone.
Are there any beneficial bugs that I should be on the lookout for that eat SMs?
There are but I don't know their names. I do know that SM infestations can hit after the use of pesticides since it kills the benficials that eat them but not the SMs bc they are arachnids. Also SMs are immune to many insecticides.
I really don't use insecticides so I guess the heat encouraged them. Too bad high humidity doesn't kill them. It was so hot and humid this morning I could only stand it for a little bit before I gave up.
My County Extension Agent told me they are a universal pest in TX.
We are much more humid here then usual I can't decide whether it's the heat/humidity or heat/age but I can't take it either. Lol
I treat spider mites with a twice daily shower for 5 days, plain water, dousing bottom of leaves well too. But I use beneficial nematodes and in areas I keep watered, bugs that hit the dirt get eaten
The daily water spray seemed to have worked. The webs seem under control. I haven't seen any new ones for several days. Thanks for the help!
This is all good to know. I also had the webs & without checking (which I tend to do 😆), I blasted with water. And I ended up chopping the tops off the plant closest to my back door. What's sad to me is this is the first year they have flourished this far into summer. Which means the caterpillars haven't been eating them. But that's a whole different topic...