Heucheras & Spider Mites

A few days ago, I tackled killing the spider mites that have attacked my beautiful Heuchera hedge, plants from Terra Nova Nurseries.  Spider mites are a very common and devastating nuisance plant pest.  They are capable of rapid reproduction, and can wreck havoc and wipe out flowers as well as vegetables.  These sucking pests attach themselves to plant tissue and suck the sap and cell contents from the leaves.  Eventually, the leaves and the entire plant shrivels up and dies.  Spider mites migrate rapidly from plant to plant, so if possible, isolate the infested plant to lessen the spread.  In my case, my heucheras are forming a hedge, so the leaves are touching each other.  The first thing I did was cut off all the infected heuchera leaves, trying not to demolish the entire hedge.  Next,  I made a mixture of alcohol and water and sprayed the leaves well, but not dripping.  Make sure you spray underneath the leaves where the mites like to gather.

Check out the spider mite infestation on the foliage in the photos below.  A spider mite diseased leaf looks pock marked on top and bumpy and super creepy underneath.



Here are a few organic methods to eliminate spider mites.  All have worked for me, but you have to reapply every 4-5 days.

1. Neem oil repulses spider mites. Make a spray using 1/2 t. neem oil per quart of water, and a few drops of biodegradable liquid soap. Put in a spray bottle and spray the infested plants.

2. Make a mixture of alcohol and water in a 1:1 ratio. Put into a spray bottle and spray the infested plants.

3. And, if you don’t want to mess around with mixing, try this pre-made organic solution by Growers Trust, called Spider Mite Killer. Check it out here.

Anyone else have an organic solution for killing spider mites or other plant pests?

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Till the next time…

Love, Holly ~ Your Queen Bee at The White Pear