There are probably several species of mealy bug going around collections in the UK and elsewhere. Insect identification is an important factor when you need to take steps to control them. If well cared for, succulent plants should grow well and remain healthy, but this may not be easy when growing plants in a climate which is different from that in their native habitat. It's not worth the risk to reuse it. lower leaves off, and within a few weeks to months you can't even tell. ( NB. While these notes focus on pests and diseases of cacti and succulents, incorrect cultural conditions are a major cause of poor growth or loss of house plants in general. However, the roots may be suffering in wet soil and begin to rot unseen. stubborn infestations, add a tiny amount - a few drops is sufficient - If you see a line of ants climbing up and down a plant look for honeydew-secreting pests like scales, mealy bugs or aphids. When you notice your plant begin to shrivel, check the leaf color and texture. protective waxy coating is covered and they smother. If it’s yellowing and shriveling, it’s underwatered and will feel dry to the touch. These are where the females are nesting up inside the fluff and producing young, which may be either born live or produced from eggs. In most cases, you can almost decimate a plant by taking the If you have mealy bugs or other insect damage, take some leaves or cuttings right away and propagate them. ... Dead, dying or diseased plants are a breeding ground for pests and need to be dealt with both quickly and efficiently. Typically, the telltale signs are white mold looking stuff on the outside of the root ball where it's been against the pot. Scale insects do not seem to be common in the UK, but appear from time to time, particularly on plants put outside for the summer. Rooted stock in containers both outside and in greenhouse FAQ Why is my succulent shriveling? When a succulent isn't looking quite right, you may wonder if you've done something wrong. In many cases, fungal attack and poor culture are linked. Succulents Common Diseases & Cultural Problems in Succulent and Cacti. Last update: 14/05/2019. Getting new plants can be so exciting that you can't wait to see what they look like in your display. Poor light  more about light and lighting   Natural sunlight is the best way of illuminating your plants, many of which are native to arid hillsides under scorchingly bright sunlight. Once the seedling has wilted, it is usually too late to save it and preventative measure are a better option. The wasps lay their eggs in the immature whitefly, which blacken and die, so a supply of whitefly is required to maintain the predator population. succulents, so use caution. The best systemic insecticides currently available are based on Imidacloprid. These eat the roots and up into the base of stems of plants which then collapse suddenly. Cold damage Although many cacti and succulents are surprisingly cold-hardy if kept absolutely dry during the winter, some species from perpetually tropical climates (e.g. This interferes with their sense of smell and may discourage mice from the immediate area but the oil must be replaced frequently. Be warned; the protective waxy coating called 'bloom' will be destroyed by the fatty acids in soap, which may be unsightly temporarily - not to worry, these plants will replace it in time. Succulent Pests and Diseases As is the case with sunlight exposure, succulents and cacti prefer to live in the "sweet spot" when it come to temperature. However, they may be toxic to people and absorbed through the skin in the same way. Fungal Disease. They can be a major problem with Sempervivum - watch for wasp activity and look closely at the crowns of the plant. Both ends of the spectrum, hot and cold, can cause irreversible damage to these resilient plants, so it's just a matter of paying attention to their condition and modifying the environment as needed. An early sign of their presence is the appearance of brown dots where the plant epidermis has been damaged, merging into confluent scarring and sometimes webbing on the plants. The nymphs secrete a sugary honeydew substance that encourages black mould on plants. These insects are small and grey or light brown and so difficult to see among the spines of cacti. Their host-plant range and individual sensitivity to control measures are poorly characterised anyway. Both ends of the spectrum, hot and cold, can cause irreversible damage to these resilient plants, so it's just a matter of paying attention to their condition and modifying the environment as needed. Succulent Pests, Diseases and Problems. Mixing insecticides such as permethrin with the compost may be helpful. In the Agave Snout Weevil Agave Snout Weevil Scyphophorus acupunctatus - a glossy black beetle-like insect with a pointed snout, typically seen in late Spring and early Summer. A repeat treatment may be applied after a few days to eliminate any survivors. General comments aboutpest control Many common pests can be controlled by use of systemic insecticides, contact insecticides, insecticidal soaps and, in some cases, natural predators. The only solution is to maintain higher temperatures for susceptible plants. Wash off as many of the mealy bugs as possible with a high pressure water jet from a sprayer, and treat the plant with a contact insecticide such as malathion (not for Crassulaceae) or a systemic insecticide. Some species such as Echincactus grusonii which are otherwise easy to grow, can develop unsightly brown marks which spoil a specimen plant, if temperatures are too low. don't taste right. It is difficult to obtain a predator/prey balance that allows long-term protection in a small collection. Pests may well have spread to other specimens nearby, even if you can not see them. Not sure what you should be doing when bringing your tender succulents indoors for the winter?Sign up for the FREE Winterizing Succulents E-Course and find out how to keep your succulents happy and healthy:Click on the picture: The worst pests I encounter in my greenhouse are chipmunks! If you dislike killing these handsome creatures, they must be removed to a distance of at least 200 yards or, being territorial animals, they may return. Control of Mice Another huge topic. Although Agave Snout Weevil prefer the broader-leaved Agaves, any genera within the Agavaceae e.g. Use a cotton swab with rubbing alcohol to remove them, or use a A squashed mealy bug often leaves a characteristic red stain: the cochineal insect, from which a food colourant is made, is a type of mealy bug. Keep your succulents looking their best. These insects like to eat the sap of succulents, damaging the plants and making them susceptible to diseases. Use pots that have good drain holes; my favorite pots are terracotta clay pots Cacti and some succulents will not usually become etiolated in dark conditions if kept cool and absolutely dry, and some growers allow their plants to become dormant for winter storage. However, a few precautions can reduce the frequency with which the problem occurs. Not only can they stunt the growth of succulents, var year=today.getFullYear() Their general appearance is reminiscent of tiny woodlice about 2-3 mm long. It is difficult to obtain a predator/prey balance that allows long-term protection in a small collection. Control of Snails Generally, careful inspection will allow the culprits to be picked off plants and pots by hand. The damage mealy bugs cause will often show as pale and stunted new growth in the crown of the plant. Control of sciarid fly The most effective remedy is to use soil-based mixtures and avoid peat. It is of some importance in commercial cultivation of Aloe vera. In the UK, chemicals must be used only as directed on the label: other use could be considered an offence. ) Control of Scale Insects Use regular applications (weekly for several weeks) of systemic insecticidal sprays (read the label to find pests controlled, method of use and precautions). Leaf litter provides an ideal hiding place for pests. there's no point losing new stock by hesitating to spoil the way it Hence, unexpected collapse of a plant is often the final symptom of a mealy bug infestation which has gone unnoticed. The vermiform mites are microscopic and spread mainly by the wind or by contact. Root mealy bugs These are also very common pests of cacti and succulents, but are found only on the roots of infested plants where they do considerable damage. Their general appearance is reminiscent of tiny pinkish-brown woodlice (2-3 mm long) in the soil and roots. Snails While these are less traditional pests of succulent plants, they can be extremely destructive if they get into a collection. A single application will not be sufficient to eliminate all the development stages of these insects.