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Sick plant - Spider mites confirmed - Not sure if anything else is wrong!

StinkyPete

New Member
Hello,

I'm looking for a little bit of guidance here. I have 3 plants in veg, 7 months old. I'm not sure when the spider mites arrived, but it's been over a month, possibly two. Since discovery, I went and got one brand of pest spray that the grow shop employee recommended i use. It seems like the mite population and damage is isn't too severe. No webbing. However they have caused visible damage to leaves, creating their signature tiny yellow spots. You will see in the photos I attach.

What i also noticed was the tips of the leaves browning and curling back upwards, eventually getting crispy. The affected leaves aren't necessarily easy to remove either.

The lower level smaller leaves just become completely brown and die before they get a chance to grow. I'm not sure if this is spider mite damage or if the plant is just giving more energy to the top leaves. I just feel like the bottom area is very messy and more leaves are dying than normal.

Please, take a look at my photos and let me know what you think. The plants are a bit thirsty. I decided to take photos when their leaves weren't so obstructive.

 

StinkyPete

New Member
Yeah, I water them regularly. They are just thirsty in the photos because i thought it would be easier to photograph them. I've used mighty wash in the past, and it seemed to do the trick. However, i currently dont have access to it unless i order it online. Mighty Wash is mainly pyrethrins. I think the spray I already used about 4 times has pyrethrins as main ingredient. Also, I've been removing dead leaves as best as i can, but they're dying way too fast than normal. I legit cant keep up with removing them all. The blight is working its way up the plants from the bottoms. Now some of the top leaves are getting yellow dots and dying off.
 

iwltfum

New Member
If more leaves are getting the green spots, it means that the spider mites are increasing in numbers and have not been controlled properly. The only way to control spider mites is by daily or every other day spraying of something. Spider mites thrive in dry climates - and since it doesn't ever rain or dew in your grow room (I'm assuming), it's naturally a wonderful place for them to hang out and multiply.

The popular solutions help out alot (ie. azamax, green cure, mighty wash, neem oil, insecticidal soaps), but you're only delaying the inevitable if you don't spray SOMETHING (even if it's just water) on your plants every 1-2 days. It's the only way to get them all gone, completely - that is, until the next one wanders in from the outside, but there's nothing you can really do about that execpt for filtration and proper room sealing and contamination management techniques.

But, there's no good way to cover an entire plant with whatever your spraying it with so the real solution to this problem is creating an environment in which the plants get wet often, but also dry out often - for approximately 2 weeks. It's an idea that I try to share with everyone dealing with bugs, both in produce farming and cannabis farming, that it's an environmental issue at the stem of the problem. The only way to fix the problem is to change the environmental factors that are causing bugs to like your plants to a point of infestation.

You can throw the book at it with sprays, and sulfur burning, and predatory insects, but those things don't do 100% of the work. In the case when the bugs have taken quite the hold of a crop, as they have yours, it takes a big time commitment and idealogical change of thinking to get rid of them.

My favorite (and what I know to be the most effective) solution to sider mites:
~1 gallon - water
~1Tablespoon - Dr Broners soap (peppermint or lavender is preferable since those oils are also natural insect repellents) really any biodegradeable soap will work, just spray a test batch on a couple leaves to make sure it won't damage them. I have tried Dr Broners and know it works fine.
~1Tablespoon - Isopropyl alcohol 99%
~1Tablespoon - Azamax or other soulable azadiractin (optional)
Directions: Every day, spray water only until leaves are dripping. Every third day, spray mixed solution until leaves are dripping. Spray the leaves, stems, stalks, and top of the soil/medium. Repeat for at least 2 weeks (seriously).

You need to take into consideration the humidity of your room if you choose to use the above method. If, at any point, between spraying your room humidity is not dropping below 45%, switch to: Spray the plants every other day. Alternate spraying water with spraying the mixed solution.

Cheers and good luck!
Tfum
 

Vestrimatrik

New Member
Another mix you could use on the cheaper side is neem oil and cinnamon leaf oil. I had spider mites populating my room to the point where they were covering about 15% of the plant in web. 4 treatments and it knocked those suckered out and haven't had a problem since.

The mix I used was 20ml of neem oil AND 2ml of cinnamon leaf oil per gallon. I sprayed every 4 days and my plants loved it.

I also agree with iwItfum about environmental control but I've tried some of those other products and they didn't seem to work for me. Besides... $20 for 2 treatments with some of the insecticidal soap they sell at the grow store, sounds a bit spendy to me.

The concentrated neem oil and cinnamon leaf oil should only cost you somewhere around $30 total and will make you over 20 gal of spray.

Remember to (like mentioned above) spray everything, including any entrances to the grow area and even the floor around them.

It worked for me, hope it helps you.
 
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