Red Sister's brown spots

Discussion in 'Indoor and Greenhouse Plants' started by Marina Mactavish, Jun 22, 2008.

  1. Marina Mactavish

    Marina Mactavish Member

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    Vernon, BC, Canada
    I have just read here that my long-suffering plant not only is quite probably infested by mites (brown spots) - but also may be overwhelmed by too much fluoride, etc in the water (brown leaf ends). We did have a very late and wet spring here in BC, which might have prolonged the water treatment that is usually a bit stronger in spring, so that the brown leaf ends were inevitable. The water quality is better now but should I try repotting in fresh unsaturated soil? Where the mites are concerned, will the usual diluted Sunlight dish soap be helpful? This seems to be a rather sensitive plant and could that leave a coating of soap residue that my little Sister would react to?

    It really is a gorgeous plant when it wants to be, though.

    Your collective thoughts on this??
  2. Bluewing

    Bluewing Well-Known Member

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    Upstate NY
    You can try bottled, or rain water. Chlorine can also cause the ends to brown and dry. If you leave a jug of water out (without the top on) for 24 or 48, can't remember which, sorry, the chlorine will dissipate, but not the fluoride.

    I guess you could repot if you think the soil is staying too wet. Keep the pot size only an inch larger around than the root ball, it will dry faster, not stay as wet with too much excess soil. Make sure the soil drains well, as well as the pot it's in.

    As far as mites, IF it does have mites, a few drops of a mild dish soap in water mixed in spray bottle, or, rubbing alcohol mixed and water, 2 parts alcohol to 8 parts water. You should really rinse the leaves after using the soap and water treatment after about 15-20 minutes. If you use the alcohol and water, keep the plant out of of any sun until it dries. If you can hose the plant down with water first, that should get rid of many.
    Neem oil is another mite remedy.
    Do any of these treatments at least every 5 days or so for two to three weeks, then just keep watching for any further infestation.
    Complete coverage of the stems and leaves is the key! I would recommend that you cover the soil with plastic bags, the kind you get at most the stores before starting.

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