SchildlÀuse & Co: Winter pests on container plants

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Before wintering carefully check your container plants for scale insects and other winter pests - especially on the underside of the leaves and on the shoots often unwanted parasites spread. Because: Once the annoying insects have made it to winter quarters, all plants are infected in no time.

Suspicious are shiny, sticky deposits on leaves and shoots - it is a sugary juice that is excreted by all aphids. Scale insects predominantly attack palm and hard-leaved, evergreen potted plants such as oleander, olive and citrus species. In the case of infested plants, use the blunt side of a pocket knife to strip off any scale insects that you can discover. Before that, you should remove the top layer of the potting soil and wrap the rest of the pots with foil so that the falling pests do not end up in the potting soil. Then spray the plant thoroughly with an environmentally friendly rapeseed oil preparation such as "Naturen Schildlausfrei". The fine oil film sets in the remaining scale insects the breathing holes, so they suffocate with time.

Scale lice on an orchid leaf

Scale lice are often found on the leaves of evergreen potted and potted plants. They prefer to sit near the midrib

Lubricants or mealybugs

Lubricants, also called mealybugs, grow to a size of about three to five millimeters and protect themselves against predators with a more or less dense network of white wax threads. They are hard to miss because of these striking white pompoms. Depending on the species, the female mealybugs either become attached to the host plant or move slowly forward. Species of caterpillars are particularly susceptible to citrus species, milkweed plants, and ficus species, as well as various types of palm and cactus.

single louse on the leaf of an ornamental plant

Lice or mealybugs prefer citrus plants as host

When fighting lice, it is especially important to first scrape and remove the surface of the pot bale, as the cubs often live in the soil. Special lice species, the so-called root lice, even attack only the roots - younger plants should therefore completely replace the substrate and thoroughly wash out the root system. On the green parts of plants, it is best to combat lice such as scale lice with rapeseed oil preparations. "Pest Free Neem" also shows a good effect and is the drug of choice for soft-leaved plants. In both cases, however, the entire plant should be sprayed thoroughly from above and below several times.

If you hibernate your plants warm and bright in the greenhouse, you can also use various beneficials such as the Australian ladybug. However, it only becomes active when the ambient temperature exceeds 15 degrees. Order cards for suitable beneficials are available from specialist retailers.

Winter pests on potted plants: white fly

The white fly, also called moth-scale insect, is a about three millimeters large, flyable aphid species. It is therefore particularly difficult to combat. White flies frequently invade the winter habitat of pineapple (Abutilon), lantana or fuchsia. For the control of infestation, it is best to hang yellow tablets in the winter quarters and check them regularly.

white flies

White flies on the bottom of a decorative plant

As soon as small white insects are visible, you should immediately take action and treat all plants thoroughly with rapeseed oil or Neem preparations several times every week. If the plants tolerate a few degrees, then just put them out in the winter for a few days - white flies already die in light frost. Incidentally, such a frost cure can be controlled optimally in an empty freezer, which is set to a temperature of one to two degrees minus depending on the frost tolerance of the plant. The infested plants are left in the freezer for about 24 hours, after which they are pest-free. As beneficials for controlling the white fly, parasitic wasps have proven particularly useful. The so-called EF-parasitic wasps are available via order cards in the specialized trade.

Prevent and prevent pest infestation in winter quarters

Keep your potted plants outside for as long as possible until winter, as they are the best protected against pest infestation. All plants that tolerate it should be cut back vigorously before being allowed. The lower the leaf mass, the worse the food base for the pests.In addition, crop protection measures work better when the plants are compact.

Bring potted plants to winter quarters

Bring your potted plants to the winter quarters as late as possible

Phytosanitary rods whose active ingredients are absorbed by the plant roots via the soil are ineffective in winter. The plants largely cease their growth and it takes a very long time for the preparation to spread in the pathways.
Chemical Contact Insecticides should only be used if they are expressly approved for use in confined spaces. Alternative: Allow a few mild winter days and place the plants outside for pest control.

Oil-based preparations are only suitable for hard-leaved plants. Container plants with softer leaves such as purple mallow or fuchsia may be damaged by leaf damage. If in doubt, you should apply the preparation with these plants specifically with a brush, for example, in a louse attack.

Video Board: SchildlĂ€use und BlattlĂ€use mit natĂŒrlichen Mittel behandeln.

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