PEST CONTROL

Needless to say, them annoying bugs are not to be taken lightly because they absolutely can wreak havoc in your garden and destroy everything overnight. Personally, I rarely have to deal with pest issues in my garden because there’s good ventilation, constant direct sunlight, there are many other more delicious plants around, some potential beneficial critters, and I spray organic fungicide/ pesticide occasionally. Further explanations below.

Types of Pests.

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Mealy bugs or leaf aphids can be a serious problem if not treated immediately. As always, prevention is more effective than cure, so sunlight + good ventilation + occasional chemical help can REALLY go a long way. You don’t want to deal with them. I also find that if you grow any sort of “tanker” plant that is more delicious and prone to mealy bugs attack than succulents (like the Japanese Maple, chili plant, tomato plant, basil, and rosemary in my case), the bugs tend to prefer attacking them. Poor plants, I know. Existing for the sake of others. Haworthias, as magical as they already are, have a near zero tendency to be attacked by leaf aphids, or any other types of pests other than the root aphids.

Ok, if your garden is invaded by leaf aphids, how? Pick them off one by one, DESTROY THEM, then powerwash and soak your plants immediately. Apply pesticide or 3% hydrogen peroxide quickly after, but try to avoid wetting any injured spots even though it is unavoidable. If you are concerned about using pesticides, Hydrogen peroxide is generally safe to use but do read up details of it online. Otherwise, you may choose to not apply anything but you’ll have to make sure that there’s absolutely no trace or egg left near your succulents. Don’t be lazy ah you must catch them ASAP! An au naturale way is to introduce ladybugs, spiders, lizards or even birds to your garden. I love catching any stray spider I find in my house, so maybe they’ve been keeping my garden safe!

Root Aphids

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Are one of the most common and annoying pests for succulents ever, because they are hidden well underneath the soil surface and thus can be hard to detect. They spread very easily and can deal long lasting damage to your plants, causing growth stunt, root rot, weakness and other problems. If left alone they can absolutely kill your succulents!

In general, if a succulent hasn’t been growing much, and somehow looks a little “off” (unenergetic leaves, imperfect rosette shape, dull colors etc) even with you doing everything right, most of the time it’s infected by root aphids.

A very effective way to check for root aphids is to allow weeds (just a tiny bit) to grow alongside your succulents. Weeds have deep roots, and when pulled out (hehe) firmly and intact, will show if there’s any root aphid sticking on them. Use this method to check for them pesky aphids without having to uproot your precious gems.