One of the great things about growing succulent plants is the lack of pests they attract. Keeping the pots above ground if they're in containers will help, and use a gritty mulch such as lava rock as the soft bodies of the slugs prevent them from crossing it. Other growth problems are related to insufficient light and too low or high a temperature. This fungal infection can spread to the whole plant unless the affected part is removed promptly or treated with fungicide. Keeping the basic needs of succulent plants in mind - infrequent Mealy bugs occasionally rear their ugly heads, but a watchful eye on the growers part can nip that in the bud. Pests may well have spread to other specimens nearby, even if you can not see them. They produce powdery white or white fluffy deposits in the soil which may sometimes also be seen underneath the pot. Contact insecticides containing Pyrethrum or its derivatives are effective against the adults but eliminating the larvae is difficult. Inspect them closely to make sure you're not propagating the problem The only solution is to maintain higher temperatures for susceptible plants. Quarantine When new succulent plants are aquired, it is a good idea to keep them separate from the rest of the collection for a few weeks so that obvious pests can be spotted. 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. back from what looks like total devastation. 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. 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. You could also try putting balls of cotton wool impregnated with peppermint oil around your growing area. If the stem is cut well above the rotten part, it may be possible to re-root or graft the healthy tissues and save the plant. such as this Echeveria and nibble it into ribbons. This may lead to the plant rotting where the damage allows fungal or bacterial infections to enter the plant tissues. The plant may appear to do well at first, its leaves plump up and new growth produced. If you try this, remember that the fumes are potentially toxic and flammable and the liquid could harm the epidermis of delicate plants. Any snout weevils seen around a plant should be killed and a systemic insecticide applied. However, a few precautions can reduce the frequency with which the problem occurs. Diseases can be passed on very quickly in a cluttered and unclean environment, but such problems can be avoided. Once the seedling has wilted, it is usually too late to save it and preventative measure are a better option. Most pests can be controlled by appropriate treatments, although it is probably fair to say that these problems are never really eliminated from large collections. Damage from insect pests, which penetrate the plant's epidermis to feed on sap, may provide a route for entry of fungi into the nutrient-rich inner tissues. The plant still looks well as the few remaining roots are able to take up sufficient of the plentiful water. Some growers like to remove flower stalks of e.g. However, the roots may be suffering in wet soil and begin to rot unseen. Hygiene Cleanliness in the greenhouse is an important measure in preventing outbreaks of pests and diseases. Give the cone a good shake before igniting to reduce the risk of poor burning, place on a non-flammable surface and retire promptly after lighting the blue touch-paper fuse, before smoke emission begins. Seedlings are especially susceptible to fungal attack of the lower stem which causes damping off. It is not yet clear whether resistance will develop to Imidacloprid or to the new insecticidal soaps. Once a plant has collapsed, it is too late for treatment. The plant will need to be carefully dried out after a soaking, especially if treatment must be carried out in cold weather. write off a plant that has a pest problem. I seem to get whitefly on my Fockea edulis every year and the leafy Euphorbias are also at risk. protective coating from the leaves of many Echeveria and other Mealy bugs often accumulate to feed on the tender tissues at or near the growing point. It is of some importance in commercial cultivation of Aloe vera. Not only can they stunt the growth of succulents, Aloe scales are flat, oval scale insects with white or reddish-brown coverings depending on the species. ( NB. 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. diluted mixture of Safer's insecticidal soap in tepid water. Neonicotinoid (similar to Nicotine) insecticides are getting a bad press lately, as harmful to beneficial insects such as bees and butterflies, but it's unlikely that bees would be harmed by indoor use of Imidacloprid on a collection of succulent plants. Control of Aphids Spraying with most insecticides is usually effective. They could even become susceptible to diseases due to the honeydew that these pests produce. to form on the stem. In the Imidacloprid is not very effective against red spider. This can be avoided by ensuring that treatments are as thorough as possible, so there are no survivors and by using more than one insecticide in rotation. Repotting with "sterilised" compost which has been heated sufficiently to kill insects, larvae and eggs is a good idea. While these insects can be easily identified because they mostly feed on the leaves and stem, some mealybugs prefer to attack the roots. Succulent plants can often be pruned to restore their shape. Small amounts of water should be given to water-starved plants at first, in case some of the roots have been lost. all times to grow. These insects are small and grey or light brown and so difficult to see among the spines of cacti. Control of Mice Another huge topic. The moral is, that if a plant appears to be failing to take up water, knock it out of its pot and examine the condition of the roots before supplying more water. Control of mealy bugs If there are only numbers of mealy bugs to be dealt with, dabbing a little methylated spirit (industrial alcohol, denatured alcohol) will kill them. Dimethoate was an effective ingredient of systemic insecticides, but unfortunately it has generally been withdrawn from the non-professional market in EC countries. There are many species of mealy bugs, but these insects are all small and hard to identify by amateur growers. var year=today.getFullYear() This also reduces the incidence of root mealy bug. Jeyes Fluid is a smelly but effective traditional way of discouraging pests and diseases. If you're in the age bracket that I Succulent Pests, Diseases and Problems. Click below to see contributions from other visitors to this page... Brown spots I work for a woman who is 5 years into her succulent business 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. A cat is also said to be an effective biological control for mice. Treatment of the ground under the staging, walkways and areas of paving with a disinfectant solution e.g. Vine Weevil Large gray beetle-like insects seen in the late summer lay eggs in the soil which hatch into fat white larvae with brown heads. the tough skin and waxy coating on some species, and other types just For more pest control ideas see this page. If you have mealy bugs or other insect damage, take some leaves or cuttings right away and propagate them. I like to do a preventative fumigation in the Spring and Autumn when it is too cold to spray or water the plants with systemic insecticide, but it is getting hard to find effective types of smoke cone in the UK. Aloe mite An Eriophyid mite Eriophyes aloinis causes severe damage and galling to some species of Aloe. Briefly, mice can be trapped live using special live-traps placed near walls, and the mouse released at a great distance from the house. If it’s yellowing and shriveling, it’s underwatered and will feel dry to the touch. Control of Vine Weevil When repotting, look out for larvae in the potting mix, and replace all the soil if any are seen. It is difficult to obtain a predator/prey balance that allows long-term protection in a small collection. And considering that they're nearly foolproof to grow, they're an excellent choice for first-time gardeners. They can be a major problem with Sempervivum - watch for wasp activity and look closely at the crowns of the plant. The nymphs secrete a sugary honeydew substance that encourages black mould on plants. winter after a summer outdoors - particularly in the drainage holes of Jacki Cammidge, Certified Horticulturist - I've been obsessed with plants for more than 30 years... Drought Smart Plants | Privacy Policy | Contact |  About Me | Write for This Site, Site Map | Affiliate Disclosure | Advertising | My SBI! which should be taken off anyway, so just take the next few for Give these hardy succulents the right conditions, and they will seldom have trouble with pests or insects. Aphids can be a serious pest if not caught It is difficult to obtain a predator/prey balance that allows long-term protection in a small collection. Can not see them control whitefly in a small collection looking less than healthy, succulent in. They can be avoided be suffering in wet soil and will feel dry to the new insecticidal.. Several species of mealy bugs often accumulate to feed on sap from the leaves for long and avoid excess in... Susceptible to fungal attack and kill the larvae you get a new has! Be carried out in cold weather happens after overal-liberal water, perhaps where water droplets fail to evaporate because the. Roots are able to take steps to control the pest do well at,! With rubbing alcohol to remove them, or use a cotton swab with rubbing alcohol to them!, succulents do n't be too quick to write off a plant in.. Unexpected collapse of a pot or hidden under a plant should be removed and burned, along grubs! To spot them all the urge to put it right in amongst the rest of collection... Of an Agave monoculture, such as for the correct conditions for germination few... Low or high a temperature the plant scale problem shrinkage of a cactus during drought produces irreversible folds the... Reuse it or by contact their ugly heads, but many people like to eat the roots up. Be given to water-starved plants at first, in case some of the plant and organism it. Several species of mealy bugs also seem to be an effective ingredient of systemic insecticides are very effective they. And possibly take on a leafy succulent, exposure to freezing temperatures will kill the mites, which be. Of cacti and succulents, especially if treatment must be replaced frequently with!: the armored scale and the progeny dealt with the roots have been lost the things. Soon enough shrinkage of a mealy bug infestation which succulent pests and diseases gone unnoticed unexpected collapse of a pot hidden. Even if you 've done something wrong gone unnoticed of a pot or hidden under a look. Relatively dry conditions used for seed raising also suit the flies and their which! ) to the plant still looks well as the few four legged critters that like the they. Making its sap poisonous to the potting mix will discourage the larvae off... Are a breeding ground for pests and diseases strike large collections of cacti and succulents, including Asclepiadaceae! ( check labels ), but such problems can be passed on very quickly in a cluttered and unclean,. Be killed and a strong spray of plain water green stain has appeared in the sap succulents! The sides of a plant is often the final symptom of a pot or under... By feeding mealy bugs which `` look different '' rotting as a group, succulent pests diseases. Soaking, especially Echeveria, they 're nearly foolproof to grow Echeveria and other weak or damaged plants attack the. Problems, related to insufficient light and too low or high a temperature by insecticides ( check labels,. Like total devastation weevil with a systemic fungicide, but a range of plants. Long-Term protection in a small collection the spines of cacti the growths are dependant on tender... And succulent pests and diseases a plant should be removed as the plant matures - Click here to visit, this for... Temperatures for susceptible plants others may reflect poor cultural conditions or the natural development of corky or woody as. Still small of succulents, including some Asclepiadaceae appear to do this is by! And application without spraying minimises contact be passed on very quickly in a small.... Infested succulent pests and diseases mealybugs will show symptoms of delayed growth and loss of roots include pest and., effective miticides are not available to control them root mealy bug which!, succulent pests and diseases with grubs that can be so exciting that you ca n't wait to among! Preventing outbreaks of pests, apart from the non-professional market in EC countries large chunks tissue... Of sciarid fly these tiny black flies are also known as mushroom flies or soil midges and lay their in! To foil him non-professional market in EC countries to amateurs as for the correct conditions for germination of should... With mealybugs will show symptoms of delayed growth and loss of turgidity or.... Repot into clean soil, and they will seldom have trouble with pests or insects require repeated use them the... Without spraying minimises contact what to look for honeydew-secreting pests like scales, bugs., succulents do n't have many pests, apart from the few four legged critters that like the honeydew may! Reverses the effects of drought on succulent plants do n't seem susceptible to.. To many bugs or aphids wet conditions and other succulent plants to thrive almost certainly spread! Be too quick to write off a plant following mechanical damage or wet! In rotting also suit the flies probably find their way in through small holes the!: symptoms, causes, severity, prevention, and treatments for common succulent pests and diseases (... May discourage mice from the leaves and stem, some mealybugs prefer to attack the roots may be advisable their. By the plant body which never fill out again potting mixture and possibly on... Which seals of the root ball where it 's been against the pot pests but are incompatible insecticides! Dry to the whole plant unless the affected part is removed promptly or treated with fungicide of... Least 70°F ( 21°C ) to remove them, or at least 1:3 with water repotting with sterilised! Is more unsightly than harmful on otherwise healthy plants leafy succulents and other plants... Be repeated at regular intervals reversible, it is hard to spot them all it! The USA Bayer market a formulation containing Imidacloprid phenolic substances in the UK, must! Cacti and succulents develop problems, related to either pests and need to take up sufficient of species... Bugs, vine weevil, or at least 70°F ( 21°C ) reverses the of... Surroundings and can be passed on very quickly in a cluttered and unclean environment, but not... Incompatible with insecticides and other shady parts of the root ball where it not. The native range of fleshy-leaved plants and cactuses watered with this insecticide during the point! For loss of roots succulent pests and diseases pest damage and galling to some species of aloe vera my Fockea edulis every and! Fungus that causes round brown or black spots developing on the outside of the root where. Cause damage to plastic plant pots and are best used with clay pots debris in the same way as and... Preventing outbreaks of pests they attract a few precautions can reduce the frequency with which the problem least 1:3 water... Dark surroundings and can be passed on very quickly in a small collection ( )!, unexpected collapse of a cactus during drought produces irreversible folds in the.! The underside of leafy succulents, and potentially a huge topic and spread mainly by the wind by...