Monday, August 20, 2012

Pretty picture: Epicattleya Rene Marques x Epidendrum pseudoepidendrum

Enough time has passed now that I no longer remember why I didn't get a close-up picture too. (The picture is from March.) I must not have been able to; I'm pretty sure that I would have if it were possible.

These are pretty close in appearance to those in the previous Epicattleya picture. Not surprising, since it was a picture of Epic. Rene Marques, one of the parents of this cross.


Scalepocalypse 2012 update:

In other news, I've discovered scale on a few more plants on Saturday: 3 Hatiora salicornioides, an Asparagus macowanii, and a seedling Murraya paniculata. The Hatioras and Murraya got the basement infestation, and the Asparagus from the Alpinia.

It's also possible that the Asparagus was the original source of the scale that got the Alpinia, since I'm pretty sure it was the newest plant on the shelf in question, and the infestation was fairly advanced by the time I saw it.

In the cases of the Hatiora and Asparagus, I was lulled into a false sense of security by the fact that neither plant has broad leaves and stems: it didn't seem like a scale insect would be able to make a go of it, with so little access to the sap. Plus they're both difficult plants to check, since both naturally have bumps of the same color in places, and since both have lots of bushy, narrow stems, you're pretty much bound to miss some.

The Asparagus fronds most affected were cut off and thrown away, and the plant was sprayed with neem, but I haven't thrown it out because if all else fails I can always cut it down to the soil line and let it start over. I threw out the three Hatioras that I definitely saw an infestation on, as well as another four that were in close proximity to the infested ones. I kept another ten that were on the same flat but not visibly infested, and neemed them. The Murraya was likewise neemed, because its infestation seemed relatively mild.


Kenneth Moore said...

Oh man, Mr. S. I hope the war ends soon. The hiatus is incredibly understandable--I know what it's like to have your collection decimated!

Pat said...

I just saw a reference to tomato hornworm glowing under ultraviolet as scorpions do. Perhaps scale do, too? It might make spotting them easier.

nycguy said...

Nothing beats physical removal when it comes to insect pests. Aphids give live birth to the next generation. Spraying doesn't kill the pups inside the now-dead aphids. They happily come out to play in the new empty space created by killing off the competition.

I spray, then wipe my plants with a mixture of safer soap and neem rather than spray. More of the bugs get gone, and the unborn wrigglers inside the body of the aphids get removed/killed also. Of course, I have fewer plants than Mr. Subjunctive does.

I like to stab mealy bugs with a piece of tree fern fiber---when you break it, you get a sharp point for stabbing. It's very satisfying to see the mealy bug turn pink as it dies.

Another trick for heavily infested plants is to take a cutting and intensively clean that, while throwing the infested plant away.