Random Ramblings

Random Ramblings: Personal observations on a wide variety of subjects. Photographs of creatures and things that are taken on seeing the unusual as well as everyday things.

Silent invasion - plant perfection

Around two years ago I was given a gardenia as a present. It had dark shiny perfect leaves and at the tip of each small branch was a soft white flower. For those who have never seen a gardenia flower, the simplest way to describe it is a smaller version of a cross between a rose and a camellia. Mine had a heady perfume with a hint of vanilla that flooded through the room and wafted into the hall and on a warm afternoon could be smelt throughout the whole house, including the kitchen.

My excellent plant did not stay in this perfect state for long though as it was slowly invaded by a micro attacker. At first all that I noticed was fine fluffy webs that were spun between branches and leaves. Finer than cotton wool fibres they lassoed small branches and leaves together almost like opaque woven cloth. I searched to see what it was that was making these gossamer webs but nothing was visible. My gardenia resides in a tall, glazed, flowerpot which sits on a tiled surface. The tiled surface developed a sticky, tacky coating - not only in the area of the plant's stems but two to three inches further out from its shadow. After scrubbing the area with a strong detergent for the umpteenth time I caught glimpse of a light brown spot slowly moving across one of the leaves ... I watched this spot and then saw others all moving in different directions. I have since been searching to identify this minute little creature which appeared to be some kind of a miniature brown spider mite. The surface of the leaves have been etched and sculptured away and so I really need to eradicate this tiny villain even though I keep imagining it as a kind of 'who' like creature without a 'Horton.'


Victor said...



connstanzaa said...

Heyy Thank.
Im from Argentina.
I like the pictures, Do you like my cat? She's so cute. :)
Well, bye bye friend
Be back later.


Viooltje said...

I hate when this happens. Reminds me of the red spider mite attacks I had on quite a few of my plants and it nearly killed one of my Trachycarpus palm trees, and my usually environmentally-friendly green thumb was forced to use some knock-down insecticide to kill the little buggers. But otherwise I use homemade concoctions like liquid garlic spray which I have found to be quite effective in preventing or treating small amounts of infestation. I'm nowhere near an expert, just an enthusiast, but I believe what you got there is something very similar or maybe even the same, as the little devils have many faces and change colors throughout the seasons. Good luck with the rescue mission and with eliminating the enemy.