The Q&A Archives: Jasmine Plant Disease

Question: My potted jasmine plant is being killed by tiny white insects that spin webs at the base of the leaves. I have used an insecticide, but the insects remain and have spread to all remaining leaves. Is there anything I can do or any insecticide I can find to save the plant?

Answer: The web clue would indicate spider mites; these pests seem to increase during the winter heating season when the air is warm and dry. These can be controlled using several methods. One is to carefully wash the plant over both sides of the leaves and stems with tepid water (under the faucet is pretty effective) about twice a week for several weeks, another approach is to use insecticidal soap (apply and reapply to all surfaces) according to the label directions. Next, try to keep the humidity level up around the plant by setting it on a pebble tray with water, or running a humidifier. Since you have the problem with mites you might also consider misting it occasionally between washings. If you have other plants you may want to insepct them for the mites, treat them preventively and/or isolate this one as well.

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