The Q&A Archives: Gardenia bush problems

Question: What spray should I use to eliminate red spider mites,black stuff on leaves, and other pests attacking my plant? Also, some leaves are turning yellow. Is that from too much water? I think the plant gets enough sunlight/ Thanks.

Answer: Adele,

I am sorry for this delayed reply to your gardening question as we are transitioning to a new Q&A system. I hope this reply is not too late to be of help.

Strong sprays of water from beneath the plant will dislodge the pests and significantly reduce their ability to build up to damaging numbers. Use a high pressure, fine droplet spray once a week, making sure to contact the undersides of all the leaves for best results. The safest products to use are insecticidal soaps and horticultural or summer (not dormant) oils. Make sure and spray upward from beneath the plant as these products only work when they contact the pests. Spray early in the day when temperatures are cool and do not mix the spray stronger than the labeled rate. Retreatment every 10 to 14 days may be needed. Avoid oil sprays when temperatures rise into the upper 80's and above.

The yellow leaves could be due to dry or soggy wet soil conditions. Even after the soil moisture is brought back into the proper range leaves may continue to turn yellow for a brief period of tima.

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