Texas Gardening forum: Brugs and Bugs

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Name: Sandi
Austin, Tx (Zone 8b)
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Bubbles
Dec 12, 2014 10:39 AM CST

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Out the kitchen window, I saw a bloom in the GH/hoop this morning! We've had some warm weather and a Brugmansia, Isabella, was pushing against the plastic of the hoop. Over DH's objections, I opened the hoop to see what else was blooming. Eternity, another brug, is also covered in buds.
Thumb of 2014-12-12/Bubbles/3bc65d
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Every year I have to cut the Tabernaemontana (Carnation of India) back because it gets white scale at the end of summer. This year, there's no scale. I attributed it to all the coffee grounds I spread in the large pot. When I was poking around, I checked that pot and all the buds and leaves were covered in brown "somethings."
Anyone recognize these?

Thumb of 2014-12-12/Bubbles/e706dd

Name: Margaret
Near Kamloops, BC, Canada (Zone 3a)
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mcash70
Dec 12, 2014 11:49 PM CST
Sandi, looks like baby snails to me. Shrug!
Name: Sandi
Austin, Tx (Zone 8b)
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Bubbles
Dec 13, 2014 8:05 AM CST

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Oh, I hope not! There's hundreds of them. I'll go pull a branch out of the trash and look closer. Thanks, Margaret.
Name: Ursula
Fair Lawn NJ, zone 6b
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Ursula
Dec 13, 2014 8:39 AM CST
Brown scale! I see this once in a while on my Orchids.
Name: Cheryl
Kingwood, Texas (Zone 9a)
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ShadyGreenThumb
Dec 13, 2014 10:02 AM CST
My neighbor's brugs are blooming. They are still in the ground. This weather is confusing everyone and every plant! I cut back some of my brugs . I wanted cuttings to start new plants in different areas. What's left is growing like crazy. Not a whole lot has frozen back. I would cut them back now seeing how I have a little extra time away from work. But if we have a mild winter, they would just continue to grow which would be nice.

My uneducated guess is some kind of sucking bug. Agree with brown scale.
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Name: Margaret
Near Kamloops, BC, Canada (Zone 3a)
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mcash70
Dec 13, 2014 10:03 AM CST
That could be it Ursula, still nasty little buggers. Thumbs down
Name: Sandi
Austin, Tx (Zone 8b)
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Bubbles
Dec 13, 2014 10:43 AM CST

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I think you're right, Ursula. That's even worse than snails, Margaret!
I cut all the leaves and small branches off. We've had such a warm winter, so far. I guess anything could thrive undetected in that hoop. I'll get some Neem oil today and spray around the inside of the pot and what's left of the plant. I Googled brown scale, and yep, the back of the leaves have little pale brown gobs of stuff.
As much as I love this plant, I don't want to risk losing anything else in the hoop house. I may have to think about digging it up and sending it to the dump...in a bag.

Cheryl, you could leave them until you have an impending freeze. At that time, cut off the branches to save and put them in water. We had an early freeze (that didn't freeze anything up here). I cut back most of the brugs and tagged them. It's good insurance for next spring...which is late February here.

cleoxpatria
Feb 25, 2015 8:57 AM CST
I'm so sorry, Bubbles......without seeing the buggers eye to eye, I certainly agree with the brown scale diagnoses.....I once had these on some "bargain" ficuses and ended up with rubbing alcohol (should have had some to imbibe), lots of Q-tips, surgical gloves so as not to dry out my hands, and pure hard work getting rid of them......paid off as I had them for another 10 years and 8ft high before giving them away to a friend as we moved to Egypt............your plants look lovely otherwise........hope that you can save them!!!! Or the easiest way is to cut the parts off that have the scale if that IS what it is..........and you will have to stay ever vigilant as scale insects have several cycles and new phases on infestation will appear......but let's keep our green thumbs crossed
Name: Sandi
Austin, Tx (Zone 8b)
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Bubbles
Feb 25, 2015 9:31 AM CST

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Welcome, @cleopatria ! That's very good advice. I have been vigilant and haven't seen signs of the little buggers again. Time will tell, though. We will probably have one more really cold spell and then take the hoops off for the rest of the season. I think this particular plant wants to be a tree and is stressed, even though it's in a huge pot. I will have to determine if it can be successfully removed from the pot and planted in the ground.

What kind of plants do you grow?

cleoxpatria
Feb 27, 2015 7:00 AM CST
Thanks for the invite, Bubbles....I already am falling in love with this site Hurray! ... as to your question, my favs to grow in Houston are impatiens, pansies, mums, herbs, roses, bulbs of all kinds, and in Oman where we're posted now and also fare well in Texas are gorgeous giant crown of thorns (the red Gillian variety--gorgeous!!!), the Rangoon creeper vine which is fantastic and is available in Houston, and all varieties of the desert rose, also available in Houston.........will try and post pics when I learn how......

In the meantime, good luck with your baby.............. Thumbs up Thumbs up Thumbs up
Name: Sandi
Austin, Tx (Zone 8b)
Texas Gardening
Forum moderator Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Ideas: Master Level Plant Identifier Master Gardener: Texas
Region: Texas Tropicals Plumerias Ferns Greenhouse Garden Art
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Bubbles
Mar 4, 2015 11:42 AM CST

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@cleopatria I have opened the GH hoop and found no sign of scale on my plant. I bought Neem Oil, but didn't use it. I spread coffee grounds in the large pot. Not sure if it was the grounds or the really cold spell of weather we've had. We're about to have the "last freeze" of the season this evening. I'm not so sure, so I'm not uncovering anything for a couple more weeks.

I grow all the things you have listed, except for Impatiens. After two seasons of losing them all, I have given up. Whatever caused them to die off is still in the soil. I'm not going to try them again until someone figures out how to make them bullet proof! (Oh, and no Desert Roses. I over water them!).

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