Spot a fuzzy, little cotton ball on your houseplant? Looks harmless enough, right? Oh how I wish that was the case! Unfortunately what you have most likely discovered is a powerful life force sucking plant pest called Planoccoccus Citri or Citrus Mealybug. Welcome to mealybug infestations my friends. Buckle up, it's a bit of a ride!
These innocent looking creatures quickly reproduce to slowly destroy, or seriously stunt the growth of your green babies. It can be so heartbreaking. But you're not alone and we'll do everything we can to help!
Full disclosure friends, it is not always possible to save your plants once mealy bugs have taken hold. It depends on the severity of the infestation and the current health of your plant before you begin treatment. That said, I have successfully rid more than half of the plants I have treated if am diligent and follow these steps:
KARINA'S STEPS TO TREAT MEALYBUG
STEP 1: ISOLATE & REPOT
I first take plant(s) to the garbage (not compost bin because I don't want to chance introducing new pests to the garden) where I gently loosen the soil to remove the plant from it's current home. Then I throw away all the soil including the soil around the roots of the plant. Next, I gently place the plant aside on the ground, a mat, or newspaper while thoroughly cleaning and scrubbing the pot with hot water and soap. Then, because I don't want to do this process again, I grab a bottle of isopropyl alcohol and a cotton ball (or q-tip depending of the size of the plant), douse it until saturated, and then wipe down every surface of the pot and saucer. Mealy love to hang out in crevices and under surfaces and remember, crawlers and nymphs are teeny tiny so you may not see them at first glance.
STEP 2: RINSE & PRUNE
Take your plant to the shower or a hose and gently rinse with room temp water to remove as many mealybugs as possible. Be sure to get the undersides of leaves, crevices between stem and leaves, and the stems of your plant too. Then, with clean scissors or shears, prune away any damaged leaves or stems and discard.
STEP 3: REPOT
Use fresh soil to plant up your baby back into the cleaned and sterilized pot to give it a new start! Give it an extra boost of strength to settle in and add our Sacred Soil Tonic to the water and give it a good drink. Find a place where it can hang out for a few weeks out of any intense direct sunlight because we’re about to spray it multiple times with our Sacred Leaf Tonic.
STEP 4: SPRAY
This is where the Sacred Leaf Tonic magic begins! Now that your plant is mostly pest free, (trust me, they are still there dvdd Edna if you can’t see them) it's time to finish the job and keep it that way while also offering extra nourishment to ward off any future attacks.
Shake up a bottle of our concentrated Sacred Leaf Tonic (1/4 tsp per 16 oz of water) and spray the entire plant and topsoil. Repeat after a few days, and then once a week for a few months. Feed with Sacred Soil Tonic every time you water to continue supporting new growth and root establishment. Keep your plant in bright, indirect sunlight during this time to protect it from sunburn.
And that's it friends! We welcome your before and after success stories here too! Feel free to take pics and send us an email so we can share your experience with our plant loving community!
Best wishes and happy growing!
Karina and Team SE