Leaf curl/dimples on a few house plants

james_vagabondMarch 7, 2014

Hey folks, I have a question about my ashwaghanda, elecampane, salvia divinorum and avocado plants. I notice the leaves on the avocado are pale and curl, and my others are smaller leaves in the new growth with a texture like dimples, or goose bumps. I have read that it may be too many nutes in the soil and/or a ph issue. I live in eugene or, and our tap water is mildly acidic so i thought the normal watering would be fine without adjustment.

I do fertilize weekly with organic liquid nutes like fish emulsion moringa fertilzer blend, BMO beneficial micros, and etc. I use half strength dilutions for regular feeding and do a clearex flush every month or so to remove salt build up. The rest of my plants look great. I have over 100 varieties thriving under lights overwinter, but these few are hurting.

I suspected the light was too close (4x8 flourescent grow light) so I raised it. I am going to cut back the old growth, do an apple cider vinegar/water flush and see if that helps. Any suggestions or experience with these would be great. All are in containers. I'll post pictures shortly.

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Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, AL(8B AL)

I think folks are waiting to see the pics before making suggestions. Without more info, I wonder if a fluorescent grow light is enough for these full-sun plants?

    Bookmark   March 11, 2014 at 11:36AM
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This is the elecampane, the larger leaves grow deformed, I do not know why...

    Bookmark   March 13, 2014 at 6:07PM
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Moringa tree with lower growth yellowing and falling off. I read it is either over/underwatering I am thinking it is overwatering. What do you think?

    Bookmark   March 13, 2014 at 6:11PM
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Avocado struggling...

    Bookmark   March 13, 2014 at 6:12PM
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Spilanthes looking glossy with dimples? I cut it back to see how the new growth would look and after the few two sets of leaves grew back, the next level of leaves had that gloss/dimples.

    Bookmark   March 13, 2014 at 6:13PM
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Your plants may be injured by spider mites.

    Bookmark   March 13, 2014 at 6:14PM
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Cashew plant hurting

    Bookmark   March 13, 2014 at 6:14PM
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Ashwaghanda plant with glossy/dimpled new growth. Older growth is a lot smoother and broader. I cut it back to see if anything will change.

    Bookmark   March 13, 2014 at 6:16PM
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salvia new growth. I cut back the stem to the soil and this is the newest growth. Burnt edges.

    Bookmark   March 13, 2014 at 6:17PM
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Another view of the salvia...

One thing that may be a factor in all of these plants is that I get a lot of staining from foliar feeding maxicrop, I don't know if accumulated foliar nutrients could be causing some damage?

I leave it to you fine folks, I am at my limit in terms of ideas. Thanks in advance!

    Bookmark   March 13, 2014 at 6:19PM
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Thanks kousa! I took out my "active eye" microscope and zoomed in on one of the yellow leaves and sure enough...mites. I hadn't seen webs so I thought I was clear. Looks like I gotta bust out the neem.

Do you think that explains all the pictures?

    Bookmark   March 13, 2014 at 6:59PM
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i think moringa cashew and avocado are different. although 2 avocado leaves crinkled ... looks like mites too. but there is smth in addition to that - brown edges. may be deficiencies. same for cashew.
moringa - hard to see - too far. another pic?
mites damage is easy to recognize: you start seeing tiny yellowish white spots and to touch the underside feels grainy. also when new growth has deformed edges.
in my experience, brown spots like on cashew /avocado is not mites.
also fully yellow leaves is smth else. could be in addition to mites too.

    Bookmark   March 13, 2014 at 8:03PM
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I was afraid of "wet feet" and ph locking of certain nutrients. It looks like manganese or magnesium but I feed them both fairly regularly. My worry might be over fertilizing but I am not sure. I need to buy a soil ph meter.

    Bookmark   March 13, 2014 at 10:07PM
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I was hoping that I was wrong. Spider mites almost killed my meyer lemon plant. It went from a robust plant with fruits to almost completely defoliated in a month. The initial damage looks like your Moringa tree. Some plants seem to have a better resistance to mites than others. You really need to treat these plants the sooner the better. Though my lemon plant is alive for now, it is struggling because I did not treat it early enough(I was hoping the problem would just go away on its own). If you find a good treatment for the mites problem, I would really appreciate that you let us know. I used the Espoma Earth-tone insect control spray. It worked rather slow with a need for repetitive sprayings. I did not see immediate results. Good luck!

    Bookmark   March 13, 2014 at 10:31PM
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I sprayed it heavily with this all natural sierra natural science mite control spray. But I looked at a leaf under a microscope and they are still crawling around. Consistency is the key supposedly. The active ingredient is 2% rosemary oil which is supposed to kill/repel mites and eggs. So far they don't look dead lol.

However, none of the new growth has been messed with yet hopefully. I don't want to pluck any green leaves to let it gather as much energy to combat them.

I also have neem oil that I need to dilute with some water and soap and spray the leaves but I don't want to overload them and clog chloroplasts.

    Bookmark   March 14, 2014 at 11:49AM
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from my african violet experience with mites: the only stuff that kills them from 1 application is systemic: either judo/Forbid or Pylon. both very expensive - but use only 1 drop per application, so very economic. am not sure if it's for ALL mites or not.
horticultural oil is good too - but in my exp only for outdoor plants (much tougher leaves). it burns young foliage quite badly. so i would experiment carefully.

    Bookmark   March 14, 2014 at 1:46PM
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Good to know, I found this great recipe online that I will try. I say great but I have no experience with it, though it makes sense to me...

This is from another website, not my recipe:

So far one formula has come out ahead and there are some instruction changes:

1/4 cup Baking Soda
1/2 cup Apple Cider vinegar
1 Tablespoon Lemon Juice
2 drops dish detergent
1/4 Teaspoon Epsom Salts

Take a cup of very hot water and desolve the epsom salts,take rest of ingredients and place in a clean 2 liter bottle and let work out. Add epsom solution. Add water to fill to 48ozs(3/4 full).Shake well.

TO USE: Cover soil/medium with plastic,with lights off mist plant all over,especialy under leaves,
Wait 20 mins,then spritz off with clean fresh water shaking as much water off plant as you can.
The fresh water spritz rinse will remove the solution along with the desolved remains of the mites and their eggs.

Have fun with your new "Mite Eradicator"

Note by MrFixit: Water plants 1/2 hour before spraying. This will help keep your plants from absorbing the spray.

This solution has been tested and used as directed will not burn plants,the rinse is very important though as it removes the spent solution before it can concentrate and burn the plant. It also removes most of the dead mites and eggs so you don't end up smoking them.

The formula can be diluted further,to 1 liter and it will still kill the mites but isn't as effective at dissolving and removing the mite parts.
Since removing the mite debris is desirable,I recommend the stronger solution,just remember to rinse and shake.
This formula is alkaline(about 7.8-8) so please remember to rinse.

Mite irradication is absolutely assured and guaranteed if used as directed.
I've never seen ANYTHING work this well for mite irradication!!
I used to gas my booths for mites,it worked but they came back,I haven't seen a living mite in a long time now.They haven't come back,partly because of cooler weather,partly because I hosed the Roses that were infecting everything with the formula and wiped out all the mites during testing.
The only thing I wish I'd done different is,I wish I would have done sections of the Roses and preserved
some of the mites for later tests.I've had to go searching for victims to test it on and there just aren't any left!! I did find some victims for my final tests in the park where we have meetings,the plants by the river are pretty sickly and infested(were I should say,I walked around with ONE pint bottle and cleaned up most of the area.LOL)
If news of this formula were to become widespread,mites would become an endangered species!!!So GOOD HUNTING !

"PM'd BankRobber and he told me to post this:
I have been experimenting with similar formulas, so far 2 work.
Trial #1: 1/2 cup baking soda , 1 cup vinegar , 1/2 cup apple juice. Dilute to 2 liters.

Trial #2 1/2 cup baking soda , 1 cup vinegar , 3 tablespoons lemon juice , 2 drops dish soap .
Dilute to 40 fluid oz's.

I've tried this on: Wandering Jew,Spider Plant,Fushias,Gladiolis,Roses, Sweet Elysium,Clovers,Daisy,
Rhodadendron, Lawn(grass)
So far it works,both formulas. #2 works best outside and best overall
It has killed any small insects I've tried it on except FLEAS(Darn it!)
So far its killed mites,thrips(Adult),aphids,clo ver mites, whatever mite type insects that were all over the Gladiolis and it sickened and effected Grass Gnats and mosquitoes.(the mist knocked them down,couldn't find them in the grass to watch if they died but they were having difficulty flying)
I'm waiting for long term effects on the plants I've sprayed,before I'll try it on my plants.
Try mixing up some and try it outside on whatever you can find with an infestation.
The original recipe from a Landscape gardener was: 1/2 cup baking soda, 1 cup vinegar,2cups apple peels.
Blend/Puree , filter , dilute to 2 liters. I haven't tried this one yet (no apple peels).
The trick seems to be 1/2 cup Baking soda to 1 cup vinegar,diluted to approximately 2 liters.
The dishsoap helps wetting & the juices boost effect. #2 seems to help with molds/fungus also.It reduced blackspot on Roses,Gladiolis and Rhodi's and white mold on Roses.( The coast is a perfect proving ground for this stuff!!! We have ALL the bugs and molds !!! I don't have to go far to find infestations of all kinds.)

For 2 days I have hosed my backyard with this stuff,so far it has reduced blackspot & powdery mildew(white mold),killed all the small insects(size seems to matter on kill,gnats or smaller).
The only plants adversely affected so far are FERNS (they don't like it much,wilted some).
The fleas seem unaffected as are the garden spiders,wood lice,beetles and other large hard insects.
I'm using it far more than necessary to see if it hurts the plants. Repeating doses even after the bugs are dead. The gladiolis were REALY bad with blackspot mold and some kind of black sucker insects about the size of a pinhead.The Glads are doing fine both mold and insects gone! The wandering jew and spider plants are actualy perking up from it.The clover mites? WIPED OUT! Rose mites? WIPED OUT! Grass gnats and mosquitoes? VASTLY REDUCED! Scale insects? DEAD! Aphids?DEAD![THE GARDEN??? (smells like a "Caeser Salad" ! ) ALIVE.]
Seasider "

"Hey Everyone,

I think Seasider is onto something and that's it so cool to see people taking action and experimenting with organic ingredients!
I'm certainly going to try his formula!
It cost me over $300 to manufacture what I came up with, and that dose not include all the labor and the over two weeks it take to complete each batch!
Seasider's stuff is a fraction of the cost, and I can't see any adverse reactions from the ingredients mentioned.
Except for invertebrates "the soap" would kill them, but then we don't need it in our fish tank now do we?

A key test will be to see if any eggs rehatch or if the plants are reinvested, however respraying with an inexpensive home made product may be worth it to so many!
I say GREAT job & keep up the good fight!

Please keep us informed of your test. and results!


There seems to be some mild burning where the solution was left on and collected/concentrated.
I would recommend using the 2 liter dilution and spritzing with fresh water afterward and shaking off as much as possible so the formula doesn't collect and concentrate itself to the point it burns tender leaves.
I didn't notice any damage except where it had concentrated and dried,so spritzing and shaking off should do the trick.As far as effectiveness goes,wow! The death and destruction it deals to mites is impressive !!
Popping browning eggs melting,imploding adults,body parts and debris slowly dissolving......EXTREMELY GRATIFYING !!!
The BORG rule ,of mite terror, is OVER !!!!

A member had severe burning that he attributes to residues drawn out of the container by the vinegar.
USE A CLEAN CONTAINER !! Do not use realy strong vinegar or any with SULFITES in it.


    Bookmark   March 14, 2014 at 8:01PM
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I Just bought a sprayer with a telescoping nozzle that also rotates to get under leaves and in tight spots. Way better than the crappy spray bottle I was using that sent it mostly everywhere but the leaves.

I also think I have some soil born pests, along with some potential water-logged roots, which may have choked the roots so they couldn't uptake nutrients. Just a hypothesis... I can't wait until I can harden them off to go outside and have better conditions. My greenhouse got taken out in a snow storm so I have kept all my potted plants in my office under flourescents. The floor is carpeted and the plants are under the ceiling vent so its just begging for mites to come dine. I should have expected this after having so many plants in such a relatively small space.

    Bookmark   March 14, 2014 at 8:06PM
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James, thank you so much for posting the above info. I seriously need a thorough "eradication" of mites in my garden. Last year was really bad for my fruit trees. The chemical spray that I used did not work well because the mites came back. I am going to try the above recipe in my garden this growing season and I will report back how it works out for me.

I hope that you have gotten to the mites in time to prevent further damage to your plants. It sounds like you did. Please tell us how the above formula works out for you. Thanks again for the recipe above.

    Bookmark   March 14, 2014 at 8:27PM
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I did a little more searching and came to the conclusion that aside from the mite issue (which seemed to have been taken care of by the natural science spray, haven't had to make that posted recipe, but keeping it handy for sure), that I was over fertilizing the plants and have salt buildup. I am going to make a molasses flush and keep better track.

I read that a mantra for caring for wide ranging plants is feed weekly, weakly. So that's what I will do. For the plants that show signs of hunger, I will supplement.

Looks like I'll be picking perlite out of the shower drain.

    Bookmark   March 19, 2014 at 12:54AM
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They seem much happier after I flushed them. I also happened to notice that my floor got warped so I can't keep them indoors. Making a greenhouse that will host the right conditions...

    Bookmark   March 20, 2014 at 4:30PM
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Glad to hear that your plants are recovering.

    Bookmark   March 20, 2014 at 8:03PM
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