Spider Mites and Nepenthes Alata

A few weeks ago I found webs on my nepenthes but thought they were from normal spiders. I’ve never had experience with spider mites and didn’t recognize the signs. Tight webbing, clear little teeny tiny eggs, and previously healthy leaves turning yellow. In fact, I thought I might have been overwatering it… so I backed off. Unfortunately, I think the dry soil conditions helped spur mitey (pun intended) growth.  After a few hours of research, I realized what they were and set off to banish them.

I went to my local gardening store and bought a natural spider mite killer. So far the regime has been: blast Nepenthes with water in my tub, let dry for a day or two then thoroughly drench it with spider mite killer, making sure to get under leaves and crevices on vines. I’ve only done this twice. What I have noticed so far is that spider mites are definitely dying as I see their little carcasses in my tub after I spray it. Hopefully, a few more weeks of this will kill all of them and the eggs.

I spend my weekends going to nurseries, taking pictures of them and then going home to do a few hours of research. This process determines which plants I’ll put on my ever growing Plants I Want List. I bought a new plant this weekend, my first calathea! Calathea angela to be exact! I love the broad leaves and purple underside with the mix of light green to dark on top. I really wasn’t expecting to buy another plant (That’s not true. I admit, it’s pretty hard for me to walk around a nursery and not be tempted to take someone home) but I’ve had some good success with my maranta and decided to take the plunge with a calathea!

Calathea angela

 

Maranta Update:

My maranta’s doing pretty well now! I made a YouTube video a few weeks ago because my maranta’s leaves had been turning yellow and I finally know why! I thought it was because I watered it with seltzer water (which contains salt) but no! It’s because I was overwatering. I stopped for a few weeks and behold! Now healthy and a ton of new growth!

Maranta

It was looking lopsided so I decided to take a few cuttings. I put one in water to root and then the other in soil. Yay for plant experiments!