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Thread: Soft brown scale

  1. #1

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    Soft brown scale

    How does one get rid of soft brown scale on a Sarracenia? Mine is a S. purpurea. I know they are sensitive to contamination so I'm afraid to try a spray or a systemic insecticide. On my non-carnivores, I have had good luck with fish emulsion, but I am pretty sure I don't want to spray that on my Sarracenia.

    I have tried manually removing the scale. I cut off the pitchers that were most infested in order to thin out the crowns, and then wiped the remaining pitchers down with Q-tips. I went over them on a weekly basis with a 30x lens to remove newly settled scale. I thought they were gone. Winter came and I forced a dormancy, and now have the plant growing again. Both crowns are producing new pitchers and last week I found young settled scale.

    Is there any way to get rid of them? This is my 3rd year with this plant. I bought it in one of the "death cubes" from Lowes and turned it into a nice, good-looking, vigorous plant. It is a working plant that eats unwanted bugs, and it has been very good to me. I would like to save it from this scale menace. If it were not a carnivore I would know what to do, but it is and I don't. Any advice would be appreciated.

  2. #2

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    Re pot immediately if you have not already, the scale can be in the soil as well as on the rhizome, if you do repot it, bare root it and use a SOFT toothbrush around the base of the pitchers and CAREFULLY around the growing points if it's bad - sounds extreme, but orchid growers do this on flowers, yes flowers and it works! Now if you are back east, now is NOT a good time to do this, but here along the west coast, and it's a purp (very hardy), I'd say you would be alright - terrariums also. Check all other plants, esp. other Sarracenias to make sure they have not spread. Unfortunately, scale and mealybugs love Sarracenias, among a few others!

  3. #3
    Hello, I must be going... Not a Number's Avatar
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    Many systemic insecticides are safe to use with Sarracenia. If you have deep pockets you can buy biological controls like mealybug destroyers but spending $50-100 for a couple plants seems extravagant to me.

    http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/mg005
    http://www.ipm.ucdavis.edu/PMG/PESTNOTES/pn7408.html
    Grand Hotel... always the same. People come, people go. Nothing ever happens.

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    I have not repotted. I don't think it's a good idea to do it now, as I would have to do it outside and the back porch is covered in snow. All I have is LFS anyway, and that's not what it's in now. The potting medium looks like some kind of peat, but I can tell that there is a sphagnum fraction because a tiny speck of sphagnum keeps growing up in the corner. I really have no idea what this stuff is or how I would get more (or what to use if I can't get more).

    ---------- Post added at 07:18 PM ---------- Previous post was at 07:11 PM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by Not a Number View Post
    Many systemic insecticides are safe to use with Sarracenia. If you have deep pockets you can buy biological controls like mealybug destroyers but spending $50-100 for a couple plants seems extravagant to me.

    http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/mg005
    http://www.ipm.ucdavis.edu/PMG/PESTNOTES/pn7408.html
    Which systemics would be safe? I currently have dinotefuran and acetamiprid on-hand. I have looked into biological controls for scale but found them to be prohibitively expensive.

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