Friday, May 17, 2013

Creepy Critters On My Hoya

This is a different Hoya carnosa compacta than the one -> over there, a smaller one that lives on my kitchen window sill. It was a cutting that I got years ago and that hasn't really started to grow until maybe two years ago. No sign of flowers yet, but now it has inherited some creepy critters from the phalaenopsis two pots down to the left.

Usually I treat mealy bugs (you remember them from my passion flowers in the pests section of this blog) with Lizetan, a special chemical that gets absorbed by the plant and eaten by the bugs which then die (poor things... or maybe not!). But orchids are a bit more delicate than other plants and you can't really use any chemical on them. Apart from the fact that they don't have soil in which the tablets could desolve.
So I asked my friends at the plant forum for some other remedies and they told me to put three drops of ethyl alcohol into one litre of water and spray, dowse and even water all affected plants with this.

Before I did this, though, I used the opportunity to take some nice portraits of my subtenants (who don't pay rent and will hopefully soon move out).

I'll keep you updated on whether this treatment works or not. If it does, I'm going to have to update the pest page's section on mealy bugs to include this remedy. It's certainly a lot cheaper, easier to obtain and much healthier for the plants and anyone else coming into contact with them.


  1. Mealy bugs, Ick! I get them from time to time too. Hoyas especially tend to be mealy magnets. Alcohol will work, but you will have to repeat applications for some time. I'd suggest a spray on systemic like Bayer Rose & Flower spray. The orchids don't mind it and because it's an aerosol spray you can get into all the cracks and hard to reach areas on the plant. 1 or two applications a few weeks apart and you'll be mealy free.

    1. Thank you, Melody!
      That was what I was originally looking for. Now that I know about the alcohol solution (and so far it feels like it works), I am glad that I don't need chemicals. But it's good to know what will help without doing any harm in case this "soft" approach doesn't work out.