My soil-based household plants sometimes get bugs. Do lucky bamboo ever do that?

 

             Mites sometimes get into the lucky bamboo.  We don't really deal with mites on our plants but they can pick them up from other household plants or pets or just the environment.  If the leaves are turning brown and the plant looks droopy look at the underside of the leaves to see if there is a sticky brown substance.  This is a byproduct of the mites eating up the pigment in the leaves.  When they've eaten enough, the plant won't be able to synthesize the light it needs and will begin to turn brown.  You may also notice white spots on the leaves where the pigment is now gone.  Other clues include tiny webbing on the leaves and the extremely tiny mites themselves, which are white in color. 

            Killing them is the only way to save the plant.  Fill a sink or bucket with room temperature water.  Add two to three drops of liquid dish washing detergent.  With your hand slowly mix the water to dissolve the soap but not to the point of creating bubbles.  Then lay the entire plant into the water and allow it to sit there for twenty to thirty minutes.  When you take it out rinse off the roots, but not the rest of the plant.  This provides a protective cover and kills the insects.  You will need to do this several more days to kill any eggs that may hatch.  You can also put this soap water solution into a spray bottle and use it on all your household plants.  They LIKE it!  Mites are extremely contagious and love to move from plant to plant. Next you'll need to trim off the leaves that appear to have been affected by the mites.  New ones will grow in their place.  Keep the affected plant away from your other plants until it is well over its bout with mites.

             You can also go to your local nursery or garden center to find a product designed to kill spider mites on ornamental plants.  We regularly give our plants a bath in the soap water solution just as a precautionary measure - and because the plants like it!

 

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Thanks Lucky Bamboo Shop staff