Bananas.org

Welcome to the Bananas.org forums.

You're currently viewing our message boards as a guest which gives you limited access to participate in discussions and access our other features such as our wiki and photo gallery. By joining our community, you'll have access to post topics, communicate privately with other members (PM), respond to polls, upload photos, and access many other special features. Registration is fast and simple, so please join our community today!

If you have any problems with the registration process or your account login, please contact us.

Go Back   Bananas.org > Other Topics > Member Introductions
The Facebook Platform
Register Photo Gallery Classifieds Wiki Chat Map Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read

Member Introductions This is the `tell us about yourself` category. Please make an introductory post here, let us know a little about yourself. A perfect place to break the ice.


Members currently in the chatroom: 0
The most chatters online in one day was 17, 09-06-2009.
No one is currently using the chat.

Reply   Email this Page Email this Page
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
Old 04-22-2009, 07:16 PM   #1 (permalink)
 
Kayte401's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 11
BananaBucks : 15,928
Feedback: 0 / 0%
Said "Thanks" 12 Times
Was Thanked 6 Times in 3 Posts
Said "Welcome to Bananas" 0 Times
Default Do I have Spider Mites?

Hello Banana Community!

In January I became the new owner of a beautiful banana plant. He's absolutely my favorite plant in the entire house. It grew beautifully for about three months, even grew two suckers, but then took a turn for the worse. The new leaves stopped growing and the old ones are looking shabbier and shabbier. In the last two weeks I've noticed a swarm of tiny black bugs flying around the pot.

I have pictures of the bugs and the plant here: http://kayte401.com/uploads/KaytesBanana.jpg Are these the dreaded spider mites I've seen everyone talking about?

If they are, what do I do?

If they're not, what is hurting my poor plant? And, what do I do?

I really, really love this plant and would be heartbroken if I lost him - please help!

Growing Details:
* The plant lives in Southern California
* Temperatures are warm
* I water deeply once a week outside
* He gets sunlight from a north-facing window the rest of the week
Kayte401 is offline   Reply With Quote Send A Private Message To Kayte401
The following 39 users say welcome Kayte401 to Bananas.org!
Abnshrek (06-27-2013), adrift (04-25-2009), austinl01 (06-15-2009), banfan (04-27-2009), bepah (04-23-2009), buzzwinder (04-22-2009), Caloosamusa (04-22-2009), chong (04-22-2009), CookieCows (04-26-2009), dana mastro (11-20-2013), dkf85281 (06-13-2012), DoctorSteve (11-17-2010), GoAngels (09-13-2010), griphuz (04-23-2009), harveyc (05-26-2009), island cassie (04-23-2009), Jezebel (09-12-2010), jrozier (04-26-2009), just j (04-24-2009), Kelso (05-01-2012), Kenzie_POM (04-25-2009), Lagniappe (04-22-2009), lorax (04-22-2009), MediaHound (09-10-2010), Michael_Andrew (04-22-2009), momoese (04-30-2009), PR-Giants (01-14-2013), Richard (05-03-2009), saltydad (04-23-2009), scottu (12-05-2011), Scuba_Dave (05-26-2009), Smokey-hitz (09-08-2012), Steven Valys (10-28-2009), stumpy4700 (04-22-2009), sunfish (09-10-2010), tastyratz (11-03-2010), Tinkerer (12-15-2013), Worm_Farmer (09-11-2010), xavierdlc61887 (04-22-2009)

Join Bananas.org Today!

Are you a banana plant enthusiast? Then we hope you will join the community. You will gain access to post, create threads, private message, upload images, join groups and more.

Bananas.org is owned and operated by fellow banana plant enthusiasts. We strive to offer a non-commercial community to learn and share information. Receive all three issues from Volume 1 of Bananas Magazine with your membership:
   

Join Bananas.org Today! - Click Here


Sponsors

Old 04-22-2009, 07:34 PM   #2 (permalink)
Senior Member
 
chong's Avatar
 
Location: Seattle, WA
Zone: 8-9
Name: Chong
Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 1,837
BananaBucks : 72,352
Feedback: 6 / 100%
Said "Thanks" 1,254 Times
Was Thanked 1,654 Times in 741 Posts
Said "Welcome to Bananas" 932 Times
Default Re: Do I have Spider Mites?

Welcome Kayte!

I moved your first post to this thread where you will get more members to welcome you on board, and get the attention some of the experts and respond to your questions.

Happy banana growing!

Chong
chong is offline   Reply With Quote Send A Private Message To chong
Said thanks:
Old 04-22-2009, 07:37 PM   #3 (permalink)
 
Michael_Andrew's Avatar
 
Location: Toledo, Ohio
Zone: 6
Name: Michael
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 517
BananaBucks : 50,708
Feedback: 1 / 100%
Said "Thanks" 247 Times
Was Thanked 373 Times in 181 Posts
Said "Welcome to Bananas" 226 Times
Default Re: Do I have Spider Mites?

Well those black bugs are not spider mites. Here is a link to pictures of mites:spider mites - Google Image Search

They may be fungus gnats:fungus gnat - Google Image Search

Welcome to the org.
Michael_Andrew is offline   Reply With Quote Send A Private Message To Michael_Andrew
Said thanks:
Old 04-22-2009, 07:42 PM   #4 (permalink)
Senior Member
 
chong's Avatar
 
Location: Seattle, WA
Zone: 8-9
Name: Chong
Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 1,837
BananaBucks : 72,352
Feedback: 6 / 100%
Said "Thanks" 1,254 Times
Was Thanked 1,654 Times in 741 Posts
Said "Welcome to Bananas" 932 Times
Default Re: Do I have Spider Mites?

I just looked at your photos. They look like fruit flies, only a little bigger. I sometimes get those bugs, and they appear to be coming from the potting soil (bagged, though not from the name brands).

Michael Andrew could be right about the fungus gnat.

Last edited by chong : 04-22-2009 at 07:45 PM. Reason: Added comment
chong is offline   Reply With Quote Send A Private Message To chong
Said thanks:
Old 04-22-2009, 07:50 PM   #5 (permalink)
 
buzzwinder's Avatar
 
Location: Loves Park, Il.
Zone: 5
Name: Bill
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 871
BananaBucks : 7,366
Feedback: 3 / 100%
Said "Thanks" 1,043 Times
Was Thanked 841 Times in 353 Posts
Said "Welcome to Bananas" 1,155 Times
Send a message via Yahoo to buzzwinder
Default Re: Do I have Spider Mites?

Welcome to the Org Kayte401, not sure what kind of flying critter you have there, but if your in Southern California why not put your plant outside, mother nature has a way of evening the playing field with bugs compared to inside the house, they are not the dreaded spidermite however, may be a fungus gnat or fly of some sort. more knowledgable members will chime in when they see your post, best wishes.
__________________
Click for Loves Park, Illinois Forecast

Bill for my friend
buzzwinder is offline   Reply With Quote Send A Private Message To buzzwinder
Sponsors

Old 04-22-2009, 08:07 PM   #6 (permalink)
Banned
 
lorax's Avatar
 
Location: Ecuador, South America
Zone: USDA 13 / Köppen-Geiger BSh
Name: Lorax
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 2,532
BananaBucks : 194,348
Feedback: 0 / 0%
Said "Thanks" 742 Times
Was Thanked 3,014 Times in 1,183 Posts
Said "Welcome to Bananas" 464 Times
Default Re: Do I have Spider Mites?

Those are fungus gnats. You need to completely change your soils, and giving your banana a bath in insecticidal soap is not a bad idea.

Last edited by lorax : 04-22-2009 at 08:19 PM. Reason: non-sequitor
lorax is offline   Reply With Quote Send A Private Message To lorax
Said thanks:
Old 04-22-2009, 08:14 PM   #7 (permalink)
 
Michael_Andrew's Avatar
 
Location: Toledo, Ohio
Zone: 6
Name: Michael
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 517
BananaBucks : 50,708
Feedback: 1 / 100%
Said "Thanks" 247 Times
Was Thanked 373 Times in 181 Posts
Said "Welcome to Bananas" 226 Times
Default Re: Do I have Spider Mites?

Beth what about watering/treating soil with bt?
Michael_Andrew is offline   Reply With Quote Send A Private Message To Michael_Andrew
Old 04-22-2009, 08:18 PM   #8 (permalink)
Banned
 
lorax's Avatar
 
Location: Ecuador, South America
Zone: USDA 13 / Köppen-Geiger BSh
Name: Lorax
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 2,532
BananaBucks : 194,348
Feedback: 0 / 0%
Said "Thanks" 742 Times
Was Thanked 3,014 Times in 1,183 Posts
Said "Welcome to Bananas" 464 Times
Default Re: Do I have Spider Mites?

You can do it, but it doesn't guarantee egg death, so you'll just end up having to re-treat for endless cycles. The only really surefire way I've found to get rid of those little buggers is to completely change the soil for fresh, and if it's a plastic pot, replace with a terracotta one.

They're often an ingredient in soil bought at big-box stores, which is why I'd normally reccomend sterilizing the soil and pot in the oven before doing any changes.
lorax is offline   Reply With Quote Send A Private Message To lorax
Said thanks:
Old 04-22-2009, 08:19 PM   #9 (permalink)
 
buzzwinder's Avatar
 
Location: Loves Park, Il.
Zone: 5
Name: Bill
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 871
BananaBucks : 7,366
Feedback: 3 / 100%
Said "Thanks" 1,043 Times
Was Thanked 841 Times in 353 Posts
Said "Welcome to Bananas" 1,155 Times
Send a message via Yahoo to buzzwinder
Default Re: Do I have Spider Mites?

Quote:
Originally Posted by lorax View Post
Those are fungus gnats. You need to completely change your soils, and giving your banana a bath in insecticidal soap.
Just curious Beth, when you say a bath in insecticidal soap, do you mean like a quick soak or just a spray of leaves, stem and roots? never had to do this but may one day. Just want to be clear on actions to take!! Thanks
__________________
Click for Loves Park, Illinois Forecast

Bill for my friend
buzzwinder is offline   Reply With Quote Send A Private Message To buzzwinder
Said thanks:
Old 04-22-2009, 08:51 PM   #10 (permalink)
Banned
 
lorax's Avatar
 
Location: Ecuador, South America
Zone: USDA 13 / Köppen-Geiger BSh
Name: Lorax
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 2,532
BananaBucks : 194,348
Feedback: 0 / 0%
Said "Thanks" 742 Times
Was Thanked 3,014 Times in 1,183 Posts
Said "Welcome to Bananas" 464 Times
Default Re: Do I have Spider Mites?

I mean a good soaking spray.
lorax is offline   Reply With Quote Send A Private Message To lorax
Said thanks:
Old 04-22-2009, 10:13 PM   #11 (permalink)
 
Caloosamusa's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 3,578
BananaBucks : 23,357
Feedback: 1 / 67%
Said "Thanks" 3,829 Times
Was Thanked 1,527 Times in 670 Posts
Said "Welcome to Bananas" 334 Times
Default Re: Do I have Spider Mites?

Do you have standing water in the bottom of the pot Kayte401?

He? Bananas are "perfect" plants.

Last edited by Caloosamusa : 04-22-2009 at 10:16 PM. Reason: Gender
Caloosamusa is offline   Reply With Quote Send A Private Message To Caloosamusa
Old 04-23-2009, 04:09 PM   #12 (permalink)
 
Kayte401's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 11
BananaBucks : 15,928
Feedback: 0 / 0%
Said "Thanks" 12 Times
Was Thanked 6 Times in 3 Posts
Said "Welcome to Bananas" 0 Times
Default Re: Do I have Spider Mites?

Thank you so much for the welcomes and responses @Michael_Andrew, @chong, @buzzwinder and @lorax! I really appreciate the quick advice. I was in emergency mode for my poor plant and feel much better now with some knowledge.

I took @lorax's advice and emptied the pot, gave Mr. Banana a bath and re-potted with new soil. I'll also try @buzzwinder's suggestion and leave it outside for awhile. Mother Nature is great, isn't she?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Caloosamusa View Post
Do you have standing water in the bottom of the pot Kayte401?
@Caloosamusa - super astute question. When I emptied the pot I did notice that the soil at the bottom was SUPER wet. When I washed the pot the water didn't completely drain through the one hole either. I think I might need to drill a few more holes for better drainage.

(and yes, "he" - for some reason my plants have all turned into the agri-equivalent of men calling their boats, cars and other motored vehicles "she")
Kayte401 is offline   Reply With Quote Send A Private Message To Kayte401
Old 04-23-2009, 06:20 PM   #13 (permalink)
Banned
 
lorax's Avatar
 
Location: Ecuador, South America
Zone: USDA 13 / Köppen-Geiger BSh
Name: Lorax
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 2,532
BananaBucks : 194,348
Feedback: 0 / 0%
Said "Thanks" 742 Times
Was Thanked 3,014 Times in 1,183 Posts
Said "Welcome to Bananas" 464 Times
Default Re: Do I have Spider Mites?

Kayte, you definitely need to do the drainage thing. I didn't mention it earlier, but fungus gnats only breed when the soil's swampy. The biggest step in being pest free is prevention!
lorax is offline   Reply With Quote Send A Private Message To lorax
Old 04-23-2009, 07:50 PM   #14 (permalink)
 
Kayte401's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 11
BananaBucks : 15,928
Feedback: 0 / 0%
Said "Thanks" 12 Times
Was Thanked 6 Times in 3 Posts
Said "Welcome to Bananas" 0 Times
Default Re: Do I have Spider Mites?

@lorax thanks, that is a great thing to know. I'll get to drilling!

I also saw several sites online say to put 2in of sand on the top layer of your pot to make it dry and uninviting for the gnats.
Kayte401 is offline   Reply With Quote Send A Private Message To Kayte401
Old 04-24-2009, 01:04 AM   #15 (permalink)
Banned
 
lorax's Avatar
 
Location: Ecuador, South America
Zone: USDA 13 / Köppen-Geiger BSh
Name: Lorax
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 2,532
BananaBucks : 194,348
Feedback: 0 / 0%
Said "Thanks" 742 Times
Was Thanked 3,014 Times in 1,183 Posts
Said "Welcome to Bananas" 464 Times
Default Re: Do I have Spider Mites?

I've never tried that, but then again, my soils have amazing drainage.
lorax is offline   Reply With Quote Send A Private Message To lorax
Old 04-24-2009, 01:44 AM   #16 (permalink)
Ensete nut
 
Tog Tan's Avatar
 
Location: Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Name: Tog
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 1,757
BananaBucks : 342,639
Feedback: 2 / 100%
Said "Thanks" 1,011 Times
Was Thanked 2,687 Times in 775 Posts
Said "Welcome to Bananas" 204 Times
Joy Re: Do I have Spider Mites?

I will throw in the last few lines here...

This is what I figure, initially the plant was growing well until the roots got a little too soggy. This will cause the leaves to droop due to stress. Recently I did a bad job on one of my Helen's Hybrid sdlg with a compact media and it went dorky like your case. Being in an enclosed environment, it's heaven for a lot of critters to hang around.

Once you have all the things sorted out and its outdoors, the airflow should take care of the rest.

All the best!
__________________



____
Tog Tan has sadly suddenly passed away 6/16/09. We will miss you Tog Tan.
Tog Tan is offline   Reply With Quote Send A Private Message To Tog Tan
Said thanks:

Join Bananas.org Today!

Are you a banana plant enthusiast? Then we hope you will join the community. You will gain access to post, create threads, private message, upload images, join groups and more.

Bananas.org is owned and operated by fellow banana plant enthusiasts. We strive to offer a non-commercial community to learn and share information. Receive all three issues from Volume 1 of Bananas Magazine with your membership:
   

Join Bananas.org Today! - Click Here


Sponsors

Old 04-24-2009, 07:14 PM   #17 (permalink)
 
Kayte401's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 11
BananaBucks : 15,928
Feedback: 0 / 0%
Said "Thanks" 12 Times
Was Thanked 6 Times in 3 Posts
Said "Welcome to Bananas" 0 Times
Default Re: Do I have Spider Mites?

Thanks @Tog Tan! I think that's a pretty good assessment. When I emptied the pot it was way too wet in there. I will improve drainage, water less and as we all know, sunshine is the best medicine!
Kayte401 is offline   Reply With Quote Send A Private Message To Kayte401
Old 04-24-2009, 07:24 PM   #18 (permalink)
 
Michael_Andrew's Avatar
 
Location: Toledo, Ohio
Zone: 6
Name: Michael
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 517
BananaBucks : 50,708
Feedback: 1 / 100%
Said "Thanks" 247 Times
Was Thanked 373 Times in 181 Posts
Said "Welcome to Bananas" 226 Times
Default Re: Do I have Spider Mites?

FYI Kayte. Tog said that a dc had green pstem and sdc has pink/reddish. I checked mine and thats what I found on mine so you may have a dc there.
Michael_Andrew is offline   Reply With Quote Send A Private Message To Michael_Andrew
Said thanks:
Old 04-26-2009, 10:43 AM   #19 (permalink)
 
proletariatcsp's Avatar
 
Zone: zone 10
Name: Chris in FL
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 246
BananaBucks : 58,371
Feedback: 0 / 0%
Said "Thanks" 148 Times
Was Thanked 185 Times in 83 Posts
Said "Welcome to Bananas" 1 Times
Default Re: Do I have Spider Mites?

Hi, nice little musa! Outside is probably best because bananas thrive in full sun, and most tolerate periodic shade throughout the day, i.e., 30% max. A south facing window is optimal if you will continue growing indoors to avoid pests, but outdoors you will need to use insecticidal soap.

There are a few soaps that do not have harmful chemicals like neem, but I don't recommend anything particularly because I use only dish soap, which by itself is not very effective. I agree with the others, however. Your problem was likely due to soggy roots, and the gnats simply enhanced your problems.

Be careful what type of sand you use, I have heard others suggest sand too but unless the sand is dry and deep it will only deter the flies, not irradicate their infestation. Most sand contains way too much salt, and even playground sand may contain enough to harm the plant, so, you will need to leech it very well.

As an alternative to the sand, I would place a piece of window/door screen in your pot. Terra-cotta is a good choice, but the clay will absorb water and you will have to water more frequently. Put the screen in the bottom, and fill about 2-3" (depending on the size of your pot) with pebbles mixed with some soil and the kind of moss used for Orchids, like 50/50. Than fill the rest of your pot will soil and plant the banana so that the upper roots are about 1/2" below the soil. (You may need to put it slightly lower since the soil will compact when you water it in. The screen will keep the pebbles from falling out and the moss will hold enough water so the roots dont get too dry.

If you replant to a new pot, nurseries recommend the new pot is no more than 2" wider than the root-ball. I have repotted many plants from 1gal. into 5 or 7 gal, and they were quickly overwhelmed by mildew, mushrooms, pests, you name it---I've probably grown it by accident.

Good luck.

Chris in FL.
proletariatcsp is offline   Reply With Quote Send A Private Message To proletariatcsp
Said thanks:
Old 04-26-2009, 09:35 PM   #20 (permalink)
 
Kayte401's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 11
BananaBucks : 15,928
Feedback: 0 / 0%
Said "Thanks" 12 Times
Was Thanked 6 Times in 3 Posts
Said "Welcome to Bananas" 0 Times
Default Re: Do I have Spider Mites?

Thanks for all the info @proletariatcsp - a lot of things I hadn't considered. I did fill the pot about 1/3 full of orchid mix before filling with regular soil in hopes to improve drainage - the other tips are great info as well!

Will keep everyone posted on how he does outside.
Kayte401 is offline   Reply With Quote Send A Private Message To Kayte401
Said thanks:
Sponsors

Reply   Email this Page Email this Page

Previous Thread: Moving soon, taking bajoos along
Next Thread: Bob B





Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools



All times are GMT -5. The time now is 01:46 PM.





Follow us:
Twitter YouTube

All content © Bananas.org & the respective author.