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(Strelitzia reginae on the left and Monstera deliciosa on the right)

Our Monstera deliciosa and Strelitzia reginae ("Bird of Paradise") that we purchased at a local grocery store, as you may have read about in the post about reaching our milestone of 100 plants, are both recovering from spider mite infestations. I noticed the first sign of spider mites on the Monstera deliciosa one afternoon while I was watering and pruning the plant, and I promptly sprayed the plant with my handy Safer's Insecticidal Soap. I quarantined the plant for several weeks, spraying the plant every 7 to 10 days with a new coating of the insecticidal soap, and the plant currently looks like it is free from spider mites. It is currently at our new house and seems to be growing just fine, but it remains quarantined from the rest of the house plants. The side angle of the Monstera above might not adequately show the true health of the plant since the picture makes it look somewhat flattened out. In reality, when the plant is viewed from the top the leaves and the rest of the plant look relatively healthy. If it does end up dying then I will likely purchase another one.

The Strelitzia reginae or "Bird of Paradise", which had been growing at Annah's apartment was apparently the perfect breeding ground for hundreds of spider mites. Neither of us had really noticed them until I lifted up the plant in preparation for the move. Instead of moving it right away, I once again used my Safer's Insecticidal Soap and quarantined it for a few weeks since we had a month to move everything out of her apartment. The last day of the month finally came in August and it has been at the new house ever since. It appears to be free of the spider mites, but it is still quarantined next to the Monstera deliciosa just as a precaution.

I am guessing that each of these plants were infected with a few spider mites at the time of purchase and then the growing conditions we were providing the plant were perfect for the spider mites to thrive. I had inspected the plant upon purchasing, but apparently I did not inspect it as thoroughly as I had thought. I will have to be more thorough next time so this will not happen again.

3 comments

  1. Jane Marie // September 12, 2008 at 4:04 PM  

    I hate spider mites. So much work to save the plants. I hope all goes well with your plants.

  2. Sue Swift // September 19, 2008 at 7:13 AM  

    Red spider mite is the bane of my existence - I seem to spend all my time posting about how I've lost more plants, remedies I'm trying out etc. I garden on a balcony and once they get a hold, they just sweep from one end to the other.

    Found you on the Blotanical "most active" list incidentally. Nice blog. Nice to see someone else focusing on houseplants.

  3. Jordan // September 22, 2008 at 4:53 PM  

    Jane - I hate spider mites as well. I think I have been able to destroy all of them on the two plants, but I will have to wait and see. Thank you for the comment!

    Sue - I wish you the best of luck with getting rid of the red spider mites you said you have problems with! Thanks for leaving a comment and thanks for writing that I have a nice blog. I will keep trying to focus my blog on my houseplants!