Hilary Ribbens
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  • 2 posts
  • 5 comments received
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About Me
  • Country United States
  • Plant Knowledge Level


  • Fungus Gnat/larvae infestation
    My Bird of Paradise has a bad fungus gnat larvae infestation. I've tried a soil drench with diluted hydrogen peroxide which did not kill the larvae (there were a lot of them). I scooped out the first two inches of soil which got rid of a decent amount of them. I then let the soil dry out and did another soil drench with AzaMax. The larvae returned to the surface after the drench but did not die. I scooped out as many as I could with the top two inches of soil again but the next day found dead larvae on the ground outside of the bird of paradise pot.
    Overall I do not have an issue with over watering my plants. I've set out yellow sticky traps around the bird of paradise and homemade apple cider vinegar traps. I need help to get rid of these larvae/fungus gnats once and for all! 
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      Paris Lalicata Hi Hilary! The bugs in the soil look like they could be some sort of garden centipede/arthropod and discarding the original soil would be the best option to rid of any critters and their eggs. These should not harm the plant in any way as they only feed on organic material within the soil. Any standard potting mix you have already should work just fine as long as it has plenty of drainage!
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      Erin Oh no! I haven't had much experience with fungus gnat larvae (just the adults which I've been able to banish with a ton of neem oil and soap) but I think you might want to remove all the current potting soil until the plant has bare roots, and then pot in new soil. It's a bit of an undertaking but would hopefully be the quickest way to remove them.
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      Hilary Ribbens image of fungus gnat larvae in the soil from the first round.
  • Bird of paradise trouble
    Hi! One of my bird of paradise stems started looking sad after a new growth turned brown half way through unfurling. This morning I was gently peeling off some old growth at the base when the whole stem snapped in half at the base (images included). I don’t know if this is caused by root rot or under watering. I’m pretty upset as it was the tallest stem in the plant and don’t want the rest of the plant to go down too!
    * I know the plant doesn’t get as much light as it ideally should so I supplement worth a happy lamp. 

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      Paris Lalicata Hi [307439,Hilary Ribbens] ! When the stem snapped in half at the base was is very dry and brittle? Or was it more soft and mushy?
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