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TreeProject - Ask the Expert Blog

Are Your Plants Stressed?

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Hello,
Some of my acacias’ leaves are furled in like a caterpiller or some other ratbag has stuck them together. All trees in this tray are being munched by something - down to about 3 cm from the soil.

Also a few pots also have holes/tunnels in the soil from beneath the pot.
After reading the manual I think garlic spray will do the trick - do you/ Wendy have any other advice?

Is that the thing to do if garlic fails?

Cheers,
Nicky

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Hi Nicky,

These plants are under stress.

Firstly check for caterpillars- hence the munching and the homes built in the curled up leaves. Acacias leaves curled may also be a sign of lack of water.

Holes/tunnels in the bottom of the pot is usually a sign of ants. Ants nest in dry soil. 
Garlic spray is useless. Look, remove, squash the caterpillars( can splash the plants with a dilute solution of dishwashing liquid). Most importantly rewet the potting mix.

Place the tray of tubes in a shallow tub and pour a dilute solution of dishwashing liquid over the tray until all wet. Leave to soak until all the bubbles have stopped rising and the soil stops floating out of the tubes. Make sure the potting mix that is used to top up the tubes is moist or a barrier will be created.

Insects will not attack plants unless they are already under stress.Correct watering and growing conditions are imperative.

Hope this helps.

Cheers,  
Wendy

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Fabulous Wendy, thank you so much for your help. I will follow your advice.

Nicky

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