Although cypress grass is not demanding, it needs some care for proper growth. Those who are not careful here are risking the infestation of pests.
© Yakov – Fotolia.com
Cyprus grass (Cyperus) is quite robust and even in our latitudes, the tropical plant can be cultivated well, but preferably as a houseplant. The plants need a lot of moisture and a light and warm location. There are hardly any diseases with the water palm.
However, the Cyprus grass can become the victim of various pests. Not infrequently, a pest infestation is due to care mistakes. Increased number of pests in the winter months.
Possible pests at a glance
Cyprus pests can be attacked by the following pests:
- Spider mites
- Shield lice
Thrips – the gluttonous fringed wing
These insects are also known as fringed wingers, with elongated hairy fringes at the edges of their wings are located. Worldwide, this insect order consists of about 5,500 species. In Germany alone there are more than 200 species. Thrips are also known as bladder feet. This is due to the end members of the feet, which have reminiscent of lobes widening balloons under pressure. Thus, the insect improves its adhesive properties on smooth surfaces. The vernacular has also produced the terms thunderstorm fly or thunderstorm.
The thrips are only about three millimeters in size and therefore barely visible to the naked eye. If the animals are adults, they have four narrow wings, which are hardly used. Some species miss the wings completely. The larvae of the thunderstorm are light green and almost transparent.
Fringed-wing are plant-suckers. Single cells of the epidermis are punctured and sucked out. The plant cell loses its color and appears silvery shiny. This remains unrecognized at first. If the infestation by thrips has progressed further, the plant loses its vigor and cripples the stems and shoots.
What to do?
In case of advanced infestation, it has been proven to use lukewarm water to shower thoroughly. So that the pests do not collect on the potting soil, the planting container is to be placed in a trash bag and sealed in a watertight manner. The underside of the leaf is not negligible. The treatment must be repeated several times to ensure that all generations of thrips are completely removed.
»Tip: If only individual leaves are affected, they can also be mixed with water containing a little detergent.
❍ Herbal products:
- Garlic sauce
- Nettle oil
- Neem oil
The broth should draw for 24 hours and can then be used to spray the plant.
❍ Use natural predators:
- Larva of the lacewing
- Flower bugs
- Predatory mites
Spider mites – the agile plant pests
Spider mites are among the most common pests that can be found indoors and outdoors Spread the garden. Of the tiny animals, over a thousand species exist worldwide. In our latitudes of concern is the common spider mite.
Due to their size of less than a millimeter, the animals are barely visible to the naked eye. Spider mites are ovate and turn greenish, brownish or reddish in the course of the seasons. The most striking feature is the red color prevalent in the winter months, which the insects have earned the nickname of “red spiders.”
The spider mites prefer to nest on the undersides of the leaves. With their sharp mouthparts, the leaves are pierced and the sap is sucked out. First, the infestation will hardly notice, because there are only small bright spots on the tops of the leaves. As the infestation progresses, the spider mite can also be recognized as having a reticulated web that covers the leaves. The leaves rapidly lose their color, then dry up and eventually fall off.
»Tip: High temperatures and low humidity promote spider mite infestation.
What to do ?
Since the infestation is initially unrecognizable, the regular control of the plants, especially in winter location is recommended. If you check the undersides of the leaves with the help of a magnifying glass, the red colored spider mites will catch the eye in winter. In the initial stage of infestation it may already sufficient to treat the water palm with a sharp jet of water. The procedure should be repeated several times a day.
More affected shoots should be removed. The waste must not be disposed of on the compost. The use of chemical pesticides should be avoided if possible. Alternatively, the trade offers products based on rapeseed oil or potash soap.
»Tip: Particularly useful are insect-resistant plant stalks that are simply inserted into the soil where they are used directly on the soil Deliver plant.
Shield lice – the armored plant scare
Shield lice comprise a group of insects that frequently infest plants that have too dry winter conditions. Recognizable are the approximately two millimeters large larvae on their armor-like shield. Below these are suction tools that are anchored in the plant.
»Tip: Due to their color, scale insects are well adapted to the leaves and therefore difficult to recognize.
The infestation can be recognized by some typical features:
✔ discolouring of leaves
✔ crippled leaves and flowers
✔ buds do not shrink and open up ✔ wool-like webs, similar to spider mites
What to do?
If the infestation is detected, the plant should be immediately separated from other green plants. Scale insects can spread quickly to neighboring plants. If you want to collect the pests by hand, it should be noted that the scale insects must not be scraped, this might cause the larvae spread evenly over the plant. Better use tweezers here. With a cotton swab, which is soaked in alcohol, the scale insects can be treated individually. Then the plants should be thoroughly rinsed off.
❍ Home remedies for scale insects:
- Stinging Nettle
- Garlic Stew
- Tobacco Slug
❍ Use natural predators:
Mourning gnats – the moisture-loving insects
Mourning gnats are species of gnats that are found in more than 600 species in Europe. The mosquitoes have dark colored bodies. Especially during the larval stage, the infestation is clear, because the larvae feed mainly on the roots. Especially young Cyprus grasses are endangered, as they still have a very fine root system. Mourning mosquitoes prefer to multiply in a humid environment, so the water palm is a preferred host plant.
You can recognize an infestation by a deficient and stunted growth. When casting, the mosquitoes can be observed. The potting soil is interspersed with small black-and-white larvae.
What to do?
If the potting soil is covered with gravel or quartz sand, the fungus mosquitoes will not find the preferred climate despite the wet stand of the water palm , Matches sunk into the ground with the head give the sulfur with the irrigation water into the earth and this leads to the death of the larvae.
❍ home remedies against sciarids
- Coffee grounds
- Carrot juice
Yellow stickers have also proven themselves. The mosquitoes are attracted to the yellow coloration of the panels and stick to the specially treated material.
o avoid care mistakes?
- Constant hydration
- Frequent spraying
- warm location
- Do not put the plant too deep into the water
- protected location
- avoid dry heating air in winter