Joined: Mon Mar 10, 2003 10:54 am Posts: 133 Location: Dallas,TX
In the last few days the top leaves of several salvia leucanthas have some kind of pest that I can't see, but that causes the leaves to lose their color, almost like they've been bleached. The underside of the leaves have tiny black dots that don't seem to be moving. There are a few rose leaves that look the same way. I would like to nip this in the bud, but I don't know what it is. Any ideas?
It sounds like it could be mites. Mites are extremely small, almost microscopic; but they can be seen with the naked eye if you look closely. Mites thrive in hot dry conditions and infestations occur mostly in the summer months. They are usually first noticed by the damage they inflict which is seen as tiny yellow spots on the leaves. The spots are about the size of pin pricks and are caused by the mite sucking the fluids out of the leaf at that point. When the damage starts to show, the many tiny spots will give the leaf a golden tint which looks like it is being 'bleached' by light. You may also notice tiny webs on the leaves (they are very apparent when misting). If you look on the bottom of the leaf, you will see the mites as tiny specks that will move if you touch them with a pin. You won't be able to identify the specific type of mite without a microscope but it is not important.
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