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help my papyrus!

Gardening Reference » Gardening in 2006
by AnSiosalaich on January 03, 2006 05:17 AM
Hi Everyone,

I am a total newbie at plant care! I bought a papyrus plant back in September from a private dealer and for the last month or so it has been getting sucked dry by very small grey leech-like parasites (thrips??) I keep pulling them out from between the tassels and leaves but they still keep coming. I've tried drowning them in the shower and now I've moved to dousing the stalks and tassle heads with soap detergent. Two new stalks are emerging from the base to replace their dessicated siblings and I don't want the same to happen to them! Any suggestions?
by margaret e. pell on January 09, 2006 12:37 AM
I hate to see a question go unanswered, even when I don't know the answer. Papyrus grow in water, right? You could try changing the soil, or at least examining it very thoroughly. Maybe there are eggs or adults in there that keep reinfecting your plant. I wouldn't put too much undiluted soap on it, that could cause other problems. Any way you can contact the dealer you got it from? S/he may know what's going on. My husband had a papyrus for a while. It grew huge, lived in a tub the size of a laundry basket, then he moved it out of the sun and it died. Give us an update on how yours is doing.

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may God bless the WHOLE world!
by JV on January 09, 2006 02:46 AM
AnSiosalaich like margaret, I have no answer for you am at work so don't have access to my plant data base I just don't like people hanging with no answer. When I get home tonight I will try and look up any info I can. All I get now is some type of paper so I know that is wrong. Maybe Will Creed will stop by or maybe Bill has an answer . Sorry I don't but welcome to GH we try to help maynot always have an answer but we try.
Jimmy

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by AnSiosalaich on January 09, 2006 10:30 AM
Thanks for the help so far; I do have some more info to add. I figured out the pests are mealybugs, not thrips. I spritzed the entire plant with a solution of water and soap detergent a couple of times...I just got home from visiting friends for a few days and it looks like it hasn't gotten worse. The problem is the mealybugs can wedge themselves in between the tassles on the stem heads and they are hard to get to.
The papyrus is potted in soil, but the pot is submerged about 2in in water, so its constantly wet. There is some white, very small specks on the soil itself. Not sure what that is (hope not eggs!) but looks more like a fungus, but its been there the whole time.
Unfortunatly I can't call the person I bought it from...she had a booth at the Renaissance fair last fall, but not a store (I don't think).
I was thinking about repotting it if the problem didn't get better from the detergent washing.
by Cricket on January 10, 2006 08:56 AM
Try this for treatment of mealybugs:

Mealybugs treatment
by AnSiosalaich on January 10, 2006 09:17 AM
Thanks Cricket and Jimmy for your info...I checked the plant this morning and it seems like the number of mealies was definetely on the decline. I found a few half-dead looking ones. I'll keep you updated.

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