Tag Archives: gardening

Beetles devouring our lilly pillies

Over 12 months ago I spotted a bright green beetle on the outside of the window. It was similar in size and shape to a ladybird, but instead of red and black it was bright green.  I took a photo, admired its shiny shell then promptly forgot about it.

The deck in our backyard is bordered by several lilly pillies which have been looking sparse.  I took a clipping to the local nursery and they suggested I spray the trees with EcoPest oil, an insecticide which uses paraffin oil as an active ingredient.  I did this, and repeated the process several weeks later in order to eliminate any pests which might have hatched since the initial spray. Hoping I’d eliminated the pest, a month or so later new growth appeared on the trees and they were starting to look healthy.  A few days after spotting the new growth, I noticed the leaves were being eaten again.  The pest oil hadn’t solved my problem. Then, one morning while enjoying breakfast in the sun I spot the culprit – one of the bright green beetles I’d been admiring a year earlier!

Continue reading

Attack of the spider mites

I bought a pot plant from Bunnings a couple of years ago.  The tag says it’s a Codiaeum Croton. It doesn’t flower, but has nice leaves with red and yellow patches.  It doesn’t seem to like too much water, so I soak it once a week, then let it dry out before watering again. I fertilise it a few times a year with a general purpose fertiliser. It’s sitting on a bookshelf just inside a window, and gets direct sunlight in the mornings, and indirect sunlight for the rest of the day.

It’s been really healthy, except that earlier this year it started losing new leaves as quickly as they were growing.  I couldn’t work out what was going on, because I hadn’t changed the way I cared for the plant.  Then two months ago I noticed a fine cobweb forming on the branches where the leaves were sprouting.  I had a pest!

Continue reading