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Anna, Teacher, writer, biologist
Category: General
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my rosemary has a sticky white substance on it--what is this

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my rosemary has a sticky white substance on it--what is this and how can I get rid ofit

I'm sorry to hear you're having a problem with your rosemary. Does the substance look anything like this photo?


Thank you.

Customer: replied 3 years ago.


Thank you for getting back to me. What you are seeing is the residue left behind by mealybugs. Mealy bugs are so tiny that we can't easily see them. They feed on the plant and leave behind a cottony substance. Tiny brown sucking insects can also do this - if you look closely at the joints of the plants, you may be able to see them if they are present. Regardless, it would be best to treat for the insects as they will weaken the plant. I would start by giving the plant a good shower (use a hose if it is growing outdoors) to remove the sap and the cottony residue. You can gently rub the leaves. Then spray it thoroughly with an insecticidal soap. These soaps are available in garden shops, nurseries, and plant departments.Choose oen safe for vegetables. If the rosemary is growing in a pot, remove the plant from its pot. Remove as much soil as you can without damaging the roots. Some life stages of the pests live in the soil. Put it in a different pot with sterilized soil. Inspect the plant daily after that. If you see any of the little brown bugs, dip a Q-tip in mineral oil and suffocate each bug individually. If you see more sap or cottony residue, repeat the treatment with the insecticidal soap and also spray the soil surface. It can take several treatments. Mealy bugs are difficult to get rid of. If you have more questions, let me know by clicking on REPLY. I hope you'll be successful in saving your rosemary.


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