Impatiens & Spider Mites

Overview

Impatiens are generally a low-hassle solution to brightening dark corners of the garden with a sea of prolific blooms. But spider mites are sometimes attracted to impatiens, damaging plants. Manage mites by paying attention to your particular conditions and experimenting with organic methods of deterrence.

Significance

One of the more common and destructive pests for impatiens, the presence of spider mites is unwelcome to gardeners. Spider mites like crowded, dry conditions. Impatiens spread rapidly and need to stay damp. When impatiens become dry and overcrowded, spider mites may move in, injuring or killing plants.

Identification

Spider mites are relatives of spiders. They may produce a fine mist of webs over impatiens' leaves and blossoms. Speckled, bronzed, gray or dropped leaves are also signs of a spider mite presence. Undersides of leaves reveal the culprits, who resemble extremely tiny red, yellow or green dots.

Warning

Among the many sound environmental reasons to avoid chemical pesticides is that they kill spider mites' natural predators. In the long run, applying pesticides makes spider mites more difficult to deter from impatiens.

Prevention/Solution

The best solution to spider mites on your impatiens is prevention. Space plants adequately when planting, according to planting guide. Keep flowers moist during dry spells. When you notice spider mite presence, take action. Predatory mites, lady beetles, and predatory thrips are all enemies of spider mites. Try organic horticultural oils and soaps. Remove infested leaves and plants and discard. Do not add infected plants to compost. Spray flowers with water periodically, and watch closely for signs of re-infestation.

Time Frame

Even with the application of organic deterrents, mites are difficult to control--and they certainly won't disappear overnight. Take notes on your trials and errors and experiment with impatiens' conditions in future seasons. And don't forget to enjoy the process; that's what flower gardening is about.

Keywords: impatiens, spider mites, impatien pests