Pests- Thrips

Identification: Thrips are tiny, slender, yellowish to blackish insects with fringed wings. They are typically found on leaves and between flower petals. The adults are very difficult to see without a magnifying lens.

Damage: Both adults and nymphs (immature stage) feed by scraping surface cells to suck plant sap. Leaves fed by thrips will often take on a silvery or speckled appearance. As thrips are very tiny they are not visible to the naked eye. For this reason, it’s very important to monitor the plant closely - if there are silvery spots on leaves, it is probably a thrips damage and it can be managed when detected at an early stage.


Thrips damage on basil leaves

Control:
Mechanical- In the early stages, take off damaged leaves with silvery spots to avoid nymphs growing up and making a whole new colony.

Biological control- Natural enemy (Amblyseius swirskii, Amblyseius cucumeris, Hypoaspis miles). Biological control should be used continuously to keep down the number of pests.

Neem oil - It inhibits insect nutrition and fertility, therefore life cycle will be disturbed. Follow package instructions for diluting the oil in water and spray the affected areas, repeat if necessary. Although neem oil is of natural origin, wait a few days after spraying before eating your plants.

Discarding the plants- With a heavy infestation, it may be necessary to discard the plant, disinfecting the garden. Wait for 1-2 weeks before plugging new soils in to avoid continuing pests life cycle.

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These are my oregano plants. Some shoots look healthy most have what looks like a fungus/mound. Leaves and at roots.

Should I pull them out. How can I prevent this.

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Dear @Claireylou42,

it seems that the main issue here is thrips, not mold. The infestation is quite heavy, please consider the recommendations above given by @Maret

Greetings !
My busy lizzie have been great till a while ago - also buds have been coming. Though the bud are not blooming - before blooming into a flower they are falling off. Also there are some white insects / fungus seen on the leaves. - not sure if they are insects of fungii.

Please check the pictures and help - how to fix it?

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Dear @Manisha, good to hear from you!

My first impression is that your plants are infested by thrips, at least the damage seen on the leaves suggests so. If you get a better picture of the pest itself, we can be sure. Thrips start their life cycle inside the leaf tissue and they are quite tiny, so it might be difficult to spot them at first.

Thanks Mia for the reply.

Here are some more photographs with the pest -
Do let us know what best we can do to save the plant and to for buds to blossom…

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Dear Manisha,

Unfortunately, the damage visible on the pictures indicates an infestation of thrips. They start their life cycle inside the leaf tissue and the actual pest becomes more noticeable as it progresses.

Please find the instructions in the thread above. To be sure, it is probably best to discard the plants and clean the garden carefully. Also, inspect other plants growing nearby to avoid new infestation.

Thanks for your info. Can you please let me know how the plant could have infected - as the there are no near by plants ? What could possibly be the cause?
So what precautions may be taken for not having such an infestation again with Click And Grow plant pods?
Best Regards
Manisha

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Hi @Manisha,

Unfortunately yes, even indoor gardens are not safe from pests. Thrips may just fly in through an open window, or can be brought in with fresh produce or cut flowers.

To be sure, it is the safest to discard all the plants (as the plants are heavily infested) and thoroughly clean the garden. And if possible, take a little break in growing before starting growing again. It is not recommended to use insecticides indoors, as it may be harmful to your health. But next time you may try to remove affected leaves asap and try to treat it with neem oil solutions to prevent heavy infestation.

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In one smart Garden 3 -
2 petunia plants are coming up nicely - though one just dying -
petunia sapling in pod 3 is abnormal - all dry and withering .

Here are the photos:

petunia1 petunia2

In another smart Garden - 3 Lemon Balm plants were sprouted well but in a weeks time 2 plants died - wicks and everything looks fine also the water level is maintained correctly .
Here are the photos:


please let us know why this could be happening what could be done to avoid such wilting…

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Dear @Manisha !

Your lemon balm is infested by thrips. If you take a closer look, you’ll see severe damage in the plant tissue, and very soon tiny insects will appear, at early stages, they damage the tissue from the inside. So sorry, but the best option is to remove those plant pods asap and wash the garden thoroughly.

Not sure what has happened to the 3rd Petunia, if the gardens are in the same room we can not exclude thrips, even if there is no visible damage on the leaves. I would submit a ticket to the support for this petunia that is failing.

Thanks Mirjam, for your quick reply. I will remove the plant pods today.

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Hi, I just noticed today that one of my basil plants (the one in the lower corner) is definitely infected with thrips, with the black dots and one long moving adult that I killed. I know that I definitely have to remove this plant, but what about the rest of the garden? The other basil plants and rosemary have brown leaves but not sure if this means they are infected too? Or should I throw them all out just to be safe? Thanks!

Sorry one more question - after throwing out the plants, can I wash the whole garden with soap and water? Thx!

Hi @viv
It’s a good idea to be cautious, but are you sure it was a thrip? How old are these basil plants? Sometimes if the pod is reachings its lasts up to date and suffering nutrient deficiencies, or grown at an unfavorable temperature range it may develop tiny black spots and pale areas on mature leaves. Just to be sure, definitely remove the infected plant and carefully monitor the plants that remain in the garden,

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Hi - I have thrown out my entire garden 1-2 months ago because I found pests. I am starting anew with new pods, but today I noticed a little black bug under one of the pod covers (see photo below upper left hand corner). The other pod diagonally opposite to it has a rosemary that sprouted but died subsequently. Fo you think there is an infestation still? Thx!

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Zoom-in on the bug I found:

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Hi, yes, unfortunately, it looks like a mature thrip as I zoom in.
Could you locate where it’s coming from? Do you have more houseplants that could be infected, fresh produce, or through an open window?

All 3 of my pods have basil leaves that look like that in the picture. What causes that? Can I still use the leaves? And how can I avoid them?

Thanks.

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Hi @Redge

Unfortunately, your garden is taken over by thrips. If you zoom in you can see one pale-colored nymph wandering on your plants.

Please go over the guideline above on how to proceed and clean your garden. As the infestation in quite heavy, it would be wise to discard all plants and clean everything. If any questions arise, feel free to let us know.