Control Those Spider Mites
Spider mites thrive in the hot, dry weather of August. Inspect potted citrus, growing inside or outside, for spider mite infestation. Look for a yellow stippling pattern on the top side of the leaf, the under side will have light webbing and you may be able to see the small spider like insects moving about in the webbing. Willows, akebia, and himalayan honeysuckle are also favored hosts.
Control with insecticidal soap spray, applied every 3 days, for a total of three sprays. Then spray once a week until the hot dry weather is done for the year. You may add a light weight oil, such as canola or neem oil, to improve the effectiveness of your spray. Use 1-2 Tbsp of oil per gallon of spray solution, or follow the label if you choose an ultra-light summer weight oil. If you add oil, do not spray when temperatures will exceed 80° F or you may see leaf damage. Always test a new mixture on a few leaves first, to make sure you won’t damage leaves. Some plants are very sensitive to oils. Our Raintree Plant Owners Manual has more information on controlling insects on your potted plants, see page 16.
Fertilize container plants as needed to maintain adequate fertility for healthy growth. Summer watering can flush nutrients out of the soil mix. Slow release fertilizers may not be contributing much nutrient any more. Use a liquid fertilizer to finish out the growing season, or another light application of slow release. A formulation with less N (nitrogen) and more P (phosphorous) amd K (potassium) will help plants finish ripening fruit and prepare for winter with more sturdy growth.