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Pests, Diseases & Problems

Ten Autumn Succulent Must-Do’s

Autumn succulent arrangement

These seasonal succulent must-do’s are mainly for southern and coastal CA, from the Bay Area south. If you live beyond, please visit my site’s Succulents By Season and Region page. 

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Succulent Pests, Large and Small

Mycoplasma on echeveria

Common succulent pests, diseases, and problems include agave grease mite, aloe mite, ant infestation, aphids, black spots, cochineal scale, deer, desiccation, etiolation, frost, gopher, hail, mealy bugs, mildew, rabbit, rot, snails and sunburn. Also find out how NOT to deal with a skunk!

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How to Manage Aloe Mite

Aloe mite (c) Debra Lee Baldwin

They seem everywhere this spring: mite-damaged aloes ranging from dwarf cultivars to tree ‘Hercules’. The microscopic pests (Eriophyes aloines) are not insects but spider relatives. They cause deformed flowers, a bubbly fringe on leaf edges, and orange-and-green growths where leaves meet stems. Aloe mite causes distorted, cancerous-like growth Google “aloe mite treatment,” “aloe mite prevention,” “aloe gall” or “aloe cancer” and you’ll discover…

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Cochineal Scale on Paddle Cactus, What To Do

White fuzzy lumps on paddle cactus indicate the presence of a parasite that pierces the plant’s skin and consumes its juices. A bit of cochineal (coach-en-ee-al) scale is no big deal, but it does tend to spread and may eventually kill the plant. Your first line of defense is to blast what appears to be…

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How I Get Rid of Gophers

Over the past quarter century, I’ve trapped four to six gophers a year in my half-acre garden near San Diego. If I can catch gophers, so can you. Here’s how. — Obtain at least four Macabee gopher traps. — Tie one end of a string that’s several feet long to the end of the trap opposite its pincher-jaws. At the…

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