pelargonium guide & flowery photo album

how to loose courage

it has been a long time since i posted anything here, i guess i lost my courage when all my pellies got a disease. i'll explain all about it but i have a problem... i'm not sure what it's called in english! it looks like an aphid (only it's smaller and white), the swedish term is "rotlöss" (root's lice) and i haven't found the right translation.
ok, here's what evil looks like, remember you can click on any image that you want enlarged:
you'll probably notice that some of the roots are covered in a white, fuzzy substance that looks a little like mold. this is the first sign of these bugs, you'll see it on the roots and on the inside of the pot. it's so white that it can have a slight bluish tinge in hard light. because you'll only see it when looking inside the pot, it might take you a while to spot it, which is the (even more) annoying part as this disease spreads easily. i didn't realise what was happening before it was way, way too late and lost half my plants.
once these buggers really get going, you'll be able to see them. i took some pix but it's hard to see them (especially since i use so much sand in my potting dirt), so i made a note on the photo:
disgusting and depressing, i know! i also realise that weird insects and roots revealing that i should have repotted this particular plant sooner is not what anybody wants to read about... i'm just hoping that a) someone will tell me what this is called in english and b) i can enlighten someone so not everyone has to run around in a panicked frenzy like i did.
perhaps you'd like to know how to deal with it by now?
CHECK the earth on every plant before you buy it or, if you have it already and find the bug; send it back immediately.
DO NOT put more than one pelargonium in each container, since it spreads via the water. and if you can't resist, at least don't put your favourite ones in there.
FORGET about saving the plant if it's contaminated. take a cutting or two and throw the rest out.
WASH all pots with hot water and soap before reusing them. or use your oven.

ok, i got that rant out. i hope that the bugs are out too, i'll find out next weekend as i'm repotting for spring. and then i hope i'll find my courage and pellie love again!
in the meantime, let's look at something much prettier:

update: more info and pix here (in Swedish) at the very helpful site Gröna Sidorna.


Hermes said...

Sorry I missed this post. I thought it was a larvae of something at first but I'm more inclined to thing it is some sort of Nematode which are devils to get rid of.
I've not used it but there is a biological control:


kompoStella said...

Phillip - oh, i only posted it recently so i'm simply glad you've seen it at all :-) good to hear from you.
i've seen the problem in a swedish book on pelargoniums and i'm quite sure that it's identical, that is why i wrote "larvae". ignorant me, i actually thought nematodes were the good guys. thank you for your help!

Muriel said...

Its about time I returned the visit you made to my blog and left the nice comment about the Friesan horse post.

I believe I can even help you with the English on the pest problem you have. I am quite sure they are called root aphids and if you Google it you will find pictures.

Ugh, looks nasty. I now understand why nurseries don't like to re-use planting pots.

kompoStella said...

thank you, Muriel!
the root aphids are not completely gone yet, unfortunately, so i had to throw away a few more plants. good news is that the rest of them are budding now, which probably means that they are not infected... pheew!