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Help! The greeblies have gotten my geranium! May 24, 2010

Posted by ourfriendben in critters, gardening, Uncategorized.
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Silence Dogood here. This weekend, I noticed that some kind of greeblie had gotten all over the stems of one of my pelargoniums (aka zonal geraniums). It’s my biggest, and I’ve had it for years with no problems, so I was horrified. (In fact, the only problem any of my pelargoniums has ever had is my sporadic winter watering in the greenhouse.)

Needless to say, the plant is now off the deck and well out in the backyard away from all the other house/greenhouse plants. And after close inspection, I can say with some confidence that whatever it is isn’t on any other plant.

But what is it, and where did it come from? It looks like the kind of hard frost that makes tiny icicle-like crystals stand out from the stem. The stems are coated with these greeblies, which appear to be multiplying rapidly. But they don’t fly or even move. Perhaps it’s a disease, but experience tells me to think bug. Hmmm, that would be a mealybug or scale insect, I thought. But it doesn’t resemble cottony cushion scale or any mealybug that I can find a photo of.

So help, please! What is this, and what should I do about it? Will neem save my poor plant, or am I going to have to get out some cotton balls and alcohol and (eeewwww!!!) rub the stems down by hand?

Eeeewwww. Miserable greeblies!

               ‘Til next time,

                           Silence

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Comments»

1. Dave@TheHomeGarden - May 24, 2010

My first thought was scale but I really don’t know. Try a good insecticidal soap and see what happens!

Thanks, Dave! I hate using anything on my plants, but this time it’s definitely spray or toss the plant, and we’ve been together so long I’d really hate to do that. I guess it’s time to head out and get some insecticidal soap!

2. gailae - May 24, 2010

I thought scale, too OFB! There are homemade insecticidal soap recipes you could try…soap, water and some herbs and spices that you have on hand. I am more than sure you have garlic, etc! gail

Good point, Gail! We certainly have garlic and hot peppers, both excellent ingredients in a homemade insecticidal soap spray! Guess we’d better mix up a batch and get spraying before those horrible greeblies totaly wreck our plant!

3. Elephant's Eye - May 24, 2010

Can you save some cuttings? From the healthy part of the plant? ‘Had it for years’ – maybe it has reached its sell-by date?

Sell-by date! Oh, dear, Diana! Perhaps I could, or simply buy another ‘Vancouver Centennial’ and start over. But gee, I hate to give up on my old friend…


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