Friday, 7 August 2009

The darker side of insects

Following my previous posts espousing my love of insectkind, I would like to rant briefly on the same subject. Some background is required.

My girlfriend, being the kind, loving, and above all penniless woman that she is, grew me a spider plant as a '3 years together' present. I was very pleased with this as I'd been meaning to get a plant for my room. The rosette was taken from one of the plants in her flat and potted by her own fair hand and, following a short delay while I got my room sorted, has since been very happily sitting on my chest of drawers. Here's a picture:

Beware of the Leopard

My mother, most impressed with this plant, has mentioned that she would like one for her work (in a school) so I let it sprout some rosettes of its own which will be cut and potted in their own time. They have now started to flower. Arn't they pretty?

So all was fine until this morning when I lifted the pot, and what did I see? Many tiny white things running around. I know enough to know that tiny white things in the basin of your potted plant can be a sign of trouble, so this evening I called in some expert advice.

Expert advice on this one was erring on the side of Woodlouse larvae, which doesn't sound unreasonable. The plant's quite healthy, I'm not overly worried about these things. A simple bit of repotting should take care of that.


Then I saw this.

Red on red, right on the limit of what my faux-macro lens could do. Little fuckers were impossible to photograph

Does that look like red spider mite to you? It looks a bit like red spider mite to me (note - red spider mite are not, in fact, spiders; so don't go counting legs). Would any horticulturalists out there like to make a guess of their own?

Either way, I think this will get thoroughly washed and repotted this weekend. The roots are coming out the bottom of the pot, and I've got the free time.

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