Two-spotted spider mite on crocosmia

Question ...

My crocosmia has suddenly turned brown. Most of the leaves have died off and there is signs of powdery white webbing along the veins. Is it the dry conditions and will the plants come up next year?

Answer ...

The dry weather has certainly contributed. Hot, dry conditions such as those in August have favoured the two-spotted spider mite (Tetranychus urticae). These creatures feed on plant tissues causing extensive damage in high populations. They feed on a variety of plants both indoors and out. Cut off and remove dead leaves and clear up plant debris to reduce overwintering sites. Water the plants well, they may not produce any more leaf this year, but mites do not like damp conditions. The plants should recover and grow next year. Look out for early signs of this pest next spring and early summer, treating with insecticidal soap spray if found. Available from the Organic Gardening Catalogue.

Garden Organic members can see our red spider mite factsheet for more information.

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