HEALTHY HABITS

Homes+ (Australia) - - MY BACKYARD -

PEST CON­TROL

Citrus are prone to a few pests and dis­eases, so be vig­i­lant. Look out for citrus leafminer, which causes dis­tor­tion in the new growth. It can only be sprayed with an oil spray (white oil and pest oil) dur­ing the grow­ing sea­son, from late spring through to au­tumn – the spray makes the leaf sur­face slip­pery and un­de­sir­able. The spray is an or­ganic method of con­trol and also de­ters aphids (which at­tack new growth), bronze orange bug (also known as stink bugs) and scale in­sects.

SOOTY MOULD

Sooty mould is a black sub­stance that looks just like soot, which grows on the hon­ey­dew ex­creted from scales and aphids. Sooty mould can be­come so thick that it ac­tu­ally stops leaves from pho­to­syn­the­sis­ing prop­erly. Treat­ment is two-fold: first treat the scales or aphids to stop the pro­duc­tion of hon­ey­dew, and then phys­i­cally re­move the mould from the leaves by coat­ing with soapy wa­ter and hos­ing leaves clean.

KEEP IT CLEAR

Avoid pil­ing up grass clip­pings and weeds around the trunk of your citrus tree, as any build-up and lack of air cir­cu­la­tion can cause col­lar rot. Also, never dig over the sur­face area of the soil around your citrus, as the plant has sur­face roots which can eas­ily be dam­aged.

No more bugs Us­ing or­ganic meth­ods for pest con­trol will de­ter bugs and keep your plants healthy.

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