Pests and Problems

    Violets are not especially susceptible to insects, or problems. There are a few, however, that growers eventually encounter. Most pests are brought into a collection on a new plant. For this reason it is wise to isolate new additions to your otherwise clean collection until you are sure it has no hitchhikers. Prevention is easier than cure.
Three of the most common ailments violets may get are:
(1) Blossom Thrips - these are tiny, slender, fast moving, flying insects that chew on the pollen and the blossom petals. They are small enough to fly through windows screens!

(2) Mealy bugs: white cotton-like insects that don’t move. Sticky and stringy when touched. Q-Tips and alcohol are almost useless. The white masses are actually the egg sacs.

(3) Powdery Mildew: a whitish fuzzy mold-like growth on flowers and leaves. It develops where growing conditions are cool, moist, and still. Improve air circulation to prevent mildew from redeveloping.
A product that will treat all three of these common problems is Triple Action Plus, a spray by Ferti-lome. The active ingredients are pryethrins and Neem Oil, both natural insecticides.

To really clean the foliage on a violet gently spray the leaves with a mixture of 1/2 teaspoon of white vinegar and 5 drops any brand hand wash dish detergent in 1 cup very warm water. Pat dry.


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