Well, anyway, it's new to me, and I'm just horrified!
To start at the beginning, about ten days ago I put the overwintered plants out onto the deck in a sheltered place to acclimatize. Along with my small but growing collection of agaves, I put out the Meyer lemon. It's still blooming nicely, by the way.
Today, I was checking the potted plants for moisture. I noticed ants had discovered the sticky, sweet nectar of the lemon blossoms and were busily traveling up and down the tree's trunk to gather it. I wasn't crazy about that (the next step is an aphid farm, in my experience), but then I noticed something very different on the stems.
I had never seen scale before, but my heart just knew that's what it had to be.
By the time I took these pictures I had removed as many as 50 scale ranging from 1/16" to 3/16" in length.
Now here's the scary part: suddenly I noticed more. A lot more. Look carefully and you'll see those are all tiny scale insects down the center of the leaf and in some of the side veins above. And that's not the only leaf affected. These pests are all over our poor little tree and they seem to be in all sizes, including microscopic - those females have been busy over the last ten days.
Oh god...this is very scary. I wish both you and the lemon much luck. I've (knock on wood) not battled scale but is sounds (and looks) downright terrifying. Please keep us all updated!ReplyDelete
Ick! Reminds me of when my kids came home from school with head lice. Full report on success rate, please.ReplyDelete
yicks! Lemons are tough plants, I'm sure it'll be fine, mine had red spider mite( nasty!) ...I'm just going out to check mine...ReplyDelete
Oh, I'm so sorry, poor lemon! Poor you! I have heard this is a super common problem with lemons in our climate. Wonder why? I have tried that soap with aphids and it didn't really work. Lots of warnings on the label... hm. Well, wear a mask. Good luck!!ReplyDelete
Hi Jane~~ Dang. You posted this last Thursday and here it is Sunday already. I hope you've eradicated [or irradiated] the little devils. If not, a trick I learned years ago, put the entire plant into a large plastic garbage bag, then spray, then close the bag for 24 hours. The enclosure will allow the pesticide to work its full-strength magic without errant spray or subsequent fumes to contend with.ReplyDelete
Sometimes gardening can be soooooo frustrating, don't you think?
Dealing with garden pests is the least-fun part of this hobby. I hope you win the battle for your beloved lemon.ReplyDelete
I have had the same problem with my meyer lemon that now has been banished from the house. Try wiping the scale down, repotting it and then spraying it with neem oil.ReplyDelete