Problematic Plants

Marantas and calatheas

I really don’t ever learn, do I? And yes, that is a rhetorical question because of course I don’t!

Somehow I thought that by clustering these marantas and calatheas together I might be able to maximize the humidity they like and keep them healthy throughout our winter.

Astronomical and meteorological winter haven’t even begun yet and I am struggling with these plants. They may appear healthy, but because I grouped them, I am battling spider mites on most of them.

And what’s crazy about that is that it appears that there are at least 2 different kinds of mites–red ones without webs and smaller white ones that make webs. It’s as if the plants really are cursed.

So I am giving all the plants weekly “baths” in the kitchen sink. Honestly, I need my head examined!

Plants after “bathing”

You may think that these plants look pretty good. So do I. The damage is subtle and deceptive. On some plants, it manifests itself as the stippled leaves, where the insects suck the juices out.

Leaf with telltale stippling

On other plants, too many leaves may just start browning for no apparent reason. When I turn the undersides of those leaves over, that’s when I find the beginning of an infestation with the small white spiders and webs.

So it’s just weekly baths for everyone now. Heck, what else do I have to do?

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