The main pest for pineapple sage is thrips. We explain how you can identify insect infestation and what you can do about it.© pilialoha - Fotolia.com
As a robust and resistant plant, pineapple sage (Salvia rutilans) is not very susceptible to diseases and pests. The prerequisites for healthy plant growth are always the consideration of the site conditions and species-appropriate care. Due to maintenance errors, the plants are generally weakened and of course automatically more susceptible to diseases and pests.
Thrips - uninvited guest on pineapple sage
Infestation by thrips can be observed more frequently on pineapple sage. However, the pests cannot be identified with the naked eye and are targeting the leaves of the plant. As the plant continuously loses sap, it becomes weaker and weaker and gradually shows various types of damage.
How can the infection with thrips be recognized?
First, silvery spots can be recognized on the leaves. These are visible at the suction points where the plant loses chlorophyll. If young plants are affected, they show significant inhibitions in their growth.
➔ Tip: If leaf stains can be seen on the pineapple sage, the affected leaves should be removed as soon as possible.
Gradually, the affected leaves turn brown and show a stunted growth. If you examine the plant more closely, you will also see small black spots, namely the excretions of the thunderstorms.
What can be done about thrips?
The pests can be controlled by spraying them with soapy water. For this, one liter of water is mixed with 15 milliliters of soft soap. However, one-time treatment is not enough. Repeated spraying is necessary for sustainable control. Blue glue traps can be used for flying thrips. In predatory mites or lacewings, the thrips have natural predators. Especially with heavily infested plants, the application of predatory mites or lacewings is recommended directly on the plant.
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Effective measures in brief:
- Spray with soapy water
- blue adhesive traps (blue boards)
- natural predators
Should you use chemical agents?
Chemical pesticides should generally be avoided for plants that are suitable for consumption. Since thrips can be controlled quite well without the use of insecticides, the use of chemical preparations is usually not necessary.
➔ Tip: A proven means of natural pest control is neem oil. Appropriate preparations are not suitable for pineapple sage, however, because the application of the oily mixture clogs the pores of the leaves.
What can be done to prevent thrips?
The most effective method against diseases and pest infestation is regular control of the plants. It is not just the top of the leaves that needs to be considered. Pests prefer to sit on the undersides of the leaves and can, often unnoticed for a long time, cause damage and weaken the plants. If leaf discoloration is visible, the affected leaves should be removed and disposed of immediately so that the infection does not spread to other parts of the plant. If the affected plants are too close together in the herb bed, they should be isolated so that the infection does not spread to the surrounding plants.
Overview of pest infestation by thrips
|Detect and control pest infestation||explanation|
|Harming||▶ The tiny pests are initially not recognizable.|
▶ Small silver spots on the leaves indicate an infestation.
▶ In the further course, the leaves are damaged more intensely, change color, show a stunted growth form and finally fall off.
|fight||▶ Since it is an edible plant, chemical pest control is once again to be avoided.|
▶ Spraying with soapy water is very effective.
▶ In the case of more infestation, natural predators such as lacewings or predatory mites can be used.
|prevention||▶ Regular checks lead to the early detection of possible damage patterns or abnormalities.|
▶ The best way to prevent pest infestation and disease is to properly care for the pineapple sage.
Healthy plants - avoidance of maintenance mistakes
Pests and diseases of pineapple sage can be largely avoided if you meet the requirements of the plant. The location is an important basis. The plants like it warm and moist, but the pineapple sage cannot tolerate direct sunlight. The plant must be protected from the blazing midday sun.
There are also a number of things to consider when irrigating. Under no circumstances should the soil dry out, which requires regular watering. These should not be too large, because the plants do not tolerate waterlogging. If the water cannot drain, this is not noticed at first. Only when the plant begins to ail and shed its leaves is it often recognized that root rot has already started.
First aid for care errors
If maintenance errors are recognized in good time, the plants can often still be saved. Brown leaves are often a sign of insufficient water. Here it already helps if the affected leaves are removed and more watered. It becomes more difficult with plants that suffer from waterlogging. Fast action is then required. The plant is taken out of the ground. The wet substrate is largely removed. If the roots already show brown spots and thus show clear signs of rotting, these parts of the roots are removed. The root ball is then allowed to dry before being placed in a new substrate. Then less is poured accordingly. However, it will not always be possible to save plants affected by waterlogging.
➔ Tip: Waterlogging occurs more often in tub plants. A drainage of pottery shards applied to the bottom of the vessel is an effective protection against waterlogging.