Limp Leaves and Bugs on Henna (Lawsonia inermis)
Answered by: Inge Poot
Question from: Michael Volk
Posted on: November 30, 2003

I have recently bought a henna (Lawsonia inermis) plant and have noticed the leaves are limp and falling off. There is also some kind of greyish bug on it that is quick moving. I sprayed the plant down with soapy water and was wondering if that will cure it.

I doubt that the bugs were the primary problem with the henna. I suspect that the roots are in trouble, possibly because the plant was moved from moist, cool conditions to dry, warm conditions. The weakened plant became an easy host for other problems. Putting the plant into a plastic bag, pot and all and closing it only partially may help to let the roots catch up with the leaf growth.

The only bugs I can think of that are fast movers and harm indoor plants are thrips. They would multiply much more rapidly in warm conditions and could eventually become the cause of death of the plant. Repeat the spraying three days apart for at least three sprayings whenever you notice the bugs. If you see one thrip, you can be sure you missed a whole lot more! If you can get a hold of neem oil (try East Indian stores), it would work better than soap. Use at the rate of one to two teaspoons per litre of water with one quarter to one half teaspoon of dishwash detergent of concentrated Safer’s soap as an emulsifying agent and to help do the bugs in!

Check our web-site under Q&A in the News & Info section for more tips on how to get rid of bugs without harming yourself. Enter "Pest" in the search tool box.

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