Well...this is embarrassing...


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So, I like plants...any plants, really. I especially like to take home sick plants, and try to save them, if I can. Unfortunately, I am also, not the best gardener, and while my intentions may be noble, it means nothing when I let a plant get this bad....
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This is an english lavender. I brought it home last fall. It was tiny and severely dehydrated when I purchased it for $0.99 back in October 2014. I was so proud of how quickly it flourished in its pot, in my house. I had planned on putting it in a little corner in my back yard, this spring. So I kept it, watered it, I've fed it fertilizer twice, since I potted it. We have a south facing house, with a sweet little bay window, which is where its been perched most of the winter, soaking up as much sun as I can get it.
Lately, the past 2 weeks its been acting like it was dried out. But since I check my plants every other day for moisture, I didn't think that was the issue.
My next step was to get it into a bigger pot, it must be root bound and choking. So I did get a nice big blue one, and a new bag of potting mix, just in case my leftover mix from October was stale and icky. So I go to put the poor dear in the new pot, this morning. I have the new pot ready for transplant, and then I was thinking maybe I'd trim off some more of the dead stems before transplanting it (I've been pruning a bit here and there, but it just got so bad this past week, that's why I thought it needed a new pot, pronto!). But then I looked at it closer...and even closer....yeeeup!....My worst fears! SPIDER MITES!

What....the poop!?.....Spider mites!? On lavender!? What the!?....How!? Where did they come from!? Why hadn't I realized this before!? And is there ANY chance I can bring this poor baby back from this much damage!?

I'll try anything to help it out!

Oh! Already checked the rest of the house plants, they are all clear of spider mites! Phew!
 
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So, I like plants...any plants, really. I especially like to take home sick plants, and try to save them, if I can. Unfortunately, I am also, not the best gardener, and while my intentions may be noble, it means nothing when I let a plant get this bad....View attachment 4960

This is an english lavender. I brought it home last fall. It was tiny and severely dehydrated when I purchased it for $0.99 back in October 2014. I was so proud of how quickly it flourished in its pot, in my house. I had planned on putting it in a little corner in my back yard, this spring. So I kept it, watered it, I've fed it fertilizer twice, since I potted it. We have a south facing house, with a sweet little bay window, which is where its been perched most of the winter, soaking up as much sun as I can get it.
Lately, the past 2 weeks its been acting like it was dried out. But since I check my plants every other day for moisture, I didn't think that was the issue.
My next step was to get it into a bigger pot, it must be root bound and choking. So I did get a nice big blue one, and a new bag of potting mix, just in case my leftover mix from October was stale and icky. So I go to put the poor dear in the new pot, this morning. I have the new pot ready for transplant, and then I was thinking maybe I'd trim off some more of the dead stems before transplanting it (I've been pruning a bit here and there, but it just got so bad this past week, that's why I thought it needed a new pot, pronto!). But then I looked at it closer...and even closer....yeeeup!....My worst fears! SPIDER MITES!

What....the poop!?.....Spider mites!? On lavender!? What the!?....How!? Where did they come from!? Why hadn't I realized this before!? And is there ANY chance I can bring this poor baby back from this much damage!?

I'll try anything to help it out!

Oh! Already checked the rest of the house plants, they are all clear of spider mites! Phew!
Spider mites? Are you positive? Spider mites are a hot weather pest. Most unusual. You can get rid of them, but it is not easy as you have to interrupt their reproductive cycle and maintain a spray regime lasting about 2 weeks
 
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You can't see the little webs and tiny yellow mites in the post, I mostly wanted to show the severity of the damage. I am just as puzzled as you are, as to how the heck they got in my house in late March...in Michigan. I have 11 other potted plants, NONE of which, have the same problem. Not to mention, this damage was not only contained to this sole pot, but also so severely and quickly: first noticed die-back between 2 and 3 weeks ago. This was an entirely green and vibrant plant in February.
 
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You can't see the little webs and tiny yellow mites in the post, I mostly wanted to show the severity of the damage. I am just as puzzled as you are, as to how the heck they got in my house in late March...in Michigan. I have 11 other potted plants, NONE of which, have the same problem. Not to mention, this damage was not only contained to this sole pot, but also so severely and quickly: first noticed die-back between 2 and 3 weeks ago. This was an entirely green and vibrant plant in February.
Part of the life cycle of spider mites is laying eggs in the soil. I am not saying that this is what happened but your left over potting mix may have been inadvertently used as a spider mite hatchery. But no matter what caused the infestation I would get rid of the plant and all of the soil ASAP and then sterilize the pot too.
 
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Thank you for the advice! It makes me feel better knowing that my Mum was wrong, and I CAN still save the plant!

Oh, but I didn't use my leftover potting mix from last fall. I bought a brand new bag just for repotting this little guy. It turns out it was both root bound and full of mites. I'm going to knock off all the remaining soil around the roots and start it off naked in clean new potting mix, just in case there's eggs in the soil its in now.
Someone on Pinterest suggested mixing liquid dish soap with garlic and cinnamon and diluting that in water to make a mite killing spray from household products. Do you think that will really work?
 
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If you are willing to invest the time and care, and also willing to face the fact that your lavender may be toast, you could try a soap spray. Take about one tablespoon of soap (not detergent, Ivory or Dreft is good), an equal amount of vegetable oil, and a pint of tepid water. Mix this up and put it in a spray bottle. Cut the plant back pretty severely--at least half, and possibly two-thirds. Spray the remaining plant up and down, and all around. Make sure you get to the undersides of the stems and remaining leaves.
If the lavender shows signs of recovering, get out of that pot, and remove as much of the soil as possible from the roots. Replant in a clean pot with fresh potting soil.
I just saw your reply while I was typing this. The suggestion you mentioned is good, but not liquid dish soap, since it most likely is a type of detergent. The vegetable oil I suggested is to get the spray to stick to whatever it touches and smothers the little beasties.
Good luck!
 
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Oh wow, that looks pretty bad. Aside from making your own defensive spray, I suggest changing the soil you used upon planting your lavender, as the previous one may still have some mite eggs thriving inside them. Also, when you change the soil for the plant, make sure to still observe your plant as there are some cases when 'relapses'of some sort occur, which means that, spider mites might return for your beloved lavender plant, you can avoid it by regularly checking them. Goodluck saving the lavender!
 
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Poor little plant! It looks really bad, but I'm sure you can save it:) I'd start with removing all dead parts. Then, change the soil and wash all green leaves with water. I hope it will help. Most herbs are resistant to diseases and pests.
 
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I like to rescue plants too, but after many failed attempt, I stopped. I think @claudine has a great idea and I would do that too if I am not willing to part with it yet. If this doesn't work, then you know that you gave it your best and you've tried all you can :)
 

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Wow, don't you just hate it when you have given so much time love and care to a plant and an infestation starts to kill the plant. You have received some good suggestions to cure your plant. The only other thing I would do it cut the plant back as far as I could, remove it from the pot and soil and put what is left of the plant in some room temperature water and keep it there to allow the plant to start new roots and plant the new plant in clean soil and pot. It would not hurt to wash the leaf and stem of the plant with a light soap solution a few time to kill anything trying to grow on the plant. Good luck.
 
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Well it is still alive. That is a good sign. So there is still a chance to save it. Cut away all the dead and get rid of the pest. It would make it much easier to save.
 
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Thank you everyone for all of your awesome suggestions! I have taken notes! My lavender has been trimmed, treated, and repotted. It is still in recovery mode. However, the weather around here has picked up quite nicely. Nice enough for it to be moved to my front porch. It is really enjoying the direct sunlight. I'll give it a little more time, as it had to endure severe "trimming" to remove all the damage, then show the miraculous recovery photo. What a little trooper!
 
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Awesome rescue story! I hope it works. I too have fought to rescue plants and hate to fail. I read that a 10% soap solution works well and I had to try spraying it on my avocado trees and it lost the leaves but cured the soil and allowed it to recover. Good luck!
 
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How much longer until we get to see the plant? How is it doing so far?
Its still growing new stems, it looks like a poodle of a lavender, right now. We've have a few blistery nights, but I've let it on the porch for some real sunlight, every now and again, its trying to come back, just very sad at the moment. Its late but I'll take a pic tomorrow or the next day, to show you its subtle recovery......oh so subtle. Poor baby.
 
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Its coming back guys...Still recovering, but I'm thinking its nice enough weather, and it may be healthy enough, I'm going to put it in the ground in the front bed. I want to get it back to full health and there's no cure like nature, so. What do you think so far?
 
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It's made a good recovery with your tlc Alyce. (y) Lavender isn't really a plant that likes to be fussed over, so yes plant it out and let it do it's own thing. They prefer a well drained soil, little or no feeding and water sparingly. I have lavenders in sandy soil and have never fed them. :)
 
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Sheal can Lavender be planted in shade? I have an area that's sandy under one of my trees that I'd love to plant some ground cover.
 

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