Common Disease Problems
Botrytis: This fungus causes a grey mold on flowers, leaves, stems and buds. It thrives in cool wet weather conditions. Burpee Recommends: Remove affected plant parts, avoid watering at night and getting water on the plant when watering. Make sure plants have good air circulation. Contact your Cooperative Extension Service for fungicide recommendations.
Crown and Root Rots: A number of pathogens cause crown and root rots. Burpee Recommends: Make sure your soil has excellent drainage. Avoid over watering.
Fusarium Wilt: Plants wilt but are not suffering from a crown or root rot disease. This fungus lives in the soil and blocks the water conducting tissues causing the plant to wilt. Burpee Recommends: Remove infected plants and do not plant in the same location.
Sooty Mold: This is caused by a mold that grows on the honeydew excreted by aphids and other sucking insects. Burpee Recommends: Control for aphids or scale. The damage is cosmetic only.
Verticillium Wilt: Plants wilt but are not suffering from a crown or root rot disease. This fungus lives in the soil and blocks the water conducting tissues causing the plant to wilt. Burpee Recommends: Remove infected plants and do not plant in the same location.
Common Pest and Cultural Problems
Aphids: Greenish, red, black or peach colored sucking insects can spread disease as they feed on the undersides of leaves. They leave a sticky residue on foliage that attracts ants. Burpee Recommends: Introduce or attract natural predators into your garden such as lady beetles and wasps which feed on aphids. You can also wash them off with a strong spray, or use an insecticidal soap.
Mealybugs: Mealybugs are 1/8 to ¼ inch long flat wingless insects that secrete a white powder that forms a waxy shell that protects them. They form cottony looking masses on stems, branches and leaves. They suck the juices from leaves and stems and cause weak growth. They also attract ants with the honeydew they excrete, and the honeydew can grow a black sooty mold on it as well. Burpee Recommends: Wash affected plant parts and try to rub the bugs off. They may also be controlled by predator insects such as lacewings, ladybugs and parasitic wasps. Check with your Cooperative Extension Service for pesticide recommendations.
Slugs: These pests leave large holes in the foliage or eat leaves entirely. They leave a slime trail, feed at night and are mostly a problem in damp weather. Burpee Recommends: Hand pick, at night if possible. You can try attracting the slugs to traps either using cornmeal or beer. For a beer trap, dig a hole in the ground and place a large cup or bowl into the hole; use something that has steep sides so that the slugs can’t crawl back out when they’re finished. Fill the bowl about ¾ of the way full with beer, and let it sit overnight. In the morning, the bowl should be full of drowned slugs that can be dumped out for the birds to eat. For a cornmeal trap, put a tablespoon or two of cornmeal in a jar and put it on its side near the plants. Slugs are attracted to the scent but they cannot digest it and it will kill them. You can also try placing a barrier around your plants of diatomaceous earth or even coffee grounds. They cannot crawl over these.
Spider Mites: These tiny spider-like pests are about the size of a grain of pepper. They may be red, black, brown or yellow. They suck on the plant juices removing chlorophyll and injecting toxins which cause white dots on the foliage. There is often webbing visible on the plant. They cause the foliage to turn yellow and become dry and stippled. They multiply quickly and thrive in dry conditions. Burpee Recommends: Spider mites may be controlled with a forceful spray every other day. Try hot pepper wax or insecticidal soap. Check with your Cooperative Extension Service for miticide recommendations.
Vine Weevil: This insect cuts irregular notches in leaf margins and grubs feed on plant roots, sometimes causing the death of the plant. Adults are approximately 5/16 inch long, dull black with dirty yellow marking on the wing cases. The grubs are c-shaped, 3/8 inches long, with light brown heads. Burpee Recommends: Handpick adults at night, shake the plants over newspaper to dislodge them. Check under pots where they hide during the day. Check with your Cooperative Extension Service for pesticide recommendations.
Is delosperma a good pollinator plant? Yes, it attracts butterflies.
Is delosperma deer resistant? Yes it does tend to be deer resistant.
Can I grow delosperma in a container? Yes, just make sure you have excellent drainage and a well-drained commercial soil mix.
Why do I have lush growth and no flowers? Delosperma blooms best in poor soils in full sun. Make sure you do not over fertilize or over water.
My delosperma did not overwinter, what was wrong? Delosperma is susceptible to rotting over the winter in poorly drained locations, and may need extra protection in zones 5 and 6. You can try bringing it inside if you have a bright sunny location.