Thrips Infestation on my Monstera

Monstera looking really sad 😢

Sad news about my giant monstera… it became infested with thrips and I tried many things to get them under control but the plant really suffered. It went from giant healthy leaves and tons of new growth to brown and curled leaves with new growth immediately becoming infested and damaged. The plant started to look so ratty and unhealthy that I did kind of a drastic thing and dismantled it.

I attempted to use a pesticide spray for thrips but because the plant was so large it was difficult to actually make sure I sprayed every single surface of the leaves and stems, and areas must have been missed where the bugs continued to thrive because after several treatments the bugs were still there. It was also not great to spray inside the house as it could be harmful to our pets or daughter, and because the plant and pot were so massive and heavy it was really difficult to get it outside to treat fully. Eventually I just admitted defeat. Screw you, thrips!

Adult thrips are super tiny little black bugs that look like dots of dirt on the leaves, like in the first photo above. Young thrips are even harder to spot and are tiny yellowy dots that cluster on the leaves, especially on the underside. They suck moisture from the leaves leaving brown spots and other damage that you can see in the photos.

I cut the entire plant down to the dirt. Ahhhhh so sad!! I put all the stem pieces into water to propagate new leaves after I have cut away all the infested ones, so the plant will go on but it will take some time to recover.

The water propagation is already going well with the stems sprouting roots and new buds. The stems and roots that are still in the soil have also begun coming back and so far there are no signs of thrips still hanging out there. I even have a new leaf now, hopefully it will grow back in time and maybe reach its former glory 🖤

Coming back to life!

4 comments

  1. GEEZ! That is terrible. I rarely had issues with pests on my plants until this past winter. I bring home plants on occasion, mainly cactus and succulents, and also order online and I never had an issue. Last summer I received a few Aloe and two of them were the first attacked my mealy bugs this past winter. I never had them on Aloe before. They tried moving to the other Aloe and Gasteria and ultimately killed the old Aristaloe aristata. The new one continually became infected and I ultimately threw it out the door in the snow… I had been using an old bottle of GardenSafe Fungicide 3 (Fungicide, Insecticide, and Miticide) I had bought from Lowe’s. It is OMRI listed. It didn’t seem to help that much so I started using a Neem oil concoction… Then, I thought possibly the old bottle was too old. I bought a new one from the local Dollar General. Just in time, because I then saw the Aloe ‘Lizard Lips’ was LOADED. I sprayed it a few times and quarantined it. It is amazingly fine now… In the midst of this, I found brown scale on my Crassula ovata ‘Gollum’ and x Alworthia ‘Black Gem’. Brown scale is sometimes easy to remove with your fingernail, but it was a shock… It is such a horrible thing when your older plants get infected when they never had issues before. Sometimes the problem goes unnoticed because we aren’t thinking they could have an issue… I hope your cuttings do well and hopefully they won’t have the same issue…

    • Ugh that all sounds so brutal, it is hard to lose mature plants. You get so attached to them! I should get some neem oil as well, though we used to use it on leg mites for our chickens and I couldn’t stand the smell hahah. I dont want to lose another big plant though that’s for sure!

      • Well, the new bottle of Garden Safe Mitacide 3 worked better because I guess the other bottle was to old. Like I mentioned it is OMRI listed. All the plants did well with it except the Kalanchoe x laetivirens. The neem oil I used was also a combination of natural ingredients but it didn’t work as well. Giving big plants a bath, or those wit A LOT of leaves like some of the Aloe, is a big chore. But, losing them is not an option…

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