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Plant Diseases/Plant disease



Hi Melissa,

I have this plant and it has some white balls  and also some transparent sticky stuff all over.

I'd like to learn about the plant, the disease and the cure.



Dear Aytek, Your plant appears to be Vinca minor, which is a long trailing vine that will have blue flowers in springtime and occasionally at other times of the year.  It likes to be in a good light, but it doesn't like the hot sun too much.  Make sure you keep it watered, then let it dry out slightly and fertilize lightly a few times a year.  You can also cut back the long trails to make the plant bushier at the base of the plant.  You may want to do that occasionally as the plant loses leaves.  Now, as to what's wrong with it: it seems to have a very bad case of spider mites, a very common bug which leaves webbing on the leaves, and makes the plants look very sucked dry of juices.  You also seem to have mealybugs, which are the white sticky balls.  They have apparently decided to move in after the spider mites arrived.  Fortunately, you can use the same organic method to cure both problems.  You should spray the plant very thoroughly with NEEM, which should be available in your area.  I know that it has been available in many countries near you.  This product will kill insects, mites, and fungus and it is very handy to have around.  You can also spray vegetables with it, and then eat them a day or so later, as it is very safe.  You will probably need to spray the plant about 3 or 4 times a few days apart to completely kill the bugs.  You can trim off the excess vines on the plant at this time.  I hope this information helps you, but write back if you have more questions.  It is good to hear from you, and you have a lovely garden in the background.  Good luck, Melissa

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Melissa Johnston


Plant diseases, landscaping, tropical plants, roses, herbs, plant care, grafting, horticulture, plant identification, anything about plants I can likely answer.


35 years experience in various plant businesses, 1984 Certified Texas Master Gardener.

Master Gardener Association of Texas charter member

none as of yet, but I have a plant q&a book I am in process of submitting.

Magna cum laude graduate of Texas A&M, 1978

Awards and Honors
Plant growing awards, highest grade for Texas Master Gardener graduates.

Past/Present Clients
Past member of and was very highly rated. Owned landscape company in the past, Almost Paradise, and was very successful despite little equipment, no help, and no advertising. Lived well for two years until 9/11.

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