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Mealy bugs infesting succulents

I have a couple of pots of crops in my workplace and a few have a white substance on their stems (above). The crops are grown close to the window with direct solar. Why is that this taking place?

Ellen Choo

The pests infesting your succulents seem like mealy bugs.

First, use a delicate jet of water to take away them, taking care to not break the leaves of the crops or overly moist the rising media.

Organic pesticides equivalent to summer season oil and pyrethrins obtained from some species of chrysanthemum could also be used to handle the inhabitants of the pests.

Follow the directions on the label on find out how to administer these pesticides.


  • In final week’s Root Awakening column, underneath the part on Sansevieria And Cactus Are Slow-growing Plants, a cactus has been recognized wrongly.

    Dr Wong has clarified that it’s not Cereus tetragonus “Fairy Castles”, however Cereus hildmannianus.

Repeated spraying each three days or so is required to handle the pests.

Ants are identified to “farm” mealy bugs for his or her sugar-rich honeydew secretions, so that you also needs to handle the ant inhabitants which may be moving mealy bugs across the rising space.

Weed is just not identified to be edible

This plant (under) is rising in my backyard. What is its identify and is it edible? Does it have any advantages?

Lucy Kie


The plant usually happens as a weed and is botanically often known as Gymnopetalum scabrum. It is a member of the melon household (Cucurbitaceae). It generally happens in wastelands and isn’t identified to have meals makes use of.

Rainbow Tree wants daylight to thrive


The leaves on my plant (above) are wilting. I have one other pot of the identical plant, however its leaves are unfold out they usually look wholesome. What can I do to enhance the situation of the primary plant?

Quay Suan Tee

The plant is a cultivar of the Rainbow Tree (Dracaena reflexa var. angustifolia).

From the leaves’ lack of color and floppy look, it’s a signal the plant is missing daylight wanted for wholesome progress.

It must be located in a location the place it will probably get no less than six hours of direct daylight each day for optimum progress and for its foliage colors to be exhibited.

Lack of blooms could also be resulting from inadequate mild


The protrusions in my orchid (above) don’t flip into flower buds. Why is that this so?

Grace Tong

The id of your orchid is just not obvious from the image. It is necessary to know the species – by way of its botanical identify – traits and progress necessities of the orchid.

There are numerous causes for orchids not blooming.

First, make sure the plant is one that may thrive in Singapore’s tropical circumstances.

Some cool-growing orchids require cooler temperatures to develop nicely. Others want a definite temperature change to set off flowering.

Another cause for the dearth of flowers could also be inadequate daylight. Plants grown underneath overly shady circumstances are typically shy by way of flowering. Their leaves additionally are likely to turn into lengthy and floppy.

You could need to take a look at your fertiliser routine: Avoid utilizing plant meals that’s wealthy in nitrogen as that may promote the manufacturing of lush leaves over flowers.

Fresh leaves of some Gynura species are eaten as a salad vegetable


I received cuttings of this Gynura bicolor (above) from a group gardener. I used to be advised the plant will be eaten as a salad, so I ate some. Subsequently, I chanced upon a analysis paper that talked about that this plant has substances known as PAs (pyrrolizidine alkaloids), that are dangerous. I additionally learn on-line that PAs will be destroyed by warmth, however their decomposition temperature is normally past regular cooking temperatures. I’m involved in regards to the long-term well being impact of consuming such a plant. What is your recommendation?

Alex Quek

The Gynura might be not Gynura bicolor and is probably going an unidentified Gynura species.

The recent leaves of some Gynura species are eaten as a salad vegetable and there’s a examine that reported their protected consumption within the brief time period. As a plant with well being advantages, Gynura is thought for its anti-hypertensive and anti-diabetic properties.

Pyrrolizidine alkaloids are natural-occurring compounds found in lots of crops.

It is heartening to know you are taking the trouble to get to know the crops you eat, slightly than blindly consuming them resulting from purported well being advantages.

As with plant meals that include pure toxins and anti-nutrients, it’s advisable to know find out how to put together them to make sure they’re protected for consumption in addition to to devour solely applicable quantities.

It is necessary to know one’s physique and keep away from consumption of pyrrolizidine alkaloid-rich meals if one has liver points. Long-term consumption of a big amount of Gynura crops ought to therefore be averted.

Check with a health care provider earlier than self-medicating.

• Answers by Dr Wilson Wong, an NParks-certified practising horticulturist and park supervisor. He is the founding father of Green Culture Singapore and an adjunct assistant professor (Food Science & Technology) on the National University of Singapore.

• Have a gardening question? E-mail it with clear, high-resolution photos of no less than 1MB, if any, and your full identify to [email protected]

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