Droopy Rosemary III
Answered by: Conrad Richter
Question from: Mike
Posted on: November 17, 2000

Good call – pot bound to death, ALMOST :) I don’t think there is much soil there... all roots ......

However a couple of questions if I may. When I did pop the guy out of its undersized bucket there were a couple of "worm" like creatures and a grub. Are these that bad or should I try to eradicate them at this time? Pretty tough to do with the dense rooting that it has.

A common problem for potbound plants is a type of mealy bug that attacks the roots. You will see white patches on the soil ball, especially on the surfaces of the root ball that touch the sides of the pot when the root ball is in the pot. If you look carefully you will likely see some round white fuzzy mealybugs around 2-3 mm (1/8") in size moving around. These attack the roots of plants and can be difficult to destroy. We are not aware of any natural means of destroying them short of disposing of infected plants. You could try soaking the root ball in an insecticidal soap solution over night. If that doesn’t work, you might experiment with adding a bit of rubbing alcohol to the soap mix. We have never tried either of these methods on root mealybugs, but they do work with limited success on the type of mealybug that attacks the foliage and stems of plants (different from the root ones). If you are prepared to use a chemical means of control, malathion will work when applied as a soil drench; but malathion is a pretty nasty chemical to use on an edible herb.

As for the "worm-like creatures" we have no idea what they might be.

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