Thursday, November 14, 2013

Franzipani rust - the wet season starts

I was pretty excited to see that my franzipani was sending out flower spikes, and over the weekend cut back a  lot of the madevilla that was hanging over it and shading it too much. I also weeded the herb spiral, to allow air and light to get into this little section of the garden. My little strawberry pots are fruiting again!  They have never done well in the ground here, but these pots seem to be the answer.
 Once the weeds were removed the herb spiral looked a little untidy.  It will fill in agian quickly enough though - hopefully with herbs rather than weeds.

Bummer!  I discovered the same brownish bumps underneath the franzipani leaves that were there before.

 That happened in the dry season and I must admit I just ignored it.  All the leaves fell off, but that often happens here, and I thought it was just a seasonal thing.  On further researching I discovered that I have franzipani rust - a fungal disease.  I dont remember what I did with the leaves, but I certainly hope I put them into the bin, as putting them into the compost or letting them lie on the soil under the plant can spread the disease.  This might be the same disease or another type of fungus or mould.

Two different types of natural treatment were commonly suggested.  Asprin or bicarb -  added to a spray bottle with some natural dish detergent along with a bit of oil, to make it stick.  I went with the bicarb as I think it might also help with the erinose mite we have on the hibiscus.  We are normally starting off the wet season by this time of the year, so hopefully I can nip this in the bud before the weather gets hot and humid which seems to me perfect breeding weather for fungus. We have had a bit of rain already and I have noticed a bit of humidty in the air.

 I also found a huge praying mantis - if there are any bugs around he will be sure to snap them up which is a good sign.  He looks a good size - must have been eating something.

The wet season brings diseases, mould, fungus, bugs and weeds.... sounds fun doesnt it!


  1. Ah... a tropical summer. You've gotta love it.
    Your praying mantis is a real beauty. I love praying mantises. I'm sure they eat lots of nasties and help keep the garden healthy. I have no proof of this. I just choose to believe it.

    1. Roz,
      Yes I think they eat lots of nasties. I also read about their mating habits which are quite violent. I choose to ignore that....

  2. Love to see all the lush growth on your plants. Now that we're nearing winter, there is nothing green here. Sorry about the fungus; there's always something to plague us gardeners, isn't there?

    And look at that praying mantis, wow!!

    1. Karen,
      Gosh yes this is the season where I am continually trying to cut things back, otherwise smaller plants can get overwhelmed. Maybe we will start to see more of your stained glass projects?

  3. I hope you've caught the rust early to get rid of it once and for all. It can be quite annoying especially on the frangipanis.
    I see you'll soon have lovely pawpaws for breakfast...enjoy.

    1. Virginia,
      Yes right at the start of the wet season is a bad time - I should have done some research before. We get a pawpaw every now and again - yummy.

  4. Nice are your photos!
    Greetings from Holland, RW & SK

  5. could also try Permanganate of potash (condes crystals) very weak solution. It also gives the plants potassium and manganese. Do you remember having to walk through it at swimming pools for athletes foot?

    1. Audrey,
      I might keep that in mind. It made the water pink? yes I do remember it, but I think I heard it is now quite restricted as it is poisonous. How did we ever survive our childhoods?

  6. Great to have a mantis in the garden.
    I wish they can be a permanent resident in my place.

  7. Love the strawberries, other sections of your garden and the mantis, Gillian! Not the persistent little pests though... these garden pests are such unwelcome nightmares for us gardeners! We're also being bombarded with the wet seasons for several months now and nothing much can be done to our diseased plants, so we just trash them as I don't like using pesticides.
    You mentioned bicarb... is it bicarbonate of soda, Gillian? Please share... on how much of bicarb, dish detergent and oil? Thanks.


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