I have a tiger lily in a pot. All up and down the stem there are brown, hard, round "things". They are stuck where the leaves come out of the stalk. Are they part of the plant or do I need to take them off? If I take them off, can I let them drop on the ground? There are also tiny ants crawling around the buds. Appreciate any advice.
Hardiness Zone: 8b
By Judy from Yelm, WA
Those things are probably the seeds. If you let them drop they will make new plants. as far as the ants go try some cinnamon. I understand that ants don't like it.
I think they are aphid eggs. We had like raised bumps turn up overnight on the buds of our hibicus tree along with the ants. The ants eat the aphids and the garden center says don't get rid of the ants but I can't stand to see them swarming!
They are bulbils. You may pick them off and pot them up, eventually forming new plants, or just simply drop them at the base of the plants where they will grow.
I have always heard it called scale and if I remember correctly you mix a mild solution of soapy water and pour through the soil. White tuffs of cotton looking insects are also a problem with lilies. Alcohol on a cotton swab will kill them.
It is a scale insect called : coccoidea
This is a recipe to get rid of them :
Add one tea spoon linseed oil soap + one tea spoon wood alcool + one tea spoon soja oil to 1 liter of water. Shake and put one drop on each insect, wait 20 minutes and treat again. The next day spray water on the plant to rinse the product.
Do not kill the ants, use them as spies. There is a symbiotic relationship between coccoidea and ants.
Coccoidea produce a sticky substance known as honeydew which the ants "eat". So if you see the ants come back you know you can look for the coccoidea to treat them again.
Treat quickly as the scales insects weakened the plant and under damp conditions the honeydew can be taken over by a black fungus known as sooty mold.
As a long term preventive treatment, simply spray water on your plant as Coccoidea likes a dry atmosphere. When there are only a few you can easily get rid of them with just a tooth pick but you need to check on the internet coccoidea images as their appearance vary according to gender and stage of the development.
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