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Ask Burton: Q: My indoor ivy is getting pale and weak, and doesn’t look at all good. What is going on with it?

Posted on August, 21

A: Your plant has spider mite damage. This tiny pest can do a lot of damage, and they are troublesome to a number of plants, including ivies in low light situations. The insect sucks sap from your leaves and can badly damage or kill an indoor plant faster than you’d think.

To more easily find the pests, take an infested leaf and tap it sharply over a clean white sheet of paper several times, and look for moving flecks on the paper. They’re that small and hard to see unless your eyesight is exceptional, but this is an easier way to see them.

It is time to pull out the pesticide. Spray all leaf surfaces (top and bottom) with a permethrin spray, like Eight Insect Spray, to kill the pests. Spray weekly for at least two or three weeks until full control is achieved. The worst damaged leaves will drop, and new growth will be healthy.