Is this root mealy?

For the discussion of topics related to the conservation, cultivation, propagation and exhibition of cacti & other succulents.
Forum rules
For the discussion of topics related to the conservation, cultivation, propagation and exhibition of cacti & other succulents only.

Please respect all forum members opinions and if you can't make a civil reply, don't reply!
MrRazzell
New Member
Posts: 5
Joined: 09 Oct 2018
Branch: None
Country: U.K.

Is this root mealy?

Post by MrRazzell » Wed Oct 24, 2018 2:03 pm

Hi there

I am new to succulent and cactus care (just over a year or so), and so my knowledge is limited.

I was wondering if anyone could help identify what is a sort of, white to green fungus type growth in my aloe roots? The photo is 4X zoomed (taken on carpet so the carpet fibre gives an idea of how zoomed in this is)

https://m.imgur.com/egMKcpu

https://m.imgur.com/etzdx0C



I returned from holiday and asked someone to check on my plants. The aloe concerned whilst in a free draining soil was pretty soaked. A lot of the roots were fairly mushy and brown, and upon removal were brown inside, too, suggestive of rot.

Rot is fine as it means I will simply chuck the plant (or attempt rehab). But google suggests this might also be root mealy? The same condition was also present in another aloe, which also had a fair few browned and rotten roots.

Some areas were larger than others. It certainly looked a greenish colour to me.

If it is mealy, my collection is modest but some 70 plants and it reall does concern me that the rest will be infected. I really do not have the mental fortitude to check the roots on each with a magnifying glass!


Thanks for the help
User avatar
Diane
BCSS Member
Posts: 4218
Joined: 15 Jun 2007
Branch: KlNGSTON-on- THAMES
Country: UK
Role within the BCSS: Member

Re: Is this root mealy?

Post by Diane » Wed Oct 24, 2018 4:30 pm

I don't think it is root mealy bugs, they can usually be seen as extremely small rice-like insects about the size of the hyphen on this page. I do suspect a mould of some sort, as the patches of white have a random shape. It would help to see the plant in its entirety, as it is very possible to re-root it if not too large, which would mean removing all the soft and mushy roots.
Diane - member of Kingston branch

Growing cacti - balm to the soul!
MrRazzell
New Member
Posts: 5
Joined: 09 Oct 2018
Branch: None
Country: U.K.

Re: Is this root mealy?

Post by MrRazzell » Wed Oct 24, 2018 5:11 pm

Hi Diane

Thank you very much for your reply.

My research also led me to a similar understanding - I have now since inspected the roots of (what I hope is) a healthy aloe; I note the root system has many hundreds of white fine hair like structures (less than 1mm in length each) in random patches, which I suspect is for water absorption? These can be almost "rubbed off", In which case I am beginning to think the overly-saturated soil, perhaps in conjunction with the perlite present, which has a tendency to turn a green colour, perhaps is the cause? Or, alternatively, it is a fungus of some sort.

I think, having found a stray greenfly on a jade plant earlier, and two small mealy bugs on a larger jade plant specimen (I then spent a good ten minutes inspecting for more but thankfully found none) panicked me into thinking it was third time unlucky for pests and now I have found root mealy.

I would post the specimen but in my search for answers, I ended up dissecting and inspecting a large number of roots, and together with small signs of apparent rot, I have now thrown the specimen away.

Thanks for your input !
User avatar
habanerocat
BCSS Member
Posts: 253
Joined: 02 Jun 2012
Branch: DUBLIN
Country: Ireland
Role within the BCSS: Member
Location: Ireland
Contact:

Re: Is this root mealy?

Post by habanerocat » Thu Oct 25, 2018 12:31 am

This is classic root mealy bug.
Best seen when the plant is first taken out of the pot.
root_mealy_bug.jpg
MrRazzell
New Member
Posts: 5
Joined: 09 Oct 2018
Branch: None
Country: U.K.

Re: Is this root mealy?

Post by MrRazzell » Thu Oct 25, 2018 9:20 am

Thanks for the reply!

Are you saying my photographs show classic root mealy or your photographs does?

I have to say, it was not clumped like it is shown in your photographs, on the soil, rather just along the roots themselves within the soil?

I did not see any rice sized insects.

Thanks again for your help!
User avatar
habanerocat
BCSS Member
Posts: 253
Joined: 02 Jun 2012
Branch: DUBLIN
Country: Ireland
Role within the BCSS: Member
Location: Ireland
Contact:

Re: Is this root mealy?

Post by habanerocat » Thu Oct 25, 2018 6:34 pm

I am saying my photo above shows classic root mealy bug.

Once you take the plant out of the pot, if it has root mealy bug I think it will be clearly visible like this. Again my opinion, once you start taking off the soil they are more difficult to see, especially if you have perlite and other white stuff in the soil.

Root mealy bugs are about 2mm long.

Here is another photo with the tell tale signs of what to look for inside the pot.
20170210b1.jpg
20170210b1.jpg (72.43 KiB) Viewed 833 times
User avatar
rodsmith
BCSS Member
Posts: 2470
Joined: 17 Feb 2011
Branch: STOKE-ON-TRENT
Country: UK
Location: Staffordshire, UK

Re: Is this root mealy?

Post by rodsmith » Thu Oct 25, 2018 7:43 pm

I agree with habanerocat. His photos show classic signs of root mealy bug. Clusters of white fluffy powdery deposits with individual grey/white mealy bugs prominent as well.
Rod Smith

Growing a mixed collection of cacti & other succulents; mainly smaller species with a current emphasis on lithops & conophytum.
User avatar
habanerocat
BCSS Member
Posts: 253
Joined: 02 Jun 2012
Branch: DUBLIN
Country: Ireland
Role within the BCSS: Member
Location: Ireland
Contact:

Re: Is this root mealy?

Post by habanerocat » Thu Oct 25, 2018 11:27 pm

rodsmith wrote:
Thu Oct 25, 2018 7:43 pm
I agree with habanerocat. His photos show classic signs of root mealy bug. Clusters of white fluffy powdery deposits with individual grey/white mealy bugs prominent as well.
It brings back memories Rod, bad memories.....
User avatar
Peter
BCSS Member
Posts: 2527
Joined: 22 Mar 2007
Branch: None
Country: UK
Role within the BCSS: Member
Location: Shropshire

Re: Is this root mealy?

Post by Peter » Fri Oct 26, 2018 8:04 am

Aaahh - the glorious days of Malathion and Dimethoate. Might turn your lungs and brain to mush but they didn't half sort out the mealies.
User avatar
Geoff Lovell
BCSS Member
Posts: 1246
Joined: 11 Jan 2007
Branch: CRAWLEY
Country: England
Role within the BCSS: Member
Location: Crawley, Sussex

Re: Is this root mealy?

Post by Geoff Lovell » Fri Oct 26, 2018 3:20 pm

Too right Peter.
Murphy's was my preferred tipple with Dimethoate, sadly missed.
Fison's Kil was I believe Malathion which I used sometimes.
Founder member BCSS # 32426,
Growing Cacti and Succulents for over 40 years,
mixed collection but prefer succulents particularly caudiciforms.
Post Reply