Now that we are heading into winter on the Mornington Pensinula, I thought it would be worth an update on how to take care of your Lilly Pilly’s to minimise Psyllids.
Psyllids are small sap sucking insects about 2-4mm long. After mating the female inserts yellow oval shaped eggs into the edge of new leaves.
Small nymphs hatch from the eggs and move to the newer leaves where they feed and develop pimple gall which is the plants response to the psyllids feeding.
Plants that are stressed and in poor condition are more susceptible to attack. It’s actually worth noting, despite it being rather damp on the Mornington Peninsula this time of year, the base of the Lilly Pilly’s can still be very dry, which can cause stress.
Particularly in suburbs like Mount Eliza, where they have heavy clay based soils, often water will run off quicker than can be absorbed in areas like Frankston South, Mount Martha, Patterson Lakes, and Somerville.
Apart from the drawbacks Lilly Pillies or Syzygiumz are beautiful plants and need not be affected so long as they remain healthy.
Some areas are more prone to attack so you may need to select your species a little more carefully.
How do we deal with these pests?
When you see the damage it may be too late and it cant be reversed. If its a mild attack its not going to affect the health of the plant, just make it look a little ugly. travel through the plant and remain travel
Spray with white oil and use a systemic insecticide spray like Confidor. this will kill the nymphs.
Systemic sprays are chemicals that will travel through the plant and remain in the plant tissue for a period of time. Confidor can also be administered by small tablets dug into the ground about 10 cm from the base of the tree and dug 5cm deep. Use 1 tab for every metre of height. If it is severe I recommend cutting out the affected branches and treating as described.
They prefer milder conditions so don’t usually appear in the heat of summer and cold winters.