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Beggar's lice
Beggar's lice
Beggar's lice
Beggar's lice
Beggar's lice
Beggar's lice
Add to My Garden
Beggar's lice
Hackelia virginiana
Also known as: Wild comfrey, Virginia stickseed
Virginia stickseed has tiny white flowers that bloom in mid-summer. The beggar's lice comes from the seeds of this plant, which are burrs and are very sticky. These burrs are very small and are very difficult to remove from clothing and pet fur. This method of seed dispersal is very effective for this plant, and if caught on clothing often times the entire seed stem, or even the whole plant will come out of the ground.
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Sunlight
Partial sun
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Care Guide for Beggar's lice

Sunlight
Sunlight
See Details
Partial sun, Full shade
Hardiness Zones
Hardiness Zones
See Details
4 to 8
Harvest Time
Harvest Time
See Details
Late summer
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Beggar's lice
Water
Water
Every week
Sunlight
Sunlight
Partial sun
Hardiness Zones
Hardiness Zones
4 to 8
Harvest Time
Harvest Time
Late summer
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Beggar's lice
Water
Water
Every week
Sunlight
Sunlight
Partial sun
Hardiness Zones
Hardiness Zones
4 to 8
Harvest Time
Harvest Time
Late summer
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Beggar's lice
Water
Water
Every week
Sunlight
Sunlight
Partial sun
Hardiness Zones
Hardiness Zones
4 to 8
Harvest Time
Harvest Time
Late summer
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Questions About Beggar's lice

Watering Watering Watering
Pruning Pruning Pruning
Sunlight Sunlight Sunlight
Temperature Temperature Temperature
Fertilizing Fertilizing Fertilizing
What is the best way to water my Beggar's lice?
When watering the Beggar's lice, you should aim to use filtered water that is at room temperature. Filtered water is better for this plant, as tap water can contain particles that are harmful to its health. The reason that the water should be at room temperature or slightly warmer is that the Beggar's lice comes from a warm environment, and cold water can be somewhat of a shock to its system. Also, you should avoid overhead watering for this plant, as it can cause foliage complications. Instead, simply apply your filtered room temperature water to the soil until the soil is entirely soaked. Soaking the soil can be very beneficial for this plant as it moistens the roots and helps them continue to spread through the soil and collect the nutrients they need.
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What should I do if I water my Beggar's lice too much or too little?
Both overwatering and underwatering will be detrimental to the health of your Beggar's lice, but overwatering is a far more common issue. When this species receives too much water, its stems and leaves may begin to wilt and turn from green to yellow. Overwatering over a prolonged period may also lead to diseases such as root rot, mold, and mildew, all of which can kill your plant. Underwatering is far less common for the Beggar's lice, as this plant has decent drought tolerance. However, underwatering remains a possibility, and when it occurs, you can expect to find that the leaves of your Beggar's lice have become brittle and brown.
It is crucial that you notice the signs of overwatering as soon as possible when caring for your Beggar's lice. Some of the diseases that arise from overwatering, such as root rot, may not be correctable if you wait too long. If you see early signs of overwatering, you should reduce your watering schedule immediately. You may also want to assess the quality of soil in which your Beggar's lice grows. If you find that the soil drains very poorly, you should replace it immediately with a loose, well-draining potting mix. On the other hand, if you find signs that your Beggar's lice is receiving too little water, all you need to do is water more regularly until those signs have subsided.
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How often should I water my Beggar's lice?
If your plant is in a pot. The most precise way to decide whether your Beggar's lice needs water is to plunge your finger into the soil. If you notice that the first two to three inches of soil have become dry, it is time to add some water.
If you grow your Beggar's lice outdoors in the ground, you can use a similar method to test the soil. Again, when you find that the first few inches of soil have dried out, it is time to add water. During the spring and early fall, this method will often lead you to water this plant about once every week. When extremely hot weather arrives, you may need to increase your watering frequency to about twice or more per week. With that said, mature, well-established the Beggar's lice can show an admirable ability to withstand drought.
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How much water does my Beggar's lice need?
When it comes time to water your Beggar's lice, you should not be shy about how much water you give. With the first two to three inches of soil dry, this plant will appreciate a long and thorough watering. Supply enough water to soak the soil entirely. The amount of water you add should be enough to cause excess water to flow through the drainage holes at the bottom of your pot. If you don’t see excess water draining from the pot, you have likely underwatered your plant. But do not let the water accumulate inside the soil, which will be very dangerous to the plant as well. Alternatively, a lack of water draining through the pot could indicate poorly draining soils, which is detrimental to the health of this plant and should be avoided. If the plant is outside, 1 inch of rain per week will be sufficient.
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How should I water my Beggar's lice at different growth stages?
The water needs of the Beggar's lice can change depending on growth stages as well. For example, when your Beggar's lice is in the first few years of its life, or if you have just transplanted it to a new growing location, you will need to give more water than usual. During both of those stages, your Beggar's lice will put a lot of energy towards sprouting new roots that will then support future growth. For those roots to perform their best, they need a bit more moisture than they would at a more mature phase. After a few seasons, your Beggar's lice will need much less water. Another growth stage in which this plant may need more water is during the bloom period. Flower development can make use of a significant amount of moisture, which is why you might need to give your Beggar's lice more water at this time.
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How should I water my Beggar's lice through the seasons?
The Beggar's lice will have its highest water needs during the hottest months of the year. During the height of summer, you may need to give this plant water more than once per week, depending on how fast the soil dries out. The opposite is true during the winter. In winter, your plant will enter a dormant phase, in which it will need far less water than usual. In fact, you may not need to water this plant at all during the winter months. However, if you do water during winter, you should not do so more than about once per month. Watering too much at this time will make it more likely that your Beggar's lice will contract a disease.
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What's the difference between watering my Beggar's lice indoors and outdoors?
It is most common to grow the Beggar's lice indoors for any gardener that does not live in temperate and tropical regions. Those gardeners should consider the fact that soil in a container can dry out a bit faster than ground soil. Also, the presence of drying elements such as air conditioning units can cause your Beggar's lice to need water on a more frequent basis as well. if you planted it outside. When that is the case, it’s likely you won’t need to water your Beggar's lice very much at all. If you receive rainfall on a regular basis, that may be enough to keep your plant alive. Alternatively, those who grow this plant inside will need to water it more often, as allowing rainwater to soak the soil will not be an option.
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More About How-Tos

Explore 5 of plant how-tos on Feng shui direction, Water, Lighting, Temperature, Transplant, etc.
Feng shui direction
East
The beggar's lice is seen as compatible with the East-facing direction in Feng Shui. It's said this is due to its natural inclination to thrive amidst adversity, subtly harmonizing with the representative resilience and rejuvenation carried by the East. The actual impact may vary considerably depending on personal interpretation and surroundings.
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Water
Every week
Beggar's lice prefers moderately moist conditions but tolerates some drought. Its origin grows in various habitats like open woods and fields, usually on well-drained soils. A slight reduction in watering during winter months is recommended.
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Lighting
Partial sun
Beggar's lice thrives best under moderate sunlight but can sustain growth even in considerably shady conditions. Sunlight considerably influences its health and development, however overexposure or inadequate exposure doesn't seem to substantially impact the overall plant contiguity. Its origin habitat experiences varied light conditions, lending to its adaptable nature.
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Temperature
-10 to 35 ℃
Beggar's lice is indigenous to environments with temperate climates. Its ideal growth temperature ranges from 68 to 95 °F (20 to 35 ℃). During different seasons, it may be beneficial to regulate temperature within this range for optimal development.
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Transplant
1-1.5 feet
For beggar's lice, the choicest period for transplanting is in the Spring (S3), a time when the plant can optimally acclimatize. Place beggar's lice in an area with plenty of sunlight for successful growth. Remember, a stress-less transplanting process begins with adequate hydration before moving it.
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pests

Common Pests & Diseases

Common issues for Beggar's lice based on 10 million real cases
Leaf beetles
Leaf beetles Leaf beetles
Leaf beetles
Leaf beetles are a class of colored insects 1 to 2 cm in size. They gnaw on leaves and petals resulting in small, round holes scattered over the surface.
Solutions: For less serious cases: Remove beetles, nymphs, and eggs. Remove all life stages of the beetles and kill them by placing them in a bucket of warm, soapy water. This can be done more easily by placing the bucket under affected leaves and shaking the plant. This method is most effective in the afternoon when leaf beetles are more active. Always dispose of insects in a sealed bag or container to avoid escape and spread. To treat more serious infestations: Apply organic insecticides. Use naturally-derived insecticides before moving on to synthetic insecticides. Neem oil and pyrethrum are naturally-derived insecticides that should be applied following label instructions. Apply synthetic insecticides. Examples of insecticides effective for leaf beetles include carbaryl, permethrin, and bifenthrin. Apply insecticides according to label instructions.
Caterpillars
Caterpillars Caterpillars
Caterpillars
Caterpillars are fleshy moth or butterfly larvae that come in an array of colors, patterns, and even hairstyles. They chew on leaves and flower petals, creating large, irregular holes.
Solutions: Even though caterpillars are diverse, they all chew on plant parts and can cause significant damage if present in large numbers. For severe cases: Apply insecticide. For an organic solution, spray plants with a Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt), which specifically affects the larval stage of moths and butterflies. Be sure to coat plants, since caterpillars need to ingest Bt for it to be effective. This will not harm other insects. Spray a chili extract. Chili seeds can be cooked in water to make a spicy spray that caterpillars don't like. Spray this mixture on the plants, but be aware it will also be spicy to humans. Introduce beneficial insects. Release beneficial insects to the garden that eat caterpillars, such as parasitic wasps. For less severe cases: Hand pick. Using gloves, pick off caterpillars on plants and dispose of them in a bucket of soapy water. Dust plants with diatomaceous earth. This powder is harmless to humans but irritates caterpillars. Therefore, it will make it difficult for caterpillars to move and eat.
Black spot
Black spot Black spot
Black spot
Infection by the black spot pathogen causes black spots or patches to appear on leaves.
Solutions: Some steps to take to address black spot include: Prune away any infected leaves, cleaning the pruners between plants with a 10% bleach solution so that the fungus does not spread to healthy leaves. Don't compost pruned plant parts as the spores can linger in the soil for a long period of time - instead, dispose of them in the trash. Use an approved fungicide such as Trifloxystrobin, Chlorothalonil, Maneb, or Myclobutanil. Use a spreader in the fungicide spray to ensure better coverage.
Underwatering
Underwatering Underwatering
Underwatering
Leaves may wilt for a variety of reasons.
Solutions: The easiest (and most obvious) way to address underwatering is to fully hydrate the plant. However, this must be done carefully. A common mistake that many gardeners make is to douse their underwatered plants with water. This can overwhelm the roots of the plant and shock its system, something that can be even more damaging than the lack of water to begin with. Instead, water thoroughly and slowly, taking breaks to let the water slowly saturate through the soil to get to the roots. Use room temperature water, as cold water might be too much of a shock. In the future, shorten the time between waterings. A good rule of thumb is to check the soil around each plant daily. If it’s dry to at least two inches down, it’s time to water. If a container plant is repeatedly drying out very quickly, repotting into a slower-draining container might be a good idea, too.
Leaf rot
Leaf rot Leaf rot
Leaf rot
This pathogen can cause the leaves to rot.
Solutions: Bacterial infections need to be treated quickly to prevent the spread to neighboring, healthy plants, potentially wiping out large sections of your indoor or outdoor garden. In mild cases: Use sterilized (10% bleach solution) pruning shears or scissors to remove any infected plant parts, making sure to dispose of them off site. Use a copper-based bactericide to treat the unaffected foliage, as well as the soil, and neighboring plants. Follow the manufacturer’s rate and timing directions found on the product label. In severe cases, where more than half the leaves are affected: Remove all of the infected plants from the garden, disposing of them off site. Treat the soil and neighboring plants using a copper-based bactericide. Follow the manufacturer’s rate and timing directions found on the product label.
Sap-sucking insects
Sap-sucking insects Sap-sucking insects
Sap-sucking insects
Sap-sucking insects can create dense clusters of small yellow or white spots on the leaves.
Solutions: Sap-sucking insects can be hard to spot, as they are often small and attach to the undersides of plant leaves. If you see signs of an infestation, follow these steps to eradicate it. Hand-pick bugs and remove eggs: Inspect your plants for insects and drop any you find in a container of soapy water. Look carefully at the undersides of plant leaves and squish any egg clusters you find. Use Insecticide: Targeted spraying can take out sap-sucking insects. Small infestations can be controlled with insecticidal soap, though larger outbreaks might require a stronger spray. Introduce natural predators: Many insects, including ladybugs and praying mantises, love to feast on sap-suckers. You can purchase them at garden stores and release them near infected plants, or encourage wild ones by creating habitat space.
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Leaf beetles
plant poor
Leaf beetles
Leaf beetles are a class of colored insects 1 to 2 cm in size. They gnaw on leaves and petals resulting in small, round holes scattered over the surface.
Overview
Overview
Leaf beetles range in size from 1.5 mm to 2 cm. Both adult beetles and their larvae eat the leaves of many different types of plants. There are over 35,000 different species of leaf beetles, in a variety of colors including gold, green, yellow-striped, and red striped. Some of these have been mistaken for ladybirds because of their shape and coloring. They can be oval, round, or elongated in shape. These insect pests are most active in spring and summer.
If not controlled, leaf beetles can do a lot of damage to vegetable crops and ornamental plants. They feed on the leaves, flowers, stems, roots, and fruits of different plants. They can fly, which means it's easy for them to move from one plant to another. Some species of leaf beetles only target one specific crop, while others will target many different types of plants. Although a lot of the damage that they cause is cosmetic, an infestation can weaken a plant and leave it prone to other more problematic diseases.
Symptom Analysis
Symptom Analysis
The first signs of a leaf beetles infestation are small visible holes in leaves. Leaves then become discolored and dark beetle droppings can be seen. As the leaves turn yellow and brown, they will drop off the plant onto the ground. Some leaves will appear skeletonized with only the veins still remaining.
Infestation begins in spring, when the adult beetles emerge from the soil and lay their eggs on the leaves of plants. When these eggs hatch, the young nymphs start munching on the leaves as they grow up. Once leaf beetles are large and mature, they'll fall to the ground and pupate in the soil over winter before starting the cycle all over again.
Leaf beetles also eat holes in fruits and vegetables. These can be seen as small round holes that sometimes have a larger brown area surrounding them.
Solutions
Solutions
For less serious cases:
  1. Remove beetles, nymphs, and eggs. Remove all life stages of the beetles and kill them by placing them in a bucket of warm, soapy water. This can be done more easily by placing the bucket under affected leaves and shaking the plant. This method is most effective in the afternoon when leaf beetles are more active. Always dispose of insects in a sealed bag or container to avoid escape and spread.
To treat more serious infestations:
  1. Apply organic insecticides. Use naturally-derived insecticides before moving on to synthetic insecticides. Neem oil and pyrethrum are naturally-derived insecticides that should be applied following label instructions.
  2. Apply synthetic insecticides. Examples of insecticides effective for leaf beetles include carbaryl, permethrin, and bifenthrin. Apply insecticides according to label instructions.
Prevention
Prevention
To prevent infestations of leaf beetles, follow these practices.
  1. Regularly check for beetles. To prevent large pest infestations, be proactive about frequently checking plants for pests and removing them quickly.
  2. Clear debris. Clear weeds and debris to remove areas where these beetles may overwinter and hide.
  3. Attract natural predators. Birds and other insects, such as wasps and ladybugs, are effective natural predators of leaf beetles. Encourage them to visit by including a diverse array of plants to provide habitat and food. Also, avoid applying broad-spectrum herbicides that can harm and kill beneficial insects.
  4. Plant aromatic herbs like mint, garlic, or rosemary, as these can repel leaf beetles.
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Caterpillars
plant poor
Caterpillars
Caterpillars are fleshy moth or butterfly larvae that come in an array of colors, patterns, and even hairstyles. They chew on leaves and flower petals, creating large, irregular holes.
Overview
Overview
Caterpillars can cause problems for home gardeners. If not managed, these insects can defoliate a plant in just a matter of days. However, home gardeners face a challenge because these caterpillars eventually turn into beautiful butterflies and moths, which are important for pollination and the general ecosystem.
There are thousands of different species of caterpillars and many will only target certain plants. If caterpillars are posing a problem, they can be removed by hand, or gardeners can use insect-proof netting to protect their valuable plants.
Symptom Analysis
Symptom Analysis
Caterpillars are the larvae of butterflies and moths. During the warmer months, butterflies and moths that visit gardens will lay their eggs on the underside of leaves.
When the tiny eggs hatch, the young larvae emerge and start feeding on the leaves of the plant. Depending on how many larvae have hatched, they can easily defoliate the plant in a very short period of time. Caterpillars will shed their skin as they grow, around 4 or 5 times during this feeding cycle.
Symptoms of caterpillars eating plants appear as holes in the leaves. The edges of the leaves may be eaten away as well, and flowers can be affected as well.
Some are easy to see, but others need to be searched for. This is because their bodies are often camouflaged to look like part of the plant. Gardeners need to look carefully along the stems of the plant as well as under the leaves. Also, look for tiny white, yellow, or brown eggs that can be found in groups on the underside of leaves.
Once the caterpillar is fully grown, it transforms into a pupa or chrysalis. Then, after a period of time that varies according to the species, a butterfly or moth will emerge from the pupa and the cycle begins again.
Solutions
Solutions
Even though caterpillars are diverse, they all chew on plant parts and can cause significant damage if present in large numbers.
For severe cases:
  1. Apply insecticide. For an organic solution, spray plants with a Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt), which specifically affects the larval stage of moths and butterflies. Be sure to coat plants, since caterpillars need to ingest Bt for it to be effective. This will not harm other insects.
  2. Spray a chili extract. Chili seeds can be cooked in water to make a spicy spray that caterpillars don't like. Spray this mixture on the plants, but be aware it will also be spicy to humans.
  3. Introduce beneficial insects. Release beneficial insects to the garden that eat caterpillars, such as parasitic wasps.
For less severe cases:
  1. Hand pick. Using gloves, pick off caterpillars on plants and dispose of them in a bucket of soapy water.
  2. Dust plants with diatomaceous earth. This powder is harmless to humans but irritates caterpillars. Therefore, it will make it difficult for caterpillars to move and eat.
Prevention
Prevention
Prevention may require less effort than attempts to eradicate infestations that have already begun. Here are our top steps for prevention:
  1. Monitor plants. Check plants regularly for caterpillar eggs on leaves. If they do not belong to an endangered species, they should be squished.
  2. Use insect netting. Cover plants with insect netting to prevent butterflies and moths from laying eggs on plants.
  3. Apply diatomaceous earth. Apply DE to plants early in the season and reapply after rain.
  4. Encourage plant diversity. This will attract predatory insects including parasitic wasps.
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Black spot
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Black spot
Infection by the black spot pathogen causes black spots or patches to appear on leaves.
Overview
Overview
Black spot is a fungus that largely attacks leaves on a variety of ornamental plants, leaving them covered in dark spots ringed with yellow, and eventually killing them. The fungus is often simply unsightly, but if it infects the whole plant it can interfere with photosynthesis by killing too many leaves. Because of this, it is important to be aware of the best methods for preventing and treating this diseases should it occur in the garden.
Symptom Analysis
Symptom Analysis
Here are a few of the most common symptoms of black spot:
  • The plant has developed small black spots along the leaves.
  • These spots be small, circular, and clustered together, or they may have a splotchy appearance and take up large portions of the leaves.
  • The fungus may also affect plant canes, where lesions start purple and then turn black.
  • The plant may suffer premature leaf drop.
Though most forms of black spot fungus pose little risk to a plant's overall health, many gardeners find them unsightly. Severe cases can also weaken a plant, so it becomes more susceptible to other pathogens and diseases.
Disease Cause
Disease Cause
Black spot is spread by various types of fungi, which differ slightly depending on whether they are in their sexual or asexual stages.
The fungal spores linger over the winter in fallen leaves and lesions on canes. In the spring, the spores are splashed up onto the leaves, causing infection within seven hours of moisture and when temperatures range between 24 to 29 ℃ with a high relative humidity.
In just two weeks, thousands of additional spores are produced, making it easy for the disease to infect nearby healthy plants as well.
There are several factors that could make a plant more likely to suffer a black spot infection. Here are some of the most common:
  • Exposure to infected plants or mulch (the fungus overwinters on dead leaves)
  • Weakening from physical damage, pest infestation or other infections.
  • Increased periods of wet, humid, warm weather – or exposure to overhead watering
  • Plants growing too close together
Solutions
Solutions
Some steps to take to address black spot include:
  • Prune away any infected leaves, cleaning the pruners between plants with a 10% bleach solution so that the fungus does not spread to healthy leaves.
  • Don't compost pruned plant parts as the spores can linger in the soil for a long period of time - instead, dispose of them in the trash.
  • Use an approved fungicide such as Trifloxystrobin, Chlorothalonil, Maneb, or Myclobutanil.
  • Use a spreader in the fungicide spray to ensure better coverage.
Prevention
Prevention
Here are a few tips to prevent black spot outbreaks.
  • Purchase resistant varieties: Invest in fungus-resistant plant varieties to reduce the chances for black spot diseases.
  • Remove infected plant debris: Fungi can overwinter in contaminated plant debris, so remove all fallen leaves from infected plants as soon as possible.
  • Rake and discard fallen leaves in the fall.
  • Prune regularly.
  • Water carefully: Fungal diseases spread when plants stay in moist conditions and when water droplets splash contaminated soil on plant leaves. Control these factors by only watering infected plants when the top few inches of soil are dry, and by watering at soil level to reduce splashback. Adding a layer of mulch to the soil will also reduce splashing.
  • Grow plants in an open, sunny locations so the foliage dries quickly.
  • Follow spacing guidelines when planting and avoid natural windbreaks for good air circulation.
  • Use chemical control: Regular doses of a fungicide, especially in the spring, can stop an outbreak before it begins.
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Underwatering
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Underwatering
Leaves may wilt for a variety of reasons.
Overview
Overview
Underwatering plants is one of the quickest ways to kill them. This is something that most gardeners are well aware of. Unfortunately, knowing exactly how much water a plant needs can be tricky, especially considering that underwatering and overwatering present similar symptoms in plants.
Therefore, it’s important to be vigilant and attentive to each plants’ individual needs.
Symptom Analysis
Symptom Analysis
As mentioned earlier, overwatering and underwatering present similar symptoms in plants. These symptoms include poor growth, wilted leaves, defoliation, and brown leaf tips or margins. Ultimately, both underwatering and overwatering can lead to the death of a plant.
The easiest way to determine whether a plant has too much water or too little is to look at the leaves. If underwatering is the culprit, the leaves will look brown and crunchy, while if it’s overwatering, they will appear yellow or a pale green in color.
When this issue first begins, there may be no noticeable symptoms at all, particularly in hardy or drought-tolerant plants. However, they will begin to wilt once they start suffering from a lack of water. The edges of the plant’s leaves will become brown or curled. Soil pulling away from the edges of the planter is a telltale sign, or a crispy, brittle stem.
Prolonged underwatering can cause a plant’s growth to become stunted. The leaves might drop and the plant can be more susceptible to pest infestations, too.
Disease Cause
Disease Cause
Underwatering is caused by, quite simply, not watering plants often or deeply enough. There is a heightened risk of underwatering if any of these situations apply:
  • Extreme heat and dry weather (when growing outdoors)
  • Grow lights or indoor lighting that is too bright or intense for the type of plant
  • Using fast-draining growing media such as sand
Solutions
Solutions
The easiest (and most obvious) way to address underwatering is to fully hydrate the plant. However, this must be done carefully. A common mistake that many gardeners make is to douse their underwatered plants with water. This can overwhelm the roots of the plant and shock its system, something that can be even more damaging than the lack of water to begin with.
Instead, water thoroughly and slowly, taking breaks to let the water slowly saturate through the soil to get to the roots. Use room temperature water, as cold water might be too much of a shock.
In the future, shorten the time between waterings. A good rule of thumb is to check the soil around each plant daily. If it’s dry to at least two inches down, it’s time to water. If a container plant is repeatedly drying out very quickly, repotting into a slower-draining container might be a good idea, too.
Prevention
Prevention
Always check the soil before watering. If the top inch of soil feels moist, though not wet, the watering is perfect. If it’s dry, water it immediately. If it feels soggy, you avoid watering until it dries out a bit more.
Also, make sure the lighting is sufficient for the species. Plants grow faster and need more water when there is intense light or lots of heat. Being aware of these conditions and modifying them, if possible, is a good way to prevent underwatering. Many container plants are potted in soil mixtures mean to be well-draining. Adding materials that retain moisture, like compost or peat moss, can also prevent these symptoms.
Other tips to prevent underwatering include:
  • Choose pots with adequately-sized drainage holes
  • Avoid warm temperatures
  • Use large pots with additional soil (these take longer to dry out)
  • Avoid terracotta pots, which lose water quickly
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Leaf rot
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Leaf rot
This pathogen can cause the leaves to rot.
Overview
Overview
Leaf rot is very common among both house plants and garden plants. It affects foliage and occurs mainly when the leaves become wet due to rain or misting by the gardener. The cause is fungal disease and this is facilitated by the fungal spores adhering to wet leaves then penetrating the leaf and expanding rapidly. Damp conditions and poor air circulation will increase chances of infection taking place. Another factor are leaves that are damaged or have been penetrated by sap sucking insects that facilitate plant penetration.
Symptom Analysis
Symptom Analysis
  1. Spores are able to cling to a damp leaf and penetrate, often through an existing wound.
  2. A small dark brown mark appears which expands rapidly as sporulation starts to take place.
  3. Quite quickly these bull's eye like circles can link together and the whole leaf turns dark and loses texture.
  4. Leaf drop occurs.
Disease Cause
Disease Cause
These symptoms are caused by a bacterial infection invading the plant. Bacteria from many sources in the environment (air, water, soil, diseased plants) enter a plant through wounds, or in some cases the stomata when they are open. Once inside the leaf tissue, the bacteria feed and reproduce quickly, breaking down healthy leaves.
Bacterial infections threaten most plant species, and are more prominent in wet weather that more easily transfers the bacteria from plant to plant, or from soil to plant.
Solutions
Solutions
Bacterial infections need to be treated quickly to prevent the spread to neighboring, healthy plants, potentially wiping out large sections of your indoor or outdoor garden.
In mild cases: Use sterilized (10% bleach solution) pruning shears or scissors to remove any infected plant parts, making sure to dispose of them off site. Use a copper-based bactericide to treat the unaffected foliage, as well as the soil, and neighboring plants. Follow the manufacturer’s rate and timing directions found on the product label.
In severe cases, where more than half the leaves are affected: Remove all of the infected plants from the garden, disposing of them off site. Treat the soil and neighboring plants using a copper-based bactericide. Follow the manufacturer’s rate and timing directions found on the product label.
Prevention
Prevention
  1. Clean up garden debris at the end of the season, especially if it contains any diseased plant tissue. Diseases can overwinter from season to season and infect new plants.
  2. Avoid overhead watering to prevent transferring pathogens from one plant to another, and to keep foliage dry.
  3. Mulch around the base of plants to prevent soil-borne bacteria from splashing up onto uninfected plants.
  4. Sterilize cutting tools using a 10% bleach solution when gardening and moving from one plant to another.
  5. Do not work in your garden when it is wet.
  6. Rotate crops to prevent the buildup of bacteria in one site due to continuous cropping.
  7. Use a copper or streptomycin-containing bactericide in early spring to prevent infection. Read label directions carefully as they are not suitable for all plants.
  8. Ensure plants are well spaced and thin leaves on densely leaved plants so that air circulation is maximised.
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Sap-sucking insects
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Sap-sucking insects
Sap-sucking insects can create dense clusters of small yellow or white spots on the leaves.
Symptom Analysis
Symptom Analysis
Your plant has developed tiny yellowish spots scattered across the leaves that look like mold or mildew. If these marks won't wipe off, they are likely caused by sap-sucking insects like aphids, squash bugs, scale bugs, leafhoppers, whiteflies, mites, mealybugs, and more.
Each of these pests uses mouthparts to pierce leaf tissues and suck the sap. uses mouthparts to pierce leaf tissues and suck the sap. Signs of damage are difficult to spot at first, but a large infestation can quickly compromise the whole plant. You're most likely to see sap-sucking insects during the hottest months because plants make easier targets when already weakened from heat or drought.
Though sap-sucking insects are unlikely to kill your plant on their own, they can severely weaken it and make it more susceptible to disease. They may also spread viruses from one plant to another as they feed.
Solutions
Solutions
Sap-sucking insects can be hard to spot, as they are often small and attach to the undersides of plant leaves. If you see signs of an infestation, follow these steps to eradicate it.
  1. Hand-pick bugs and remove eggs: Inspect your plants for insects and drop any you find in a container of soapy water. Look carefully at the undersides of plant leaves and squish any egg clusters you find.
  2. Use Insecticide: Targeted spraying can take out sap-sucking insects. Small infestations can be controlled with insecticidal soap, though larger outbreaks might require a stronger spray.
  3. Introduce natural predators: Many insects, including ladybugs and praying mantises, love to feast on sap-suckers. You can purchase them at garden stores and release them near infected plants, or encourage wild ones by creating habitat space.
Prevention
Prevention
Healthy plants are less likely to suffer from sap-sucker attacks. Keep them fortified with fertilizer and the right amounts of water and sunlight. Plants that receive excess nitrogen are also more susceptible to attack, so don’t overfertilize. You should also remove weeds and tall grasses surrounding your outdoor plants so as not to create habitat space for the pests.
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distribution

Distribution Map

Habitat

Moist to slightly dry deciduous woodlands, woodland borders, powerline clearances in wooded areas, thickets, shady fence rows
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Native
Cultivated
Invasive
Potentially invasive
Exotic
No species reported
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Plant Type
Plant Type
Herb
Flower Color
Flower Color
White
Yellow
Green
Bloom Time
Bloom Time
Summer
Leaf Color
Leaf Color
Green

Name story

Beggar's lice
The seeds are featured with burs and they are very sticky. The plant is native but a nuisance in deciduous forests in the eastern United States. As the seeds are difficult to remove from clothing and pet fur, it is given the name Beggar's lice for this characteristic resemblance of a beggar.

Scientific Classification

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Bloom Time
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Garden mum
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Garden mum is a Chinese native that has been cultivated as a medicinal and decorative plant for over 2000 years. Today, it is a gardening and florist favorite all over the world. Chrysanthemum × morifolium is a bushy perennial with dark-green leaves and numerous compact flower heads that come in a wide variety of colors. In English, it is affectionately known as “Mum.”
Bloom Time
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Garden Usage
Garden mum is widely planted in courtyards and also used as flower arrangements. The leaves of annual garden mum tend to be thin with shallow tine cracks, making the leaves closer to a strip shape. Perennial garden mum has leaves with deep tine cracks and is darker in color, with smaller flowers and better hardiness.
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Beggar's lice
Beggar's lice
Beggar's lice
Beggar's lice
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Beggar's lice
Add to My Garden
Beggar's lice
Hackelia virginiana
Also known as: Wild comfrey, Virginia stickseed
Virginia stickseed has tiny white flowers that bloom in mid-summer. The beggar's lice comes from the seeds of this plant, which are burrs and are very sticky. These burrs are very small and are very difficult to remove from clothing and pet fur. This method of seed dispersal is very effective for this plant, and if caught on clothing often times the entire seed stem, or even the whole plant will come out of the ground.
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Care Guide for Beggar's lice

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Questions About Beggar's lice

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Common Pests & Diseases

Common issues for Beggar's lice based on 10 million real cases
Leaf beetles
Leaf beetles  Leaf beetles  Leaf beetles
Leaf beetles are a class of colored insects 1 to 2 cm in size. They gnaw on leaves and petals resulting in small, round holes scattered over the surface.
Solutions: For less serious cases: Remove beetles, nymphs, and eggs. Remove all life stages of the beetles and kill them by placing them in a bucket of warm, soapy water. This can be done more easily by placing the bucket under affected leaves and shaking the plant. This method is most effective in the afternoon when leaf beetles are more active. Always dispose of insects in a sealed bag or container to avoid escape and spread. To treat more serious infestations: Apply organic insecticides. Use naturally-derived insecticides before moving on to synthetic insecticides. Neem oil and pyrethrum are naturally-derived insecticides that should be applied following label instructions. Apply synthetic insecticides. Examples of insecticides effective for leaf beetles include carbaryl, permethrin, and bifenthrin. Apply insecticides according to label instructions.
Learn More more
Caterpillars
Caterpillars  Caterpillars  Caterpillars
Caterpillars are fleshy moth or butterfly larvae that come in an array of colors, patterns, and even hairstyles. They chew on leaves and flower petals, creating large, irregular holes.
Solutions: Even though caterpillars are diverse, they all chew on plant parts and can cause significant damage if present in large numbers. For severe cases: Apply insecticide. For an organic solution, spray plants with a Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt), which specifically affects the larval stage of moths and butterflies. Be sure to coat plants, since caterpillars need to ingest Bt for it to be effective. This will not harm other insects. Spray a chili extract. Chili seeds can be cooked in water to make a spicy spray that caterpillars don't like. Spray this mixture on the plants, but be aware it will also be spicy to humans. Introduce beneficial insects. Release beneficial insects to the garden that eat caterpillars, such as parasitic wasps. For less severe cases: Hand pick. Using gloves, pick off caterpillars on plants and dispose of them in a bucket of soapy water. Dust plants with diatomaceous earth. This powder is harmless to humans but irritates caterpillars. Therefore, it will make it difficult for caterpillars to move and eat.
Learn More more
Black spot
Black spot  Black spot  Black spot
Infection by the black spot pathogen causes black spots or patches to appear on leaves.
Solutions: Some steps to take to address black spot include: Prune away any infected leaves, cleaning the pruners between plants with a 10% bleach solution so that the fungus does not spread to healthy leaves. Don't compost pruned plant parts as the spores can linger in the soil for a long period of time - instead, dispose of them in the trash. Use an approved fungicide such as Trifloxystrobin, Chlorothalonil, Maneb, or Myclobutanil. Use a spreader in the fungicide spray to ensure better coverage.
Learn More more
Underwatering
Underwatering  Underwatering  Underwatering
Leaves may wilt for a variety of reasons.
Solutions: The easiest (and most obvious) way to address underwatering is to fully hydrate the plant. However, this must be done carefully. A common mistake that many gardeners make is to douse their underwatered plants with water. This can overwhelm the roots of the plant and shock its system, something that can be even more damaging than the lack of water to begin with. Instead, water thoroughly and slowly, taking breaks to let the water slowly saturate through the soil to get to the roots. Use room temperature water, as cold water might be too much of a shock. In the future, shorten the time between waterings. A good rule of thumb is to check the soil around each plant daily. If it’s dry to at least two inches down, it’s time to water. If a container plant is repeatedly drying out very quickly, repotting into a slower-draining container might be a good idea, too.
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Leaf rot
Leaf rot  Leaf rot  Leaf rot
This pathogen can cause the leaves to rot.
Solutions: Bacterial infections need to be treated quickly to prevent the spread to neighboring, healthy plants, potentially wiping out large sections of your indoor or outdoor garden. In mild cases: Use sterilized (10% bleach solution) pruning shears or scissors to remove any infected plant parts, making sure to dispose of them off site. Use a copper-based bactericide to treat the unaffected foliage, as well as the soil, and neighboring plants. Follow the manufacturer’s rate and timing directions found on the product label. In severe cases, where more than half the leaves are affected: Remove all of the infected plants from the garden, disposing of them off site. Treat the soil and neighboring plants using a copper-based bactericide. Follow the manufacturer’s rate and timing directions found on the product label.
Learn More more
Sap-sucking insects
Sap-sucking insects  Sap-sucking insects  Sap-sucking insects
Sap-sucking insects can create dense clusters of small yellow or white spots on the leaves.
Solutions: Sap-sucking insects can be hard to spot, as they are often small and attach to the undersides of plant leaves. If you see signs of an infestation, follow these steps to eradicate it. Hand-pick bugs and remove eggs: Inspect your plants for insects and drop any you find in a container of soapy water. Look carefully at the undersides of plant leaves and squish any egg clusters you find. Use Insecticide: Targeted spraying can take out sap-sucking insects. Small infestations can be controlled with insecticidal soap, though larger outbreaks might require a stronger spray. Introduce natural predators: Many insects, including ladybugs and praying mantises, love to feast on sap-suckers. You can purchase them at garden stores and release them near infected plants, or encourage wild ones by creating habitat space.
Learn More more
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Leaf beetles
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Leaf beetles
Leaf beetles are a class of colored insects 1 to 2 cm in size. They gnaw on leaves and petals resulting in small, round holes scattered over the surface.
Overview
Overview
Leaf beetles range in size from 1.5 mm to 2 cm. Both adult beetles and their larvae eat the leaves of many different types of plants. There are over 35,000 different species of leaf beetles, in a variety of colors including gold, green, yellow-striped, and red striped. Some of these have been mistaken for ladybirds because of their shape and coloring. They can be oval, round, or elongated in shape. These insect pests are most active in spring and summer.
If not controlled, leaf beetles can do a lot of damage to vegetable crops and ornamental plants. They feed on the leaves, flowers, stems, roots, and fruits of different plants. They can fly, which means it's easy for them to move from one plant to another. Some species of leaf beetles only target one specific crop, while others will target many different types of plants. Although a lot of the damage that they cause is cosmetic, an infestation can weaken a plant and leave it prone to other more problematic diseases.
Symptom Analysis
Symptom Analysis
The first signs of a leaf beetles infestation are small visible holes in leaves. Leaves then become discolored and dark beetle droppings can be seen. As the leaves turn yellow and brown, they will drop off the plant onto the ground. Some leaves will appear skeletonized with only the veins still remaining.
Infestation begins in spring, when the adult beetles emerge from the soil and lay their eggs on the leaves of plants. When these eggs hatch, the young nymphs start munching on the leaves as they grow up. Once leaf beetles are large and mature, they'll fall to the ground and pupate in the soil over winter before starting the cycle all over again.
Leaf beetles also eat holes in fruits and vegetables. These can be seen as small round holes that sometimes have a larger brown area surrounding them.
Solutions
Solutions
For less serious cases:
  1. Remove beetles, nymphs, and eggs. Remove all life stages of the beetles and kill them by placing them in a bucket of warm, soapy water. This can be done more easily by placing the bucket under affected leaves and shaking the plant. This method is most effective in the afternoon when leaf beetles are more active. Always dispose of insects in a sealed bag or container to avoid escape and spread.
To treat more serious infestations:
  1. Apply organic insecticides. Use naturally-derived insecticides before moving on to synthetic insecticides. Neem oil and pyrethrum are naturally-derived insecticides that should be applied following label instructions.
  2. Apply synthetic insecticides. Examples of insecticides effective for leaf beetles include carbaryl, permethrin, and bifenthrin. Apply insecticides according to label instructions.
Prevention
Prevention
To prevent infestations of leaf beetles, follow these practices.
  1. Regularly check for beetles. To prevent large pest infestations, be proactive about frequently checking plants for pests and removing them quickly.
  2. Clear debris. Clear weeds and debris to remove areas where these beetles may overwinter and hide.
  3. Attract natural predators. Birds and other insects, such as wasps and ladybugs, are effective natural predators of leaf beetles. Encourage them to visit by including a diverse array of plants to provide habitat and food. Also, avoid applying broad-spectrum herbicides that can harm and kill beneficial insects.
  4. Plant aromatic herbs like mint, garlic, or rosemary, as these can repel leaf beetles.
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Caterpillars
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Caterpillars
Caterpillars are fleshy moth or butterfly larvae that come in an array of colors, patterns, and even hairstyles. They chew on leaves and flower petals, creating large, irregular holes.
Overview
Overview
Caterpillars can cause problems for home gardeners. If not managed, these insects can defoliate a plant in just a matter of days. However, home gardeners face a challenge because these caterpillars eventually turn into beautiful butterflies and moths, which are important for pollination and the general ecosystem.
There are thousands of different species of caterpillars and many will only target certain plants. If caterpillars are posing a problem, they can be removed by hand, or gardeners can use insect-proof netting to protect their valuable plants.
Symptom Analysis
Symptom Analysis
Caterpillars are the larvae of butterflies and moths. During the warmer months, butterflies and moths that visit gardens will lay their eggs on the underside of leaves.
When the tiny eggs hatch, the young larvae emerge and start feeding on the leaves of the plant. Depending on how many larvae have hatched, they can easily defoliate the plant in a very short period of time. Caterpillars will shed their skin as they grow, around 4 or 5 times during this feeding cycle.
Symptoms of caterpillars eating plants appear as holes in the leaves. The edges of the leaves may be eaten away as well, and flowers can be affected as well.
Some are easy to see, but others need to be searched for. This is because their bodies are often camouflaged to look like part of the plant. Gardeners need to look carefully along the stems of the plant as well as under the leaves. Also, look for tiny white, yellow, or brown eggs that can be found in groups on the underside of leaves.
Once the caterpillar is fully grown, it transforms into a pupa or chrysalis. Then, after a period of time that varies according to the species, a butterfly or moth will emerge from the pupa and the cycle begins again.
Solutions
Solutions
Even though caterpillars are diverse, they all chew on plant parts and can cause significant damage if present in large numbers.
For severe cases:
  1. Apply insecticide. For an organic solution, spray plants with a Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt), which specifically affects the larval stage of moths and butterflies. Be sure to coat plants, since caterpillars need to ingest Bt for it to be effective. This will not harm other insects.
  2. Spray a chili extract. Chili seeds can be cooked in water to make a spicy spray that caterpillars don't like. Spray this mixture on the plants, but be aware it will also be spicy to humans.
  3. Introduce beneficial insects. Release beneficial insects to the garden that eat caterpillars, such as parasitic wasps.
For less severe cases:
  1. Hand pick. Using gloves, pick off caterpillars on plants and dispose of them in a bucket of soapy water.
  2. Dust plants with diatomaceous earth. This powder is harmless to humans but irritates caterpillars. Therefore, it will make it difficult for caterpillars to move and eat.
Prevention
Prevention
Prevention may require less effort than attempts to eradicate infestations that have already begun. Here are our top steps for prevention:
  1. Monitor plants. Check plants regularly for caterpillar eggs on leaves. If they do not belong to an endangered species, they should be squished.
  2. Use insect netting. Cover plants with insect netting to prevent butterflies and moths from laying eggs on plants.
  3. Apply diatomaceous earth. Apply DE to plants early in the season and reapply after rain.
  4. Encourage plant diversity. This will attract predatory insects including parasitic wasps.
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Black spot
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Black spot
Infection by the black spot pathogen causes black spots or patches to appear on leaves.
Overview
Overview
Black spot is a fungus that largely attacks leaves on a variety of ornamental plants, leaving them covered in dark spots ringed with yellow, and eventually killing them. The fungus is often simply unsightly, but if it infects the whole plant it can interfere with photosynthesis by killing too many leaves. Because of this, it is important to be aware of the best methods for preventing and treating this diseases should it occur in the garden.
Symptom Analysis
Symptom Analysis
Here are a few of the most common symptoms of black spot:
  • The plant has developed small black spots along the leaves.
  • These spots be small, circular, and clustered together, or they may have a splotchy appearance and take up large portions of the leaves.
  • The fungus may also affect plant canes, where lesions start purple and then turn black.
  • The plant may suffer premature leaf drop.
Though most forms of black spot fungus pose little risk to a plant's overall health, many gardeners find them unsightly. Severe cases can also weaken a plant, so it becomes more susceptible to other pathogens and diseases.
Disease Cause
Disease Cause
Black spot is spread by various types of fungi, which differ slightly depending on whether they are in their sexual or asexual stages.
The fungal spores linger over the winter in fallen leaves and lesions on canes. In the spring, the spores are splashed up onto the leaves, causing infection within seven hours of moisture and when temperatures range between 24 to 29 ℃ with a high relative humidity.
In just two weeks, thousands of additional spores are produced, making it easy for the disease to infect nearby healthy plants as well.
There are several factors that could make a plant more likely to suffer a black spot infection. Here are some of the most common:
  • Exposure to infected plants or mulch (the fungus overwinters on dead leaves)
  • Weakening from physical damage, pest infestation or other infections.
  • Increased periods of wet, humid, warm weather – or exposure to overhead watering
  • Plants growing too close together
Solutions
Solutions
Some steps to take to address black spot include:
  • Prune away any infected leaves, cleaning the pruners between plants with a 10% bleach solution so that the fungus does not spread to healthy leaves.
  • Don't compost pruned plant parts as the spores can linger in the soil for a long period of time - instead, dispose of them in the trash.
  • Use an approved fungicide such as Trifloxystrobin, Chlorothalonil, Maneb, or Myclobutanil.
  • Use a spreader in the fungicide spray to ensure better coverage.
Prevention
Prevention
Here are a few tips to prevent black spot outbreaks.
  • Purchase resistant varieties: Invest in fungus-resistant plant varieties to reduce the chances for black spot diseases.
  • Remove infected plant debris: Fungi can overwinter in contaminated plant debris, so remove all fallen leaves from infected plants as soon as possible.
  • Rake and discard fallen leaves in the fall.
  • Prune regularly.
  • Water carefully: Fungal diseases spread when plants stay in moist conditions and when water droplets splash contaminated soil on plant leaves. Control these factors by only watering infected plants when the top few inches of soil are dry, and by watering at soil level to reduce splashback. Adding a layer of mulch to the soil will also reduce splashing.
  • Grow plants in an open, sunny locations so the foliage dries quickly.
  • Follow spacing guidelines when planting and avoid natural windbreaks for good air circulation.
  • Use chemical control: Regular doses of a fungicide, especially in the spring, can stop an outbreak before it begins.
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Underwatering
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Underwatering
Leaves may wilt for a variety of reasons.
Overview
Overview
Underwatering plants is one of the quickest ways to kill them. This is something that most gardeners are well aware of. Unfortunately, knowing exactly how much water a plant needs can be tricky, especially considering that underwatering and overwatering present similar symptoms in plants.
Therefore, it’s important to be vigilant and attentive to each plants’ individual needs.
Symptom Analysis
Symptom Analysis
As mentioned earlier, overwatering and underwatering present similar symptoms in plants. These symptoms include poor growth, wilted leaves, defoliation, and brown leaf tips or margins. Ultimately, both underwatering and overwatering can lead to the death of a plant.
The easiest way to determine whether a plant has too much water or too little is to look at the leaves. If underwatering is the culprit, the leaves will look brown and crunchy, while if it’s overwatering, they will appear yellow or a pale green in color.
When this issue first begins, there may be no noticeable symptoms at all, particularly in hardy or drought-tolerant plants. However, they will begin to wilt once they start suffering from a lack of water. The edges of the plant’s leaves will become brown or curled. Soil pulling away from the edges of the planter is a telltale sign, or a crispy, brittle stem.
Prolonged underwatering can cause a plant’s growth to become stunted. The leaves might drop and the plant can be more susceptible to pest infestations, too.
Disease Cause
Disease Cause
Underwatering is caused by, quite simply, not watering plants often or deeply enough. There is a heightened risk of underwatering if any of these situations apply:
  • Extreme heat and dry weather (when growing outdoors)
  • Grow lights or indoor lighting that is too bright or intense for the type of plant
  • Using fast-draining growing media such as sand
Solutions
Solutions
The easiest (and most obvious) way to address underwatering is to fully hydrate the plant. However, this must be done carefully. A common mistake that many gardeners make is to douse their underwatered plants with water. This can overwhelm the roots of the plant and shock its system, something that can be even more damaging than the lack of water to begin with.
Instead, water thoroughly and slowly, taking breaks to let the water slowly saturate through the soil to get to the roots. Use room temperature water, as cold water might be too much of a shock.
In the future, shorten the time between waterings. A good rule of thumb is to check the soil around each plant daily. If it’s dry to at least two inches down, it’s time to water. If a container plant is repeatedly drying out very quickly, repotting into a slower-draining container might be a good idea, too.
Prevention
Prevention
Always check the soil before watering. If the top inch of soil feels moist, though not wet, the watering is perfect. If it’s dry, water it immediately. If it feels soggy, you avoid watering until it dries out a bit more.
Also, make sure the lighting is sufficient for the species. Plants grow faster and need more water when there is intense light or lots of heat. Being aware of these conditions and modifying them, if possible, is a good way to prevent underwatering. Many container plants are potted in soil mixtures mean to be well-draining. Adding materials that retain moisture, like compost or peat moss, can also prevent these symptoms.
Other tips to prevent underwatering include:
  • Choose pots with adequately-sized drainage holes
  • Avoid warm temperatures
  • Use large pots with additional soil (these take longer to dry out)
  • Avoid terracotta pots, which lose water quickly
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Leaf rot
plant poor
Leaf rot
This pathogen can cause the leaves to rot.
Overview
Overview
Leaf rot is very common among both house plants and garden plants. It affects foliage and occurs mainly when the leaves become wet due to rain or misting by the gardener. The cause is fungal disease and this is facilitated by the fungal spores adhering to wet leaves then penetrating the leaf and expanding rapidly. Damp conditions and poor air circulation will increase chances of infection taking place. Another factor are leaves that are damaged or have been penetrated by sap sucking insects that facilitate plant penetration.
Symptom Analysis
Symptom Analysis
  1. Spores are able to cling to a damp leaf and penetrate, often through an existing wound.
  2. A small dark brown mark appears which expands rapidly as sporulation starts to take place.
  3. Quite quickly these bull's eye like circles can link together and the whole leaf turns dark and loses texture.
  4. Leaf drop occurs.
Disease Cause
Disease Cause
These symptoms are caused by a bacterial infection invading the plant. Bacteria from many sources in the environment (air, water, soil, diseased plants) enter a plant through wounds, or in some cases the stomata when they are open. Once inside the leaf tissue, the bacteria feed and reproduce quickly, breaking down healthy leaves.
Bacterial infections threaten most plant species, and are more prominent in wet weather that more easily transfers the bacteria from plant to plant, or from soil to plant.
Solutions
Solutions
Bacterial infections need to be treated quickly to prevent the spread to neighboring, healthy plants, potentially wiping out large sections of your indoor or outdoor garden.
In mild cases: Use sterilized (10% bleach solution) pruning shears or scissors to remove any infected plant parts, making sure to dispose of them off site. Use a copper-based bactericide to treat the unaffected foliage, as well as the soil, and neighboring plants. Follow the manufacturer’s rate and timing directions found on the product label.
In severe cases, where more than half the leaves are affected: Remove all of the infected plants from the garden, disposing of them off site. Treat the soil and neighboring plants using a copper-based bactericide. Follow the manufacturer’s rate and timing directions found on the product label.
Prevention
Prevention
  1. Clean up garden debris at the end of the season, especially if it contains any diseased plant tissue. Diseases can overwinter from season to season and infect new plants.
  2. Avoid overhead watering to prevent transferring pathogens from one plant to another, and to keep foliage dry.
  3. Mulch around the base of plants to prevent soil-borne bacteria from splashing up onto uninfected plants.
  4. Sterilize cutting tools using a 10% bleach solution when gardening and moving from one plant to another.
  5. Do not work in your garden when it is wet.
  6. Rotate crops to prevent the buildup of bacteria in one site due to continuous cropping.
  7. Use a copper or streptomycin-containing bactericide in early spring to prevent infection. Read label directions carefully as they are not suitable for all plants.
  8. Ensure plants are well spaced and thin leaves on densely leaved plants so that air circulation is maximised.
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Sap-sucking insects
plant poor
Sap-sucking insects
Sap-sucking insects can create dense clusters of small yellow or white spots on the leaves.
Symptom Analysis
Symptom Analysis
Your plant has developed tiny yellowish spots scattered across the leaves that look like mold or mildew. If these marks won't wipe off, they are likely caused by sap-sucking insects like aphids, squash bugs, scale bugs, leafhoppers, whiteflies, mites, mealybugs, and more.
Each of these pests uses mouthparts to pierce leaf tissues and suck the sap. uses mouthparts to pierce leaf tissues and suck the sap. Signs of damage are difficult to spot at first, but a large infestation can quickly compromise the whole plant. You're most likely to see sap-sucking insects during the hottest months because plants make easier targets when already weakened from heat or drought.
Though sap-sucking insects are unlikely to kill your plant on their own, they can severely weaken it and make it more susceptible to disease. They may also spread viruses from one plant to another as they feed.
Solutions
Solutions
Sap-sucking insects can be hard to spot, as they are often small and attach to the undersides of plant leaves. If you see signs of an infestation, follow these steps to eradicate it.
  1. Hand-pick bugs and remove eggs: Inspect your plants for insects and drop any you find in a container of soapy water. Look carefully at the undersides of plant leaves and squish any egg clusters you find.
  2. Use Insecticide: Targeted spraying can take out sap-sucking insects. Small infestations can be controlled with insecticidal soap, though larger outbreaks might require a stronger spray.
  3. Introduce natural predators: Many insects, including ladybugs and praying mantises, love to feast on sap-suckers. You can purchase them at garden stores and release them near infected plants, or encourage wild ones by creating habitat space.
Prevention
Prevention
Healthy plants are less likely to suffer from sap-sucker attacks. Keep them fortified with fertilizer and the right amounts of water and sunlight. Plants that receive excess nitrogen are also more susceptible to attack, so don’t overfertilize. You should also remove weeds and tall grasses surrounding your outdoor plants so as not to create habitat space for the pests.
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distribution

Distribution Map

Habitat

Moist to slightly dry deciduous woodlands, woodland borders, powerline clearances in wooded areas, thickets, shady fence rows

Map

distribution map
Native
Cultivated
Invasive
Potentially invasive
Exotic
No species reported
plant_info

More Info

Plant Type
Plant Type
Herb
Flower Color
Flower Color
White
Yellow
Green
Bloom Time
Bloom Time
Summer
Leaf Color
Leaf Color
Green

Name story

Beggar's lice
The seeds are featured with burs and they are very sticky. The plant is native but a nuisance in deciduous forests in the eastern United States. As the seeds are difficult to remove from clothing and pet fur, it is given the name Beggar's lice for this characteristic resemblance of a beggar.

Scientific Classification

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Water
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Indoor
Indoor
Outdoor potted
In the ground
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Essentials
Beggar's lice prefers moderately moist conditions but tolerates some drought. Its origin grows in various habitats like open woods and fields, usually on well-drained soils. A slight reduction in watering during winter months is recommended.
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Spring
Summer
Autumn
Winter
Morning
Noonday
Evening
Morning watering can reduce the risk of fungal growth.
Requirements
Every week
Watering Frequency
Smart Seasonal Watering
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Just like people, each plant has its own preferences and needs. Devote time to understanding your plants so you can nurture them properly. Observe your plants attentively, learning from their growth patterns, and becoming more in tune with their needs as you grow together. Keep a watchful eye on new plants and seedlings, as they are sensitive to both overwatering and underwatering. Shower them with gentle love and attention, fostering their growth and strength. Let the rhythm of your local climate guide your watering habits, adapting your schedule to the changing weather and the needs of your plants.
Amount and Approach
Watering from the soil
1. Gradually pour water to the soil from above.
2. Stop watering your plant once water begins to flow out of the drainage holes in the pot.
3. Allow it to rest for 1 minute, then discard any water remaining in the tray, making sure your plant is not sitting in the water.
Avoid watering the leaves or flowers. Use a watering can with a long spout when watering to reduce bending and exertion, and ease your fatigue.
Watering from the bottom
1. Fill the tray with water, ensure that the soil makes contact with the water.
2. Let it rest for 10 minutes.
3. Drain excess water from the tray if the soil is uniformly damp.
4. Watering more to the tray if the soil remains dry.
5. Allow it to sit for an additional 20 minutes before draining any excess water.
Avoid watering the leaves or flowers. Use a watering can with a long spout when watering to reduce bending and exertion, and ease your fatigue.
Soaking the water
1. Select a location for soaking your plants, such as a tray or bathtub.
2. Pour a few centimeters of fresh water into the bottom of your chosen container.
3. Soaking your plant pots within the water, allowing them to absorb moisture for 1 hour.
4. Remove the plants from the water and let them dry.
Avoid watering the leaves or flowers. Use a watering can with a long spout when watering to reduce bending and exertion, and ease your fatigue.
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For Beggar's lice, outdoor watering can be done using the method of sprinkling. It is a simple and direct approach. It involves pouring water onto the soil around the plant, allowing the water to naturally seep into the root zone. Typically, containers such as watering cans, buckets, or watering jugs are used for sprinkling. Depending on the size of the plant, usually, 1-2 gallons of water are required to ensure the soil around the roots is thoroughly moistened.
Important Symptoms
Overwatering
Beggar's lice is more susceptible to developing disease symptoms when overwatered because it prefers a soil environment with moderate humidity. Symptoms of overwatering include yellowing leaves, brown or black spots, root rot...
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(Symptom details and solutions)
Brown or black spots
Excessive watering can damage the plant's root system, making it vulnerable to fungal infections. The plant may develop dark brown to black spots that spread upwards from the lower leaves which are usually the first to be affected.
Root rot
Excess water in the soil can lead to the growth of harmful fungi and bacteria, causing the roots to rot and eventually kill the plant.
Soft or mushy stems
Excess water can cause stems to become soft and mushy, as the cells become waterlogged and lose their structural integrity.
Increased susceptibility diseases
Overwatering plants may become more susceptible and diseases as their overall health declines, weakening their natural defenses.
Solutions
1. Adjust watering frequency based on seasons and soil dryness. Wait for soil to dry before watering.2. Increase soil aeration by loosening surface and gently stirring with a wooden stick or chopstick.3. Optimize environment with good ventilation and warmth to enhance water evaporation and prevent overwatering.
Underwatering
Beggar's lice is more susceptible to plant health issues when lacking watering, as it can only tolerate short periods of drought. Symptoms of dehydration include wilting, leaf curling, yellowing leaves...
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(Symptom details and solutions)
Wilting
Due to the dry soil and insufficient water absorption by the roots, the leaves of the plant will appear limp, droopy, and lose vitality.
Leaf curling
Leaves may curl inward or downward as they attempt to conserve water and minimize water loss through transpiration.
Increased susceptibility to pests and diseases
Underwatered plants may become more susceptible to pests and diseases as their overall health declines, weakening their natural defenses.
Dying plant
If underwatering continues for an extended period, the plant may ultimately die as a result of severe water stress and an inability to carry out essential functions.
Solutions
1. Thoroughly saturate soil with slow ring watering to ensure uniform and sufficient moisture for plants. 2. Increase air humidity with water trays or misting to slow leaf water evaporation. 3. Watering according to the recommended frequency.Adjust watering frequency based on seasons and soil dryness.
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Lighting
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Indoor
Indoor
Outdoor
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Requirements
Partial sun
Ideal
About 3-6 hours sunlight
Full shade
Tolerance
Less than 3 hours of sunlight
Watch how sunlight gracefully moves through your garden, and choose spots that provide the perfect balance of light and shade for your plants, ensuring their happiness.
Essentials
Beggar's lice thrives best under moderate sunlight but can sustain growth even in considerably shady conditions. Sunlight considerably influences its health and development, however overexposure or inadequate exposure doesn't seem to substantially impact the overall plant contiguity. Its origin habitat experiences varied light conditions, lending to its adaptable nature.
Preferred
Tolerable
Unsuitable
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Artificial lighting
Indoor plants require adequate lighting for optimal growth. When natural sunlight is insufficient, particularly in winter or in less sunny spaces, artificial lights offer a vital solution, promoting faster, healthier growth.
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Indoor plants require adequate lighting for optimal growth. When natural sunlight is insufficient, particularly in winter or in less sunny spaces, artificial lights offer a vital solution, promoting faster, healthier growth.
1. Choose the right type of artificial light: LED lights are a popular choice for indoor plant lighting because they can be customized to provide the specific wavelengths of light that your plants need.
Full sun plants need 30-50W/sq ft of artificial light, partial sun plants need 20-30W/sq ft, and full shade plants need 10-20W/sq ft.
2. Determine the appropriate distance: Place the light source 12-36 inches above the plant to mimic natural sunlight.
3. Determine the duration: Mimic the length of natural daylight hours for your plant species. most plants need 8-12 hours of light per day.
Important Symptoms
Insufficient light
Beggar's lice thrives in full sunlight but can tolerate partial shade. Although symptoms of light deficiency may not be easily noticeable, when cultivated indoors with inadequate light, they may become apparent.
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(Symptom details and solutions)
Small leaves
New leaves may grow smaller in size compared to the previous ones once they have matured.
Leggy or sparse growth
The spaces between leaves or stems of your beggar's lice may become longer, resulting in a thin and stretched-out appearance. This can make the plant look sparse and weak, and it may easily break or lean due to its own weight.
Faster leaf drop
When plants are exposed to low light conditions, they tend to shed older leaves early to conserve resources. Within a limited time, these resources can be utilized to grow new leaves until the plant's energy reserves are depleted.
Slower or no new growth
Beggar's lice enters a survival mode when light conditions are poor, which leads to a halt in leaf production. As a result, the plant's growth becomes delayed or stops altogether.
Lighter-colored new leaves
Insufficient sunlight can cause leaves to develop irregular color patterns or appear pale. This indicates a lack of chlorophyll and essential nutrients.
Solutions
1. To optimize plant growth, shift them to increasingly sunnier spots each week until they receive 3-6 hours of direct sunlight daily, enabling gradual adaptation to changing light conditions.2. To provide additional light for your plant, consider using artificial light if it's large or not easily movable. Keep a desk or ceiling lamp on for at least 8 hours daily, or invest in professional plant grow lights for ample light.
Excessive light
Beggar's lice thrives in full sun exposure but can adapt to partial shade. Despite being tolerant of different light conditions, it may experience sunburn, which often manifests with subtle and not easily visible symptoms.
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(Symptom details and solutions)
Chlorosis
Chlorosis is a condition where the plant's leaves lose their green color and turn yellow. This is due to the breakdown of chlorophyll from excessive sunlight, which negatively affects the plant's ability to photosynthesize.
Sunscald
Sunscald occurs when the plant's leaves or stems are damaged by intense sunlight exposure. It appears as pale, bleached, or necrotic areas on the plant tissue and can reduce the plant's overall health.
Leaf Curling
Leaf curling is a symptom where leaves curl or twist under extreme sunlight conditions. This is a defense mechanism used by the plant to reduce its surface area exposed to sunlight, minimizing water loss and damage.
Wilting
Wilting occurs when a plant loses turgor pressure and its leaves and stems begin to droop. Overexposure to sunlight can cause wilting by increasing the plant's water loss through transpiration, making it difficult for the plant to maintain adequate hydration.
Leaf Scorching
Leaf scorching is a symptom characterized by the appearance of brown, dry, and crispy edges or patches on leaves due to excessive sunlight. This can lead to a reduction in photosynthetic capacity and overall plant health.
Solutions
1. Move your plant to the optimal position where it can receive abundant sunlight but also have some shade. An east-facing window is an ideal choice as the morning sunlight is gentler. This way, your plant can enjoy ample sunlight while reducing the risk of sunburn.2. It is recommended to trim off any completely dehydrated or withered parts of the plant.
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Temperature
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Indoor
Outdoor
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Requirements
Ideal
Tolerable
Unsuitable
Just like people, each plant has its own preferences. Learn about your plants' temperature needs and create a comforting environment for them to flourish. As you care for your plants, your bond with them will deepen. Trust your intuition as you learn about their temperature needs, celebrating the journey you share. Lovingly monitor the temperature around your plants and adjust their environment as needed. A thermometer can be your ally in this heartfelt endeavor. Be patient and gentle with yourself as you explore your plants' temperature needs. Cherish your successes, learn from challenges, and nurture your garden with love, creating a haven that reflects the warmth of your care.
Essentials
Beggar's lice is indigenous to environments with temperate climates. Its ideal growth temperature ranges from 68 to 95 °F (20 to 35 ℃). During different seasons, it may be beneficial to regulate temperature within this range for optimal development.
Regional wintering strategies
Beggar's lice has strong cold resistance, so special frost protection measures are usually not necessary during winter. However, if the winter temperatures are expected to drop below {Limit_growth_temperature}, it is still important to provide cold protection. This can be achieved by covering the plant with materials such as soil or straw. Before the first freeze in autumn, it is recommended to water the plant abundantly, ensuring the soil remains moist and enters a frozen state. This helps prevent drought and water scarcity for the plant during winter and early spring.
Important Symptoms
Low Temperature
Beggar's lice is cold-tolerant and thrives best when the temperature is above {Suitable_growth_temperature_min}. During winter, it should be kept above {Tolerable_growing_temperature_min}. When the temperature falls below {Limit_growth_temperature}, although there may not be any noticeable changes during winter, there may be a decrease in sprouting or even no sprouting during springtime.
Solutions
In spring, remove any parts that have failed to sprout.
High Temperature
During summer, Beggar's lice should be kept below {Suitable_growth_temperature_max}. When the temperature exceeds {Tolerable_growing_temperature_max}, the leaves of the plant may become lighter in color, prone to curling, susceptible to sunburn, and in severe cases, the entire plant may wilt and become dry.
Solutions
Trim away the sunburned and dried-up parts. Move the plant to a location that provides shade from the midday and afternoon sun, or use a shade cloth to create shade. Water the plant in the morning and evening to keep the soil moist.
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Transplant
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How to Successfully Transplant Beggar's lice?
For beggar's lice, the choicest period for transplanting is in the Spring (S3), a time when the plant can optimally acclimatize. Place beggar's lice in an area with plenty of sunlight for successful growth. Remember, a stress-less transplanting process begins with adequate hydration before moving it.
What Preparations are Needed Before Transplanting Beggar's lice?
What is the Ideal Time for Transplanting Beggar's lice?
The best time to transplant the beggar's lice is during the early spring or fall. It gives the plant ample time to establish roots before the hot summer or harsh winter. Transplanting in these seasons helps beggar's lice thrive, preserving its beauty and medicinal properties. Try it, you won't regret it!
How Much Space Should You Leave Between Beggar's lice Plants?
When preparing to transplant your beggar's lice plant, remember to leave a distance of about 1-1.5 feet (30-45 cm) between each plant. This spacing will allow enough room for your plants to grow and thrive without competition for resources.
What is the Best Soil Mix for Beggar's lice Transplanting?
The beggar's lice plant enjoys a well-draining soil that's rich in organic matter. Prepare your garden bed with a base fertilizer high in phosphorus. Compost can be a great addition too, as it enriches the soil and helps it to retain moisture better.
Where Should You Relocate Your Beggar's lice?
Find a location for your beggar's lice plant that gets plenty of sunlight, but also some partial shade during the hottest parts of the day. This balance will help protect your plant from sun damage while still providing the sunlight it needs for photosynthesis.
What Equipments Should You Prepare Before Transplantation Beggar's lice?
Gardening Gloves
To protect your hands from thorns and rough soil while working with the beggar's lice plant.
Shovel/Spade
For digging a hole in the transplanting area, and leverage when lifting the plant from its original location.
Trowel
Handy for detailed digging work, and useful for removing plants from pots or seedling trays.
Watering Can
Needed for hydrating the plant more immediately after initial transplant and in the days and weeks following.
Wheelbarrow or Bucket
Useful to transport the beggar's lice from its original location to its new spot in your garden.
Mulch
To retain moisture in the soil and protect the plant's roots after transplanting.
How Do You Remove Beggar's lice from the Soil?
Start by removing any grass or weeds from the transplantation site. Use a spade to prepare the hole, which should be two times wider and of the same depth as the root ball.

Place the beggar's lice plant in the center of the hole. The root ball's upper surface should be level with or just below the ground surface. Then, backfill the hole with soil, firming it lightly.

Thoroughly water the plant with a watering can. This encourages the soil to settle around the roots and will reduce any transplant shock.

Apply a 2-3 inch layer of mulch around the plant, leaving a little space around the stem to avoid rot.
Step-by-Step Guide for Transplanting Beggar's lice
Step1 Preparation
Start by removing any grass or weeds from the transplantation site. Use a spade to prepare the hole, which should be two times wider and of the same depth as the root ball.
Step2 Planting
Place the beggar's lice plant in the center of the hole. The root ball's upper surface should be level with or just below the ground surface. Then, backfill the hole with soil, firming it lightly.
Step3 Watering
Thoroughly water the plant with a watering can. This encourages the soil to settle around the roots and will reduce any transplant shock.
Step4 Mulching
Apply a 2-3 inch layer of mulch around the plant, leaving a little space around the stem to avoid rot.
How Do You Care For Beggar's lice After Transplanting?
Watering Frequency
While the beggar's lice plant is establishing, ensure it gets regular water especially in dry periods. Over watering can lead to root rot, so make sure the top layer of the soil is dry to touch before watering.
Mulch Application
Apply mulch in the spring to ward off weeds and retain soil moisture.
Pruning
The beggar's lice plant is a good self-sower, so deadheading the flowers after they bloom will prevent unwanted spread. However, if you want more plants, allow some of the flowers to go to seed and disperse.
Troubleshooting Common Issues with Beggar's lice Transplantation.
When is the best time to transplant the beggar's lice?
The ideal time to transplant the beggar's lice is in the third season of the year, often referred to as Fall (Autumn).
What is the perfect spacing when planting beggar's lice?
Beggar's lice thrives best when spaced 1 to 1.5 feet (30-45 cm) apart. It gives them enough room to grow without competition.
What should I do if the beggar's lice does not take root after transplanting?
Ensure the beggar's lice is in a suitable environment - right amounts of light, temperature conditions, and water. If it still doesn't take root, patient replanting might be needed.
Why are the leaves of the beggar's lice turning yellow after transplanting?
Yellowing leaves could signify overwatering or lack of nutrients. Modify watering habits and consider a slow-release fertilizer for beggar's lice.
How should I prepare the soil before transplanting beggar's lice?
The soil should be well-draining with balanced pH. Adding compost or organic matter improves soil fertility perfect for beggar's lice.
Why is beggar's lice wilting after transplanting?
Wilting usually means stress from transplant shock. Regular watering and temporarily reducing light exposure can help beggar's lice recover.
How to handle beggar's lice during transplant to ensure its survival?
Handle beggar's lice with care. Avoid damaging the roots or foliage. Before removing from the original pot, water it thoroughly to keep roots moist.
Should I prune beggar's lice before transplanting?
Yes, prune beggar's lice to reduce plant mass, making it easier to transplant and relieving stress on the root system.
Why are leaves of my transplanted beggar's lice dropping?
Leaf dropping might be a reaction to transplant shock. Keep the soil consistently moist and avoid overexposure to direct sunlight.
How deep should I plant beggar's lice when transplanting?
The transplanting hole should be twice as wide and the same depth as beggar's lice's root ball. This ensures roots have room to spread and grow.
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