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Ask the Plant Doctor – August 2010

Each month V.D. Kaviraj will answer questions about plants and plant problems. Kaviraj is one of the foremost pioneers of Agro-homeopathy and author of the book, Homeopathy for Farm and Garden.

Send your questions with pictures when possible (JPG or GIF format) to [email protected] with the subject “Plant Doctor”.

Note: When I refer to treating plants with homeopathic remedies, this is the standard dosing procedure: Put 20 drops of a 6X potency in a litre of water. Succuss the bottle 50 times. Put this litre in the watering can, fill it up with 19 litres of tap water and stir. If the watering can is smaller, the amount of remedy put in must be proportionally smaller. Thus a 10 litre can needs only ½ litre and just 10 drops of the remedy. Apply the contents of the watering can to the roots of the plants to be treated.


Dear Kaviraj,
I have a big problem with White fly in my greenhouse. It is mostly in tomatoes and cucumber. Can you tell me what I can do?
Thank you
Karolina

Dear Karolina,
With Sambucus nigra you can control any caterpillars on any crop. Use the 6X or 6C according to instructions at the top of the discussion board.


Dear Sri Kaviraj,

Could you suggest remedies to control coconut mite pest. The farm is near Bangalore, South India.
Ramagopal

Dear Ramagopal
Mites can be controlled by Trombidium, as it is described in Clarke’s MM. He considers it a parasite of the housefly, but in reality the mite attaches itself to the legs of the fly to enable travel to other places.


Dear Dr. Kaviraj,

I’m wondering if you have a recommendation for treating honey bees that have mites, varroa I believe. I live in the northeast U.S. and have been transitioning to small cell bee keeping over the last few years, however I am still having difficulty with mites. I don’t use formic acid or antibiotics on my bees. I recently lost two hives infested with the little critters. My goal is to breed bees that are hardy enough to resist these creatures, but perhaps they could use some homeopathic support.
Many thanks
Sheila Muldaur

Dear Sheila,
Also here Trombidium may do the trick. We have not tried it yet, but I have just given the same information to a Canadian beekeeper, who is going to try it out. Therefore, I cannot guarantee it will solve the problem, but it is at least worth a try.


Dear Kaviraj,
I am wondering if you might know how to deal with carpenter ants and termites.  We are living in an oak/pine forest in the Northeast USA and have trouble with these insects. There are several pine trees close to home, which I believe are infested. The mound of dirt around the base of the trees is growing every year and now we have carpenter ants and possibly termites eating away at the home. Fifteen years ago, I had the home treated with Dursban, which lead to years of illness. Now I know I better and I’m hoping homeopathy or another gentler method will encourage the ants/termites to leave.
Thank you so much
Tanya Renner

Dear Tanya,
Carpenter ants and termites can be controlled using Camphora. The ants and termites never infest Camphor trees and I have used it with great results against the termite.


Dear Kaviraj,
You recommend to put 20 drops of a 6X potency in a litre of water.  What if you only have dry doses at home?  Can these be used, and if so, how?
Joy Metcalf

Dear Joy,
In the case of dry doses, use about 30 pills in a litre of water and follow the instructions given at the top of the Plant Doctor column.