Each month V.D. Kaviraj answers 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. The completely revised and enlarged edition with an additional 176 pages is now available:
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.
I am a farmer from Nalgonda district of Andhra Pradesh in India. The district is recognized for sweet lime and renowned in India. Unfortunately now the farmers are facing a big disaster by massive attack of a virus. Some agriculture scientists suggested we withdraw from sweet lime cultivation. I hope that by our homeo medicines we may revive the sweet lime orchards. The plants have root rot and stem wilt and are gradually dying out. Please suggest homeo remedies so we may save the hundreds of farmer families. I hope you will reach us as early as possible.
Balreddyj [email protected]
Kaviraj: Dear Balreddy, root rot I suppose to be wet in nature? Or is it a dry rot?
From the rest of your narrative I would say it is dry. Take a soil sample and discover pH, nutrient availability, as well as bacterial, viral and fungal content.
Meanwhile, when waiting for the outcome, give Silicea 200C to the trees and make sure to water it on the roots.
I have this wilt problem when just before harvest time, beautiful vines with good crops die within days due to wilt. Can you suggest any homeopathic remedy to stop this? I have been using homeopathic remedies for my own problems with wonderful results. But plants – it is new to me. Kindly help.
Siggy Sequeira – Karnataka, India.
Kaviraj: Hi Siggy, I suppose your vines are squash, cucumber, zucchini etc. Now the best remedy for them at the beginning of their lives is Ricinus communis. Also, it is wise to change crop for a year, because you have depleted the soil.
For now, give them Silicea 6X as directed above.
I live in Bangalore, India and have a few varieties of Jasmine plants in my garden. The plants are big and beautiful, with healthy green foliage, but very few flowers come even in the season. They are in a bright, sunny area, well watered and I use organic manure. Please help me with this.
Kaviraj: Rajeswari, it will be very good to use Phosphorus at the beginning of bloom on the roots and spray the whole plants with Silicea 6X twice in two days. That will increase the flowers very nicely.
Ornamental plants were planted in my city by the municipal corporation in large numbers, but these are infected by gall and present an ugly picture. Is there any homeopathic remedy to cure them and stop infection?
Kaviraj: Sure you can get rid of that. Use Thuja 6X in a single dose and 48 hrs later it will be all gone.
Dear Dr. Kaviraj,
In our fields in Vermont, wild Chervil, a weed is becoming quite a pest. Do you have any suggestions for dealing with this weed. Here is a link about this invasive species:
Vatsala Sperling, PDHom, RSHom
Kaviraj: Hi Vatsala, invasive species can be gotten rid of by giving it Juglans nigra 6X and if necessary, to repeat it for a few days. It will inhibit seed development and growth. Make sure you do not soak the soil, just moisturising is enough. If you soak it, you can’t grow anything else in there for a while.
Respected Dr. Kaviraj,
May God give you a long healthy and prosperous life to serve mankind on verge of destruction due to misuse of hazardous pesticides. I introduce myself as a hobbyist homeopath engaged in service of people and pets free of cost. I’m 70 yrs of age and keep 10-12 birds, 5 fish aquariums,4 dogs and terrace garden.
1) I prepare food by mixing grains, seeds, millets and dry fruits for my birds and keep them in sealed polybags. But after sometime they are found infested by pests. Please suggest some remedy so that I can keep in sealed polybags of 1kg or so.
2). I purchase readymade dog food in sealed bags which becomes warm and infested in 2-3months. Please suggest a remedy for treating this dog food and which is also attacked by rodents.
3). Please suggest some remedies for fish diseases and to keep them healthy.
Dr. P.S. Gulati
Kaviraj: Dr Gulati, it is of course best when you grow the seeds for the birds yourself. Dried seeds in poly bags – that is the first thing to change. Make that glass jars and half the problem is solved. It is possible to insert 20-30 globuli of Silicea 6X in the grains, which by shaking will be pulverised and cover the seeds.
The same can be used for the dog food, which also helps it stay dry in monsoon time.
Dear Dr. Kaviraj,
To control the attack of Plum Curculio I have applied Thuya in 6DH potency to my plum trees, in a root watering manner, the first time at the beginning of May and second application was 3 weeks after. The application had some success and to improve the results I have just applied Sambucus Nigra in the same potency as above. The incidence of black knot lesions on the twigs and branches has increased way above previous years resulting in cutting and discarding number of branches.
Is there any connection here related to Thuya application? Based on your experience? What went wrong? Would Ferrum sulphuricum, recommended for cancer in trees, be an appropriate remedy for black knot?
Kaviraj: Slavko, I doubt whether Thuja has anything to do with the problem. Take a soil sample and find out what is pH, nutrient content, and bacterial, viral and fungal life. That will tell us a great deal more. Try Ferrum sulph after you take the soil sample and then take a second to notice any changes.
Hi Dr. Kaviraj
We have 3 cherry trees (young) and live in Naperville, IL. The trees have brown spots with larva inside. We don’t know which bug produced the larva. A lot of the leaves are damaged. Here are pictures. What remedy would you suggest using?
Kaviraj: Hi Victoria, In this case I would recommend Thuja 6X. It is a case of what we call animal poisoning and thus Thuja is the first remedy to think about. Give a dose at the roots and watch for changes. I would say 48 hrs later you will notice a big difference.
Dear Dr. Kaviraj,
We have a young tree in our yard in N.E. U.S. which has a light green growth on the bark. I don’t know if it’s a fungus, a lichen or something else. A couple other trees which died have this same growth. Any idea what to do about it?
Kaviraj: Hi Janice, this is a simple lichen and a symbiont of the tree. Nothing to worry about.
I’m attaching a photo of my lemon tree showing white spots on the leaves. Kindly suggest a homeopathic remedy for this.
Kaviraj: Hi Marwaha,
That looks like a strange phenomenon. Where do you live? If in the north near the Afghan border it may be the result of radiation from the depleted uranium they bomb with over there.
You can try Ferrum phos 6X to see if it makes any difference.
Dear Plant Doctor,
My aloe is a little over 1 year old. At first, I had trouble with over-watering it, and I lost a few leaves to root rot (brownish-yellow leaves, that wouldn’t hold themselves up). So I stopped watering it so frequently. This is what it looks like now (picture attached). The leaves are thin and droopy and I had one leaf that was shrivelling up and browning (likely under-watering it). I started watering it more frequently. I also recently started introducing it to the outside sun for half a day where it’s about 20 degrees Celsius. It’s still growing new leaves from the centre. Please let me know what I can give it.
Any help would be greatly appreciated.
Kaviraj: Hi Judy, This plant needs a dose of Silicea 6X – “never really well since.” I have the feeling it still has root rot.
We have a big garden and we have big problem with too many snails. Please can you help me with homeopathy?
Kaviraj: Hi Holesta, there is a remedy called Helix tosta 6X or toasted snail. Give this remedy to all your plants, but not the weeds. Either the snails eat the weeds or move to the neighbours.
I have a question regarding Photinia. We have tried to grow a hedge out of Photinia around our deck. I’ve attached a few photos. The deck is on a small hill and apparently all the water drains down to where the bare spot is under the deck in the attached photos. We had Photinia there too but it drowned and there’s one small plant still there but not sure if it will survive.
Since the other plants died, we had a drain installed at the top of the hill to try and fix the drainage problem. There is no standing water but the dirt underneath never dries out. The area also doesn’t get much direct sun, a few hours of afternoon sun. Is there a special way we could plant new Photinia that it would grow? If not, is there another plant you suggest growing there that would thrive in those conditions? Anything information you can give me would be greatly appreciated!
Thank you, Robin Beck
Kaviraj: Hi Robin, Photinia likes more sun and no wet feet. However, Dulcamara is a remedy for ill effects of wet feet and it will probably save the small one and help it grow, but you will have to regularly dose it. I would grow ferns in there which love wet conditions and shade. They can grow quite big too.