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 sufficient detail and 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 Dr. Kaviraj
Can you please help with the problem of black spot on my roses? The leaves are covered in black spots and eventually turn yellow and drop off the plant. Last year was quite wet – maybe this was the problem. I have cleared away all the infected leaves, and we have had a long, very cold winter, which may have killed off any lingering spores, but I would like to have a remedy ready to use at the first sign of any problems this year.
Black spot on roses is a fungal disease. First I recommend using old cow dung, so the fungus has something to do, apart from attacking the roses. Most fungal diseases are soil borne and we tend to grow our plants without too much organic matter. then the fungus needs the living plant to survive. Also, you can use a Silicea 6X as described in the manner at the top of the page, to avoid the fungus taking hold.
Dear Dr. Kaviraj,
My Thuja trees had bagworms which ate all the foliage off one of the trees. Is there some way to prevent the worms from coming back next year? Are there any early signs of bagworm infestation?
Bagworms are larvae and they can be combated by using Sambucus nigra, which keeps caterpillars and other larvae off of plants. It is one of the best remedies against this problem.
I have children who play on the lawn and I want to get rid of weeds without using chemicals. Do you have any suggestions?
Depending on the type of weeds, I recommend to remove them by hand and then spraying the lawn with Juglans nigra or Abies canadiensis, because these trees do not allow anything else to grow underneath. They contain an alkaloid that inhibits the weed seeds from germinating.
Thanks for your great service in this new section of hpathy.com I wonder if you have any advice about keeping rabbits off our new allotment in the south of England. It is part of a new allotment field, formerly a sheep field, just recently ploughed up. All around are other fields – with rabbits! We cannot yet afford rabbit fencing but hope to get it by autumn.
Helen Swan RSHom
Rabbits can be kept off by catching one and charcoaling it in a crucible over a fire. The charcoal thus obtained is diluted in water and sprayed. This will keep them off till it rains. This is the biodyn method as recommended by Steiner.
Alternatively, you can grind up the charcoal with lactose as described in the Organon par 269 and following of the 6th edition of the Organon. Then from the 3rd trituration you produce the 6X, which you give 50 succussions after using 10 drops in a litre of water. This litre is further diluted with 19 litres which you use as a spray. That will keep them off longer.
Fascinating stuff. Thank you so much for your invaluable work. Would you advise silicea for the treatment of ‘boxwood blight’? Would horse manure work instead of cow manure on the base of the plants as you suggested for treatment of black spot on roses? My hedge is 30 ft x 10 ft with crisscrosses inside. So plenty of boxwood! Many thanks.
Boxwwod blight can be treated with Silicea, depending on the discolouration of the leaves. You can also try Salicylic acid, in case of failure with Silicea.
Horse manure is very alkaline and roses like neutral pH. Cow manure is better, since it is neutral. But, horse manure mixed with pig or chicken manure would neutralise the alkalinty, since chicken and pig manure are very acidic. Mix well and apply. Roses also love old tea leaves, from the pot after you drank your tea. Must be black or green tea.
Depending on discoloration of leaves? Could you clarify? The blight arrived in August 2 summers ago. (Same time as potato blight? We aren’t growing potatoes but we live in a farming community.) First summer, only a small portion died. Last summer, just when we thought it was back to its beautiful self, it came again in August. This time much for devastating. I used a new product from Bountea to feed it well, trimmed it several inches down and sides to let in more air. It’s taking it’s time recovering this year. New growth down inside. Perhaps the frost and snow killed the fungus. We shall see in August! The leaves were yellow, not orange, and died very quickly.
Many thanks again.
Will mix the horse manure with our one hen’s droppings! And apply to roses, but what the same work for the boxwood, if as you suggest, most fungus is soil borne, although I don’t think this is true of potato blight is it?
well, the discolouration can be yellow, orange, red, brown, black, and they show different varieties of fungal, bacterial or viral diseases. Blight is a fungus and different types of fungi can mean different remedies. I shall post an article in next moth’s plant doctor on the different types of fungal diseases. 90% or more are soil borne. They have no organic matter in regular agricultural cultivation and so they attack the living plants – they want to survive too.
It would be handy if you could post pictures, to enable better diagnosis. It is a bit hard to identify the disease without any pictures. I know many of them by heart, but equally many can be varied on different plants and crops. Thus there can be some I have not seen yet. I haven’t been out in the fields for a long time and some of that stuff needs repetitive exposure to the senses to retain it.
Many thanks for your thoughtful replies! If the boxwood blight returns in August, I can post you a photo. I read about a new boxwood blight that seemed to be impenetrable to chemicals, not that I use them but I was interested it that it was a mystery to the landscapers on how to ‘get rid of it’. I suspect the fungus came in from nursery stock as my hedge was well established and well planted. But I will dress it with manure and get my silicea and sal-ac ready. I look forward to your posting on fungal diseases. (Here in Ireland we get a lot of them.) Kindest regards, Christine
YOU HAVE INFORMED DILUTIONS OF 6X FOR PLANTS.FOR PADDY FIELDS I USED 200 POTENCY
DILUTIONS.IS IT CORRECT OR NOT?
Well, when I say 6X, then why do you use 200? How can it be correct? Is a paddy field not made up of plants?
hello ,what did you suggest for fleas on animals like dogs ,chicken etc.?
thanks a lot for your suggestions ,will send pix soon
Hi Cornelia, For fleas I recommend Ledum palustre in tincture, which you add in the water which which you wash them. If you don’t wash them as in chickens, spray it onto the skin. 40 drops in 1/2 litre should do the trick.