Experts and BHG readers answer.
Bugs spinning webs on my fennel killing it
Hi, I'm new to growing my own herbs. I started growing in October of 2011. My lemon balm died. I read that it too much sun makes the leaves brown so I put it in the shade. I didn't over water it and it died anyway. How do I fix that? I switched the fennel's soil to organic and it flourished. However I have bugs spinning webs on the fennel and it's dying. The fennel is in my room near the window. I'm using a repellent but it has yet to work.
Hi, Well let's start with the lemon balm. It's a member of the mint family and like its relative, it can grow quickly in the right spot. Ideally, you should offer your plant a rich, slightly moist, organic soil with full sun--at least 6 to 8 hours a day. It will not survive in the shade. I don't know why your first plant died, but I'd try it again next summer. Now as far as fennel is concerned, it does not do well indoors at all. It's possible your plant is infected with spider mites which weave small webs and suck the plant's juices. Sadly, this is going to be an ongoing problem simply because fennel is an outdoor herb and indoor conditions weaken it enough to invite insect problems. If you want to try and save the plant you have, I'd give it a good shower in the bathtub to help wash away any insect pests and, when the plant is dry, I'd probably try an indoor houseplant insecticide. Of course, if you do this you can't use the plant as an herb. If it were me, I'd do my best with it and when it looks really bad, I'd toss it since it will be an uphill battle keeping it alive indoors.