What is wrong with my herbs

Asked July 8, 2020, 12:58 PM EDT

All of my herbs in pots now have these spots. Are they still edible? Is there anything I can do about this?

Sherburne County Minnesota

1 Response

Hello.

I'm not sure, either. The small spots look to me like a bug that sucks the juices out of the leaves of the plant. One such bug is a spider mite. They are almost too small to see but if you hold a stiff piece of white paper under a leaf and shake the leaf, you may see small dots land on the paper. Those dots can be dust or if they start moving, they're probably spider mites. If there are enough of them, you'll see whole leaves encased in a fine webbing. Usually that's when the leaf has no chance of recovery.

The argument against spider mites is that they prefer a very dry environment and we've had many days of humid weather so maybe it's not spider mites. In that case, it could be thrips or white flies both of which can cause the same signs. Here is more information about these insects:




Most of this information addresses whether the insects if left alone, cause harm to your plants. I cannot address whether your plants are edible or not.

I know how to deal with these insects when they're on indoor plants but outside and on edible plants is another story. Any pesticide you may use risks the possibility of harming pollinators and possibly rendering your herbs inedible. The label on these products is the law so we recommend reading the entire label to find out which insects the product is effective against, its safe usage, whether it can be used on edible plants, and safe amounts (more is not better.)

I hope this information helps.