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Caapi & Viridis: Looking for tips on dealing with pests & growing

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Hi All,

I'm new to ethnobotany and to this community, and am trying my hand at growing some caapi and viridis, I've got a few varieties of each.
I'm in Melbourne and have set up a greenhouse.
My temps range from 14 - 36c and humidity from 60 - 80%, I've lined the inside with 70% UV block shade cloth, and some lattice for the vines to climb.
All the plants are still in pots, when the weather warms up a bit I will transplant the caapi into the ground.
I'm getting some good growth from my caapi's, but I've got a problem with ?aphids (see pic attached)
I tried some appropriately diluted eco oil on one of the caapi plants, but it killed off all the new shoots and baby leaves.
I've ordered some Green Lacewing bugs in the hope they will get the problem under control.
In the meantime I'm just manually cleaning the leaves and squishing the bugs between my finger, but I can't get into all the little nooks and crannies.
Does anyone have any other suggestions to get rid of these things?
My Vidiris on the other hand are showing no signs of growth. I've got Chacruna and UDV.
I know they are slow growers, and I didn't have my greenhouse setup when I got them, so they had to endure some very cold nights, I'm worried the cold stunted them. The leaves they have look healthy enough, but no new growth.
I'm working on getting some Nexus and DW10 variants, in the hope they will be a bit faster growing, and more cold tolerant - and can go straight into a nice cushy greenhouse.
Any suggestions of breathing some life into my Vidiris?
This is what I've put together so far on each plant;
Sun: Part Shade
Cold: Variant dependent - die at 4c, like min 15c night temps and day temps of 24c for growth
Soil: Humus Rich, moist, well draining soil - needs root space (prefers ground not pot)
Water: Thirsty plant - can be watered daily
Fertilizer: Plant is a heavy nitrogen feeder - Fish Emulsifer
pH: 5.5
Humidity: Likes 90%
Pruning Info: 50g / 1ft long 1" thick section. At end of growing season, not from the bottom 3ft of plant.
Sun: 70% shade
Cold: Doesn't tolerate well
Soil: Loam Rich, moist, well draining soil
Fertilizer: Seaweed - Maxicrop
pH: 5.5
Humidity: Likes
Pruning Info: 50g fresh weight of mature leaves at sunset
Does that seem about right?
I really appreciate any feedback or tips to help me along the first few steps of this beautiful journey.



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I find blasting the bulk of the aphids off with the hose every time I go past works okay, this slows them down and doesn't harm most of the beneficials.  I also find that caapi responds well if you let the media/soil dry out a little between waterings.   Great work on ordering the lacewings, always good to have around even if they don't solve your problems.


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Oh manners, and welcome to the forum:)


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Thanks for the tips and the welcome!


Blasting the plants with the hose on fine mist mode worked a treat for getting the pests out of the nooks. That will at least keep them off the plants until I figure out how to get rid of them for good.

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Hello Rupi,


Welcome. I greet you in the love and light.


I had a similar experience with Aphid infested Brugmansia and Datura plants recently.


If you are seeking organic Aphid control I highly recommend companion planting with Nasturtium.


Others plants that will also naturally control Aphids are Aster, Mum, Cosmos, Hollyhock, Larkspur, Tuberous Begonia, Verbena, Dahlia and Zinnia.


At least this way you won't be killing anything. Those plants simply make that space undesirable so they move someplace else to feast.


I hope that helps. I wish you all the best with your sacred plants.

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I think the psychotria is probably still dormant,  Melbourne spring is probably still like Amazonian winter. Give it a month or two and once it shows signs of growth,  start feeding. 

Getting a small walk in greenhouse was one of the best things I've done - I was able to keep my cacti growing over winter,  as well as germinate new seeds. Be warned though, even tropical plants might not endure the temperatures inside a small closed in greenhouse on a hot summers day. Use positioning, shade cloth (like you already have) misting and ventilation, to regulate the growing environment. People tend to think, oh Melbourne, cold and rainy, but I know first hand it can get Fucking Hot there too.

Welcome and good luck with balancing the aphid population. Happy growing

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Brilliant! Thanks infinity,  I'll move some Nasturtiums into the greenhouse, hopefully between them, the lacewings and some time... all will balance out.


And xperiment u have given me some hope for my psychotrias, I'll try and exercise some patience and keep my busy little hands off them and see what happens.


And you are right about greenhouses! On a 22c sunny day my temps nearly got to 40c, and that was with the little solar extraction fan on the roof doing it's best. I've got a misting system on a timer as well, but I imagine the whole system will need tweaking for summer. I might end up having the greenhouse door open, with the shade cloth hanging across it.


I've setup the green house between 2 disiduous trees so it should get some shade in summer. It might be tough to balance light and heat throughout the year, but that's half the fun eh?


Many thanks, love and light!

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Hot pepper sprays on a weekly basis are what I always used for my Psychotria. Just another tool in your arsenal if you should decide to go down that route. 


Once your Psychotria is actively growing and gained some size remove mature leaves that have turned dark green and fold them in half and or into an accordion shape. Slide those leaves in the ground like that and keep humid and wet and you will likely have 30 more new Psychotria plants from each leaf in a matter of months.


Wish you luck, both grow like weeds once you get them established.

  • Thanks 1

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