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Brown-Leaves-on-Wild-Ginger.jpg

Brown Leaves on Wild Ginger

I’ve had several beds of wild ginger around our shady yard for more than 30 years. It’s been a great groundcover. A couple of years ago, I noticed some leaves were turning brown. I found tiny white insects on them. Someone told me they were white flies. I tried spray, but it didn’t seem to do any good.

Canadian ginger is relatively pest free.  The insect you found may not be causing the symptoms you described.  White fly can be a pest on a wide variety of plants.  Fortunately for northern gardeners these pests do not survive the harsh winters.  They come into the landscape on bedding plants or whitefly infested houseplants that move outside for the summer.  You may want to check your watering practices and soil drainage.  A droughty summer can cause browning on the ginger.  It usually survives, just looks a bit stressed. Root rot can result from excess rains, over watering and poor drainage.  This too can cause the plants to brown.  Though we can’t control the weather we can add organic matter to the soil to improve drainage, mulch to conserve moisture and when we do need to water, water thoroughly but less frequently.

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