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I posted before about the powdery mildew affecting my verbena plants. I have now observed that some leaves have died, and small (1 mm or less) insects are present. They're mobile so not eggs, white and not obviously winged so they may be a larval stage. I'm looking for identification, and whether they are just feeding off dying leaves (in which case why are they still amongst the dead leaves), or caused the leaves to die. I am not seeing them on the healthy leaves. The plants seem otherwise okay, and starting to flower.

Flowering

Flowering

Dead leaves Dying leaves

Bugs Dead leaf with insects

More bugs more bugs on dead leaves

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    How old are these plants? By the seeded buds they look quite old. These are annuals as you know and when an annual is allowed to produce any seed the annual can then die. They've done their one and only job, to produce seed for the following year. To make your annuals last longer DEADHEAD ruthlessly!! This will make your annuals vigorous, huge and you won't be able to keep up with the dead heading. Once annuals produce seed they just curl up and die. If one dead heads RUTHLESSLY they will keep trying to make babies, get bigger and produce so many flowers you'll be blown away.
    – stormy
    Apr 15, 2016 at 21:00
  • And last the entire season until frost...!
    – stormy
    Apr 15, 2016 at 21:01
  • They were planted mid spring, I.e. November Apr 15, 2016 at 21:19
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    Mid-Spring in New Zealand is November. Wow. I have to work to imagine, grins! But to have those kind of buds/seeds is cool if you are making seed. Otherwise, they are still annuals and I wouldn't allow an annual to make seed at all until close to season ending. Ummmm, what is your winter like? CUT THOSE flowers off as soon as you can stomach it. I was hired to 'color' and landscape the entrances to developments. Once a week I'd go and cut off all the flowers. Passerbys would be horrified. I told them to come back in a week. They were blown away by the color and vigor.
    – stormy
    Apr 15, 2016 at 21:31
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    Hi Graham Chiu! By any chance can you answer this? Did you figure it out, and how to handle it? It's a good question and it's in the unanswered queue, so if you want to add an answer that would be great. If not, no problem! Thanks! Aug 30, 2018 at 3:14

1 Answer 1

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They look like eggs. I'd spray them with water to try wash them off. Cut off the dead flowers unless it's time to save seed. Leaves at the bottom are brown and limp. Has there been drought? Any stress can cause a plant to be vulnerable to insects and disease.

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