spider mites

We're having a terrible drought where I live and spider mites have been are nightmare. I've sprayed my large number of inpatients with several insecticides including a systemic and these pests keep coming back. Today I bought Neem Oil to try. has anyone had a problem using this product on flowers such as impatiens, orchids, geraniums etc?
Also black-leg rot is killing off many of the geraniums and impatiens. I'm about to give up for the summer...... :-(
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I know that spider mites hate water. In the beginning of the spidermite period I used to shoot my roses with a strong spray of water. It knocks off quite a bit. The sunspray oil worked but also burned in summer, maybe Neem oil would do the trick. There were a few other things we used for spider mites but I hate chemicals and prefer non-toxic.
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wrote:

I sprayed them with water every other evening when I watered and that did nothing to get rid of the mites. I don't like using chemicals either but the numbers of mites and number of afflicted plants were totally out of hand. :(
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On Tue, 28 Aug 2007 14:08:02 -0500, "Manelli Family"

If the mites are sprayed with a warm soapy solution it will kill the adults but not the eggs. Spray under the leaves. Repeat every 3-4 days. You will also need alternate with another product as mites become resistant to any one product.
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I'm having success with the systemic insecticide on the impatiens in pots on the porch. Those in the ground are impossible to spray under the leaves. It's so late in the season I'm going to let those in the garden just die off.
I will start to alternate with neem oil and Bug-B-Gon this weekend.
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Just spraying isn't going to work unless you also really give a good blast to the under sides of the leaves. They'll hide out where the water doesn't hit. I have a 40 wand type thing that has adjustments for showers/sprays. I turn it so that I can run it close to the ground under the plants and blast the spray UP until everything is good and soaked. This seems to work even during the worst hot weather spider mite attacks with my garden. I use Neem oil as a last resort (white flies...arrgh!) and only spray very late in the afternoon so the Neem is not still wet on the plant the next day to avoid burns. Blasting with water takes care of the spider mites and aphids if you make sure you get under the leaves and in the crooks and crannies, and do this several days in a row.
Val
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I have a water wand and did that every other day as best as I could with the garden plants. But then they started to succumb to root rot. Most of the impatiens in the ground have died. I've been growing them for 20 years without a problem. I see improvement in the potted ones as they're showing new growth. I sprayed the hell out of them in the workroom sink and then drenched them in a systemic spray every other day. I think I'll save the potted ones as long as they don't get black-leg like those in the ground. These are the double rose type and I don't want to lose them.
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