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The genus is relatively trouble free but root mealy-bug can sometimes occur.

Watering with a suitable insecticide (imidacloprid is particularly good as the active ingredient) once during the autumn is suggested as a prophylactic measure. Western flower thrips are often seen on conophytum flowers, but they do not seem to do any damage.

Spraying with a contact insecticide during the growing season will provide some control. Sometimes snails and tortrix moth caterpillars start munching the plants and both are best hunted at night.

General hygiene and appearance of conophytums is improved by carefully removing old sheathes after the new leaves have broken through. Removal of dead flowers avoids them becoming a source for botrytis (a fungal disease).


Over-watering may cause conophytums to burst, this may allow fungi to attack the plant and seriously damage or even kill it.

When you notice that the plant has burst, sprinkle some flowers of sulphur onto the open wounds and allow to heal.  If there is any moribund tissue it is a good idea to remove it before treating the plant with a fungicide.  Sometimes it isn't necessary to use a fungicide, the wound may callus on its own - adjust your watering regime.

See Pests or Diseases for more details on controlling them.


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