Spider Mite Damage
- Spider mites are small arachnid pests related to spiders and are more likely to attack phlox plants during hot and dry summers. Spider mites make tiny pinprick piercings into phlox leaves to suck the juices out. After mites are done feasting the leaves will dry out, turning yellow or brown, and bearing minute greenish yellow spots from the bite marks.
Confirming Spider Mite Infestation
- Once you have seen the dying leaves and tiny discolorations you need to confirm that you are dealing with a spider mite infestation rather than a different problem. To confirm a mite infestation on your phlox plant, shake the affected leaf over a piece of white paper. Spider mites are very tiny, so look at the debris that you've collected and watch for moving specks.
Spider Mite Removal
- Once you have confirmed that you are dealing with a spider mite infestation you will need to get them off your phlox. Use a water hose and handheld water sprayer to blast the pests from the plants. Spray the entire plant from different angles to remove as many of the mites as possible. If spraying fails to remove the mites, you can use insecticidal soap or horticultural oil. Miticides from a garden center can be used on severe infestations.
Healthy Phlox Prevents Mites
- There are numerous types of phlox, including short varieties called moss phlox to tall elegant stocks of garden phlox. Healthy phlox of all varieties are less likely to be affected by spider mites than ill nonthriving plants. To help your phlox thrive plant it in an area where it will get lots of sun then water and fertilize it regularly. Keep phlox away from fences and other structures that will hinder air circulation as this can increase the likelihood of pests and diseases, according to the University of Minnesota Extension. Remove or treat ill plants to reduce the risk of spider mites from attacking.