HD is selling aloe gall mite infected plants!

May 6, 2010

Don't mean to scare people.

I was at HD earlier today and look what I saw - couldn't believe my eyes!

Just make sure you check your plants thoroughly and also anything that's sitting in its vicinity.



Comments (20)

  • rosemariero6

    Awhile back I was making my rounds to the local Home Depots (checking out sux) & I came across a large Aloe with a big honker on it like that. I went & got the sales person/employee to show them & explain they should remove it so as not to infect the other plants. They just looked at me like "Yea, right..we'll do that." Didn't seem the least concerned or figured I didn't know what I was talking about. You try to help...but get reactions like this & think "why did I bother?"

  • juper

    Same thing happened to me at Target a couple of weeks ago (mite damage was not as bad); I followed the sales guy and made sure he removed the plant.
    But now, I think, they shouldn't be removed - they should be there as a big red flag for people to see! J

  • bunnygurl

    I've never seen that before. What exactly are these kinds of mites?

  • hoovb zone 9 sunset 23

    Aloe gall mites are Aceria aloinis.

    Here is a link that might be useful: aloe mite article

  • pirate_girl

    Why not try something like calling the Health Dept. Then if they say 'well they're plants, we only deal in people' ask them who governing authority for diseased plants would be.

    Otherwise, one could try the CDC, Center for DISEASE Control in Atlanta.

    If that happened to me here in NYC, I suppose I'd try the local Dept. of Parks & Recreation.

    Speaking locally w/ HD employees is probably useless, as they are powerless. Might calls or correspondence to corporate headquarters be considered?

    (At the HD I frequent in Manhattan, one of the plant guys there told me that they water TWICE a day & he has suggested to them repeatedly that that's too much water, but they persist.)

  • norma_2006

    Call the Dept. of Ag. inspector. Not the Animal Shelter, or Atlanta Dept. of health or Weight and Measures. Norma

  • norma_2006

    Where are you located if you are afraid to do so, I will call and get instructions if it is illegal. Where are these Home Depot stores, and does these plants have a label as who sold them to home depot. If you have Aloe these can infect your whole collection, and endanger the others growers as well, some people may think it is pretty and really don't know any better, are not informed, Home Depot doesn't have a sign that reads infected plants, don't buy me. Norma

  • wantonamara Z8 CenTex

    One should find out who the grower is.

  • amccour

    Judging from the tags in the pics I'd wager it's Altman Farms that's growing them.

  • juper

    I'm pretty sure i saw 'cactuscollection' on the label - which is part of Altman Plants outfit.
    This particular store is in Emeryville CA which is about ten minutes drive from Berkeley.

  • norma_2006

    Okay then I will check with Agrig. Dept. on Monday, tomorrow my day is planned. Thanks for reporting this and showing me the pictures, we must protect our cactus and succulent industry. Now I would like to know for the group is the mite dangerous to other species as well? I must warn my friends who grow Aloe as well. All Aloe with this disease must be burned. Berkely Gardens had trouble with a Oak disease the destroyed many our Native Calif. Oaks, when we visited that Garden we had to walk through water that killed what ever they didn't want to spread. It's a good idea to clean tools you cut with so not to spread diseases from species to species, if you use a pesticide in youur soil, you are pretty safe from mealies and most other nasty things that can destroy your plants, now you know what I don't buy from any stores that carry diseased plants. I spy on my plants every morning and every now and then I catch mealies on new growth. Rid of all soil from new plants and spray the new plant. Soap and Water with no detergent will work using 1.5 tbs of soap per gal of water in a hand held spry bottle. Good nite all, it is midnight. Norma

  • jojosplants

    This is horrible!
    I really get tired of the "don't care" attitude that HD and Lowes have.

    I see some good suggestions, and hope you can turn them in to someone and have this stopped.

    As Norma points out, it is a serious mite! The plants must be destroyed!

    From what I can see from here, it does look like cactuscollection. Grown by Altmans. They supply all the big box stores here.

    I'm like Norma, I like to go around and look at all my plants in the morning with my coffee in hand. :)


  • therease

    Hello Everyone,

    Just letting you know that Altman Plants are also concerned about the aloe mite. Unfortunately, it seems to have found a home in much of the environment. We have a vigilant detection program at the nursery and destroy any infected plants that we discover. Of course, we would never knowingly ship out product that has been infested. If you have a plant that has been infested with aloe mites, the best thing to do is to throw out the plant. Even with utmost scrutiny, the mites could possibly get past us, because of their microscopic size. In addition, the plants often become infected after they have been delivered to a garden center.

    In a determined effort to find a solution to this invasive pest, Altman Plants has a research program designed to find new ways of dealing with this problem at the Center for Applied Horticultural Research, a non-profit research center. Hopefully, one day it wonÂt be the nuisance that it is today.

  • cactusmcharris, interior BC Z4/5

    Dear Therease,

    Thank you for the explanation - I infer that you're speaking officially on behalf of Altman's, so I wonder if you could answer me this question.

    If the chain of custody went from Altmans to Cactus Collection to Home Depot, at what point does the Aloe gall appear and ignored? The particular plant in question had, in my opinion, unquestioningly been in that condition for three months, so you should perhaps make a concerted effort with all of your partners to completely eradicate the affected plants from the inventory.

    Again, thanks for the explanation, but with all of the plants affected (mainly, it seems, from the maculate group of Aloes), wouldn't it be in your best interests to completely eliminate affected plants from all of your greenhouses?

    I've seen this treated before successfully with Cygon (which I think is banned in California now) but I dislike very much using powerful organophosphate systemic insecticides.

    Thanks for your response.

  • juper

    I understand that aloes infected with 'aloe cancer' exhibit the lesions/gall formation long after that particular plant has been infected.

    So, how do you ensure that aloes sitting next to or in the general vicinity of the one(s) with lesions would not be affected by the disease.
    In other words, Looking for cancer lesions and then destroying the infested plants does not eliminate the possibility of other aloes being infected. Am I correct?

    I have purchased a number of Altman aloes through target/homedepot and I am very concerned about the possibility of my plants being infested by the disease. Thanks, -J

  • pirate_girl

    Hi Norma,

    Thanks for sharing your results w/ us, this way if other folks see it or anything else equally undesireable, we'll know who to contact.

  • norma_2006

    What worries me is the Huntington does buy plants from Altmans, we have plants that are one of a kind, and the only one in this country that we know of. What it is infected before we can tissue culture the plant, what if Kelly Griffith's plants are infected. Or the new ones that Karen is working on. It seems that it grows very fast. I have already spotted it in Phoenix, and one nursery here in Calif. he destroyed all of his plants and was a responsible grower, he passed away last year. As a beginner I know what Aloe mite looks like why don't professional nurseries. The big nurseries ship all over the world. I notified the Huntington Gardens, also other friends that buy and grow quiet a few Aloe. I will notify all of my club members, and I hope they pass the word through the succulent community. When it effects your pocket book, or the bottom line of profit, it becomes a big problem. I have approx 150 Aloe, this scares me. will not proof this. Norma

  • sagebrush36

    Notify your 'consumer reporter' of your local TV station and let them know. One way to make a business like HD take notice is to give them a dose of bad publicity.


  • warrengk

    i saw an aloe at the home depot in my town, looks exactly like the photo above, same aloe, same pot. i didnt know what it was, i didnt buy it, but i got some cool euphorbias on the next isle over. is this mite specific to aloes? or all cacti? what is the chance that the other cactus there would have it?

  • norma_2006

    Did any of you who are alarmed call any one to do something about it. I don't buy from those stores, but you do, so do what you expect others to do for you, call the right people. Atlantic Disease control is for humans, the Humane Society is for pets, Weights and measures is just that, so gold can be the real stuff, and no one is cheating on weight, and contents not full of bugs, in the produce that we buy and grains that we use. DID ANY OF YOU BOTHER TO DO THE RIGHT THING. Crasulady2

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