1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Leaf litter question

Discussion in 'Insects, Other Invertebrates & Arthropods' started by Sheldon13, Sep 29, 2019.

  1. Sheldon13

    Sheldon13 Arachnopeon

    25
    2
    3
    Texas
    Advertisement
    I'm looking around my yard for the few maple leaves that fall into my yard form a neighbor's tree and I realize I may need to find other options. I just moved into my home a month ago so I have not identified all trees/plants on the property yet. I did identify one though, that seems to leave a love of leaves on the ground. Its a hibiscus bush called Rose of Sharon. Does anyone know if hibiscus leaves are safe to use for leaf litter?
     
  2. moricollins

    moricollins Arachnoking Old Timer

    What are you planning to use the leaf litter for?
    Are there oak trees near you? Magnolia trees? Those seem to be among the favorite leaf litter varieties
     
  3. Sheldon13

    Sheldon13 Arachnopeon

    25
    2
    3
    Texas
    Oh sorry, yeah I guess that information would help.

    I have:
    Isopods (dwarf white, orange porcellionides pruinosis, wild armadillidium)
    Millipedes (bumblebee, scarlet)

    Leaf available:
    Magnolia-plentiful (too hard for isopods but ok for millis)
    Hibiscus-plentiful (not sure of safety)
    Pecan-moderate (not sure of safety)
    Maple-only a few
    Oak-rare
    Several other types of trees in and around my back yard that I haven’t identified yet so I don’t feel safe using the leaf litter from them yet
     
  4. chanda

    chanda Arachnoprince Active Member

    Are you certain that your neighbor does not spray his tree or treat it with systemic insecticides? If he does, then the leaves will not be safe to use with your pets. The same holds true for the trees on your own property if the previous owners might have sprayed or treated their trees and shrubs for bugs. Some of the systemic treatments can last for months - even up to a year.
     
  5. Sheldon13

    Sheldon13 Arachnopeon

    25
    2
    3
    Texas
    Well, Honestly no I'm note sure. I do boil all of the leaves though before use. Wouldn't that get rid of any cides?
     
  6. The Snark

    The Snark هرج و مرج مهندس Old Timer

    Probably want to avoid Pecan: Juglone.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  7. Sheldon13

    Sheldon13 Arachnopeon

    25
    2
    3
    Texas
    Didn’t even know what a jugalone was. Thanks for the heads up!
     
  8. Aquarimax

    Aquarimax Arachnoangel Active Member

    962
    447
    303
    Utah
    One thing to keep in mind is that magnolia leaves will eventually soften enough for isopods to eat. I offer my isopods magnolia, and though it takes a while, they eventually decay and soften to the point that the isopods eat them.
     
  9. Sheldon13

    Sheldon13 Arachnopeon

    25
    2
    3
    Texas
    Is there a way to speed up the decay? Do you soak them in water or something?
     
  10. Aquarimax

    Aquarimax Arachnoangel Active Member

    962
    447
    303
    Utah
    Honestly I just toss them in, but soaking them might speed things up a bit.
     
  11. Feral

    Feral Arachnosquire Active Member

    For what it's worth...
    I don't know about Isopoda, but for humans I know Rose of Sharon flowers are edible (So pretty in salads! But they're always filled with ants and teeny slugs though, so wash thoroughly) and the leaves and/flowers can be made into tea (Yum! Tastes just like hibiscus tea to me. The purple flowers make beautiful bright pink tea!).
    If it were me, and as long as I was certain I was correctly identifying the plant in question, and there were no chemicals anywhere near the plants ever, then I would feel reasonably confident trying them with my own aquatic shrimp and snails. (Or similarly Isopoda in your case, but I don't have them.)
    But just know that I've never actually done it or heard of it, and these are just my opinions.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  12. Jimbob

    Jimbob Arachnosquire

    57
    5
    8
    US
    My isopods love rose of sharon
     
    • Like Like x 1
  13. With magnolia because theyre hard leaves i crumple them up n mix them in the substrate for my isopods that favor leaves. Ive never tried using hibiscus leaves but i grow them for my tortoise so i might try it and tell you guys how it goes.
     
  14. I'd like to know about hibiscus too. I have some in my yard and the grasshoppers and mealy bugs love them, at least.