Where to start? So I have two 14 inch containers of the normal green Aspiditra. They are in medium to bright exposure (no direct light) and are watered about two to three times a month in the winter. I fertilize in the spring and summer. I have had them about three years now and the last year and a half they have become a magnet for pests. I'm about at my wits end with this battle. They collect scale by the hundreds and now show signs of spider mites. First, they start off with little white particles that look like salt on the leaves and they do wipe off rather easy. I never see any of these white spots move. I think they must be a juvenile form of scale maybe? No pics at the moment...sorry. I also notice that the visible scale is very light in color not the dark brown I've seen before. These things literally cover the undersides of all the leaves down to the potting soil. I've done weekly baths (a pain in the butt) to keep the leaves clean and dust free, this also helps control the spider mites. Ive used just about everykind of spray I can find. I've dont the alcohol and neem and Bayers houseplant spray.....useless!
The question I have is--can I cut off all of the leaves and will the plants be ok. Will they resprout new leaves come springtime? I realize this isnt the best time to be so drastic with it being mid winter and all but something needs to happen. Can I then rinse out all of soil and replant them in new mix and leave them in a dormant state? Is this possible? I have four variegated Aspidistras that now show the same problem. My Aspidistras are the only plants in my collection with this problem fortunately...knock on wood.
The leaves look a mess with all the holes from where scale has been and the spider mites have done there damage as well on the underside of the leaves. Eventually they turn yellow and I cut them off. I really don't want to loose these plants as they were rather pricy to buy. They have also become my favorite foliage plants.
Any help is greatly appreciated. They truly are wonderful plants apart from this problem. If I can post pics later I will. Thanks for any help. Kyle