Strange Spots on Bird of Paradise

modernInvestorFebruary 11, 2014


About 8 months ago I purchased a large bird of paradise to place in my home. This is an indoor potted house plant that sits by the window.

Unfortunately, after about 1 month a red spider mite infestation began appearing. I treated this issue by wiping the plant down and introducing Bonide Systematic Granules Insect Control. It's been about 2 months and the Spider Mites appear to be gone.

However, recently on one of the leaves I have begun to notice strange, scabby looking brown spots. Much larger than the red spider mites. Upon closer examination it looks like a new infestation of a different type. However, I am not sure what it is. Pictures are attached.

Does anyone have any information on what exactly this is and why they are just appearing now after 8 months? How do I treat it?


This post was edited by modernInvestor on Tue, Feb 11, 14 at 13:05

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

Those are adult scale insects. They've either been lurking on your plant, brought from the garden center or some other plant in your home is infested and the insects have been shuffled around.

    Bookmark   February 11, 2014 at 2:22PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Wow, that's weird how I didn't even see the scale until after I clicked on the photo (what rotating a photo will do to your perspective, I tell ya!).

Yep, definitely scale. Be sure to check your other plants (if you have any) as these buggers do spread.


    Bookmark   February 11, 2014 at 2:48PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Planto, don't feel bad, I didn't see scale either. All I saw were brown spots that looked embedded in leaves.

Modern, did you buy the Bird of Paradise at Home Depot or a similar big-box store? Toni

    Bookmark   February 11, 2014 at 3:07PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Thanks for all of the responses.

Hopefulauthor, Yes, I purchased it at the Home Depot. Quickly learning that maybe the big box stores are not the best place to purchase plants.

Regardless, It's a big, beautiful white bird of paradise. 8 ft. tall. There is only one leaf that is (visibly) showing the scale bugs. I'm going to work hard to remove them and get everything under control.

    Bookmark   February 12, 2014 at 10:42AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Just because you don't see them on other leaves doesn't mean they're not present on other leaves btw. What you see are the adults, the "babies" are too small to see with the naked eye. Scale is notorious for spreading, so if you have any neighboring plants, just be sure to treat them as well as a precaution.

My Mom gave me a cactus a couple years ago from Lowes. I didn't see anything on it when I inspected it, but a couple weeks later, it was covered in scale and just about every one of its "neighbors" were showing signs of scale. I had to chunk everyone.


    Bookmark   February 12, 2014 at 3:28PM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
Christmas cactus help needed please!!
I inherited this plant from my uncle, he had it forever....
Stef Cunningham
Plant identification & care
The plant in photo was grown by my friend from cuttings...
What is this?
Noticed today that my 'perfect' Spider plant of the...
Ming aralia
I've had a Ming Aralia in my cubicle for almost 6 months...
Planting Zones
I need to know the Zone for Toronto, Ontario, Canada....
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™