WHite Spots on my Bird of Paradise please help!

pepibomSeptember 18, 2011

I have owned a bird of paradise now for about 2 years it is situated in a south westerly window with some decent light. Over the last few months I have noticed what appears like little white dots all over on top and bottom of some leaves and also at the base of the plant. They are very easy to wipe off with your hand...and as I have been doing, with a an alcohol/water mixture. --- they are not fuzzy as I have seen posted around the web for scales. They are sort of "dry" and look like little fried eggs if you will. When I pull back a leaf at the base of the plant there are bunches of these "accretions".I have two photos linked below with some closeups...I hope someone can help. The plant is not the healthiest (with leaf curling, some dull green to yellowing occuring)I try to clean these spots off but they keep coming back!



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I believe those ARE scale. Mealy bugs are fuzzy and white even cottony if you will. I battle these constantly and unfortunately they are very difficult to get rid of.....completely any way. They also LOVE the flat leaves of a bird of paradise plant. I recently received three orange BOP and am hoping to keep these away. I have lost many white BOP to these stupid things. I believe they make honeydew which is a sticky substance and that can eventually cause more problems like fungus or disease.

You mentioned it's not looking the best. If the plant is stressed out it is a calling card for pests. This also will make it more difficult to rid the pests. The location it's in sounds right to me for these plants. They like sun.

I would definitely keep wiping the plant down with a solution of rubbing alcohol water and some mild dish detergent. Use a cloth and wipe the leaves on top and under, stems and all. I'm hopin someone else will chime in here because like I said I have these pests myself. I just wiped down a couple of cast iron plants myself-- talk about time consuming. If it's bad or becoming a bother you might consider finding a new plant- although two years is a long time to have a plant. These plants however I find are rather easily attainable. They are a lovely plant to add to a collection and really add a tropical feel. Good luck on the battle!!!


    Bookmark   September 18, 2011 at 8:48PM
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tapla (mid-MI z5b-6a)

Horticultural oils labeled 'Summer', 'Perfect', and 'All-Season' are effective against scale, mealybug, and mites and very safe. Also very effective are systemic insecticides. Bayer makes an over-the-counter product called '3-in-1' (not to be confused with their product labeled 'All-in-1'). The 3-in-1 preparation contains a systemic insecticide, a systemic fungicide, and a miticide, all of which are approved for use on houseplants; however, any spraying should be done outdoors and the foliage allowed to dry before returning the plant to its indoor location. 2 applications 2 weeks apart should clear up even severe scale & mealybug infestations.

I realize the pics show mostly scale in the crawler stage, but if all you actually had was mites, I'd opt for insecticidal soap or hort oil applications rather than the systemic insecticides. With hort oils complete plant coverage, including under sides of foliage and leaf axils (crotches), is essential for elimination of target species.

As always, read labels carefully & follow instructions.


    Bookmark   September 18, 2011 at 9:15PM
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