White fuzz killing plant

Freya.RagnarOctober 2, 2012

I recently noticed these white, web-like, balls of fuzz on the surface of my plants leaves. I didn't think much of it at first but then the plant began to wilt and the leaves are now yellowing and falling of quickly. I looked into a few forums but found no definitive answers. (Although I've tried increasing airflow around the plant.)

Help would be very, very appreciated. Thank you!

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brodyjames_gw

You have mealy bugs. Isolate that plant immediately and check any nearby plants for the same "fuzz". Unpot the plant and check the roots. If they are not slimy or foul smelling, repot into a mix with at least 50% perlite. If you have isopropyl alcohol, I would get a q-tip and soak it in the alcohol and then swab each and every piece of fuzz you see as well as anything that looks like a small, whitish potato bug (you might call it a roly-poly). Check every nook and cranny on your plant. I would then monitor your plant over the next couple of days. Swab with alcohol if you see any more. You may water it, but don't let the soil stay moist. What kind of plant is it? It's hard to tell by your photo.

Nancy

    Bookmark   October 2, 2012 at 7:37PM
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rachelthepoet(7)

The timing of this post is perfect! (Not that I wish mealy bugs on anyone!) I noticed white fuzzy spots on my new parlor palm (I've had it for almost 3 weeks) a few days ago, but I haven't seen any bugs. I researched all yesterday and did the alcohol q-tip thing this morning. If I have time, I'll go buy a bag of perlite tomorrow for repotting.

Are mealy bugs a fall thing?

    Bookmark   October 2, 2012 at 8:04PM
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meyermike_1micha(5)

Mealy bugs are an all year thing if not controlled once notice. The key is to inspect your plants at all times and to know what you are looking before, before that pest takes hold.

Mike

    Bookmark   October 2, 2012 at 8:13PM
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meyermike_1micha(5)

Mealy bugs are an all year thing if not controlled once notice. The key is to inspect your plants at all times and to know what you are looking before, before that pest takes hold.

Mike

    Bookmark   October 2, 2012 at 8:17PM
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tifflj(6 Pitts, PA)

Mike, Can you tell me how one with two small children can check their plants at all times?

Tee hee hee. I am kidding and feeling like a smart a**.
Sorry. ;)

Thank you for the picture of the mealy bug problem. It is helpful to see what to look for should I ever run across this problem. I am sorry you are dealing with this and wish you the best of luck. Please let us know if these solutions work and the plant survives. :)

    Bookmark   October 2, 2012 at 9:48PM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

Once you get done cleaning the mealybugs you can see with the swabs, keep a small misting bottle handy with a solution of one part alcohol to three (give or take) parts water. The mist will be able to get into the little nooks and crannies where the littlest pests are lurking. When sprayed under the leaves, it can get to the spider mites, too.

Rachel, you shouldn't have to worry about repotting. Just make sure that you haven't spread the mealies from place to place with your hands.

I've used isopropyl alcohol for years on nearly all of my plants with no problems whatsoever. Avoid misting plants that are sitting in the full, direct sun, and don't mix a whole bunch of other stuff when you use the alcohol. Don't spray on flowers and do a leaf test on any plants that might be sensitive.

    Bookmark   October 3, 2012 at 5:36AM
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greenlarry(UK 8/9)

Hmm, and I thought Mealy Bugs only affected cacti and other succulents!

    Bookmark   October 3, 2012 at 8:46AM
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pirate_girl(Zone7 NYC)

Don't know why you thought that GLarry, Mealy Bugs can affect all kinds of plants.

    Bookmark   October 3, 2012 at 1:52PM
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greenlarry(UK 8/9)

Pirategirl, the reason I thought that is because I never had mealy bugs, until I got a greenhouse full of C&S. Then wham, mealy bug cafe!

    Bookmark   October 3, 2012 at 3:58PM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

Well, they do seem to especially love succulents. But they can be found on a very wide list of plants, that's for sure.

    Bookmark   October 3, 2012 at 4:06PM
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greenlarry(UK 8/9)

I think its the heat attracts em. Im in England, cold wet summers. But in a greenhouse it can still reach 30�C (90�F)

    Bookmark   October 3, 2012 at 4:40PM
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