scale on house plants

jessakaOctober 21, 2013

every time i get a new house plant it gets scale, and nothing cures it so i toss it out, wash down the walls, etc. and get another one, and it gets scale again. is there anyway i can combat this? thanks.

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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

Do you have a collection of plants at home? If so, have you inspected them thoroughly? If buying plants one at a time, is it from the same place? Do you very carefully examine plants at the garden center, under good lights?

You are either infesting new plants with an existing problem OR you are bringing the insects home from the garden center. Which do you think it is?

Scale insects don't need to result a death sentence for a plant. If caught very early, they can be kept at bay with simple horticultural oil applications (considered organic) .

Just out of curiosity, what kind of plants are you talking about?

    Bookmark   October 22, 2013 at 5:50AM
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i only have two house plants, and the other has never been infested. it is the boston fern sthat i buying at a grocery store. i tried things on ferns in the past and it never worked. so i think the boston fern came here with it. because aren't you saying, that if the plant is gone, then there is nothing more to infest others?

    Bookmark   October 22, 2013 at 6:25AM
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I think what Rhizo is suggesting is that if your boston is infected and you bring a new plant home that is also susceptible to scale,they will happily move many of their numbers to the fresh meat and soon the new plant is on a sad path as well.

I've had scale suck the life out of some of my favorite plants in the past...some recovered,others didn't. The one thing(for me) that worked was moving them outside last spring where the natural predators that eat scale could get at them...and did,thankfully.

Meanwhile seeing as this is likely not an option right now with winter knocking on our door,another approach will be necessary. When plants come inside after being out all summer they can become weaker for a bit while trying to adjust to their new surroundings and this is when even the tiniest cultures of scale will multiply like crazy. Pest tend to kick a plant when it's down.

When the scale returns(note I didn't say "IF")to my plants that are most staghorn fern and scheffleras come to mind,..I know that this time my plan of attack is to find and purchase an indoor sestimic type control.

The link below will take you to a conversation I found in the orchid forum where they are talking about the product I'm talking about. Good luck! :)

Here is a link that might be useful: Click for more info

    Bookmark   October 22, 2013 at 2:26PM
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thanks so much. i had a beautiful staghorn fern that i tried to save and couldn't. i hated getting rid of it. i even talked with a guy at a horticultural place. did not good. i got rid of this fern too, but i just want to get the scale away. have only one plant left now. will see what happens to it. looks healthy.

    Bookmark   October 22, 2013 at 2:52PM
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Hopefully it's not infected...Do you know what kind it is? Some plants don't have scale as a pest while others do...knowledge of what kind of plant you have at the moment will help narrow down whether or not you will even have a problem with those monsters, Guess I don't have to tell you that they LOVE staghorns,and that plant is my chief concern this winter seeing as I've grown mine for like 5 or so years from a little thing.

So if you don't know what kind of plant you have at the moment,feel free to snap a pic and show it to us. After getting an id on that plant we will be able to determine if scale will be a problem for it or not.

    Bookmark   October 22, 2013 at 3:52PM
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