Return to the House Plants Forum | Post a Follow-Up

 o
white cottony stuff on my pothos?

Posted by blutarski (My Page) on
Wed, May 28, 08 at 22:07

There are these little bits of very white fluffs that seem to gather on the tips or the 'crease' of my jade pothos. I don't see any bugs or sappy stuff I would consider honeydew. The leaves don't look to be in distress, either.

what is this?


Follow-Up Postings:

 o
RE: white cottony stuff on my pothos?

Does the fluff look anything like this?

Here is a link that might be useful: Mealie Bugs


 o
RE: white cottony stuff on my pothos?

Pls. clarify if it's a Jade or a Pothos (2 very different plants from different families); may react differently to the remedy.

White cottony is mealy bugs, very contagious to other plants nearby, you'll need to isolate this.

Take Q tips, dip in alcohol & swab away the cottony, you'll need to do this every 2 or 3 days, especially if there's a lot of cottony.

If if were mine I'd say: if it's a Pothos (Epipremnum), throw it out; readily available & easy to replace.

If it's a Jade (Crassula) it may be worth saving depending on how big the plant is & how bad the infestation is.


 o
RE: white cottony stuff on my pothos?

Whatever the plant is, if its mobile (ie, easy to pick up and take outside) put it outdoors and "powerwash" the leaves with a strong spray from the hose. Then go to Target/Walmart/Home Depot/Lowes/your nearest independent nursery and buy Neem oil and a hand held spray bottle.

Mix up about a half gallon of Neem and spray the plant completely. All leaf surfaces, tops, bottoms, stems. Water with Neem too as a systemic.

Then, either save your used coffee grounds for a day or two of get them from Starbucks, and use them as a top dressing around the plant in the pot. Add fresh grounds every week. Or, you can brew a cup of strong coffee, dilute it with water in a ratio of 10:1 with water, and use it to water the plant with until its gone (being outside, the plant will be able to take watering every other day or so. If you can't leave the plant out that long, water with the coffee water every time you would normally water indoors,)the alkaloids in coffee have been shown to kill mealies, scale and other bugs

Use the Neem treatment every 7 days for 3 weeks. If you see new bugs before 7 days, you can use it every 3-5 days. If you can't leave the plant outdoors during all this, just take out to spray then bring back in when dry.

Using alcohol on the bugs will kill them, BUT, mealies are notorious hiders, and they lay their eggs in the soil and in cracks and crevices in the pots as well. That is why you get repeat infestations of mealies so very easily, because you kill the bugs on the plant and they are simply replaced with new hatchlings. Serial treatment is crucial, soil treatment as well as treating the plant.

If your infestation recurs, you may need to spray the container itself (not the plant) with Malathion, or you may been to repot into a new container.

As pirategirl said, if the plant is a common one and cheap and easily replaceable, its better usually just to throw it out and get a new one than to deal with mealies.


 o
RE: white cottony stuff on my pothos?

yep, it looks like mealies. darn. I like this plant, but i'm just not into a huge clean up process that might not work.


 o
RE: white cottony stuff on my pothos?

Sorry, Blu, it's not really optional, if one's gonna collect plants, it's almost an occupational hazard. Bound to happen some time, sooner or later.

But one can always learn from it, & improve one's growing habits from carefully inspecting plants before purchase (esp. UNDER the leaves & at the juncture of the leaves & stems where mealies esp. love to be); to always isolating or quarantining plants when one first buys them. One sets them aside AWAY from the rest of the collection for a month or so to be sure they don't have any bugs, then adds them into the collection.

Prevention, always better than a cure, part of the learning curve.


 o
RE: white cottony stuff on my pothos?

My favorite fix for mealybugs is to mix one part rubbing alcohol to three parts water (or even stronger) in a plant mister and use that to spritz your plants thoroughly a couple of times a week.


 o
RE: white cottony stuff on my pothos?

If you plant is a decent sized pothos, you might want to strip some of the infected leaves/stems off in order to spray the rest of the plant with better results.
If your plant is a jade, it will should be easier to get to the bugs since the leaves are out in the open and flat. I had some mealies on a jade once and one or two treatments was all it took!

Billy Rae


 o
RE: white cottony stuff on my pothos?

I'm not sure why everyone is confused as to whether this is a jade plant or a pothos under discussion. Blutarski said it was a jade pothos, which is what a pothos with dark green leaves and no variegation is commonly called.

I would second the advice to toss the plant, unless it very special to you. Of all the common houseplant pests, I've found mealy to be the most difficult to get rid of, even with persistant alcohol spraying.


 o
RE: white cottony stuff on my pothos?

I now see there is a Jade Pothos, although I have never heard the name "jade" pothos before now. Has the all green pothos ALWAYS been called by those two names?

Billy Rae


 o
RE: white cottony stuff on my pothos?

Ditto Billy Rae's comments, apologies, I didn't know either.


 o Post a Follow-Up

Please Note: Only registered members are able to post messages to this forum.

    If you are a member, please log in.

    If you aren't yet a member, join now!


Return to the House Plants Forum

Information about Posting

  • You must be logged in to post a message. Once you are logged in, a posting window will appear at the bottom of the messages. If you are not a member, please register for an account.
  • Please review our Rules of Play before posting.
  • Posting is a two-step process. Once you have composed your message, you will be taken to the preview page. You will then have a chance to review your post, make changes and upload photos.
  • After posting your message, you may need to refresh the forum page in order to see it.
  • Before posting copyrighted material, please read about Copyright and Fair Use.
  • We have a strict no-advertising policy!
  • If you would like to practice posting or uploading photos, please visit our Test forum.
  • If you need assistance, please Contact Us and we will be happy to help.


Learn more about in-text links on this page here