bitmeh wrote:To me, the soil looks kinda funny - slightly bunchy & brown. Should I change the soil? Is that a good idea in any case? But I don't want to take a chance trying to do too much.
I don't think I would repot just now. What you're seeing might only be a soil that contains a lot of organic material, possibly peat moss or coir. If you post more pics, why not include a shot of the soil surface?
It might be a good idea to give the plant a few weeks of rest, maybe even a month or two, to recuperate from the stress of the spraying and the removal of the damaged leaves.
Mealy bugs can easily be rubbed off the leaves, but you wouldn't be able to blow them off. They're sucking insects, and they don't move around once they're mature and have formed the white waxy covering. But they're only attached by their sucking mouth parts, with which they've pierced the skin of the plant, so it's not like they're really glued on tight.
After you've removed the damaged leaves, you can kill any remaining adult mealy bugs by touching them with a q-tip dipped in rubbing alcohol. The juveniles haven't formed the protective waxy covering yet, so they can be destroyed by spraying with a soap solution. Be careful to use a pure soap, not a detergent. Most dishwashing liquids are actually detergents, because detergents cut through grease much better than soap does. I use Dr. Bronner's unscented liquid soap for my plants. Gently stir 1 or 2 teaspoonfuls into a quart of water and spray it on until the plant is dripping with it. (I would start with 1 teaspoonful, and if you're still seeing adult mealy bugs after the second spraying, switch to 2 teaspoons of soap in a quart of water.)
Be sure to get the tops and bottoms of the leaves, and all sides of the stems. You'll have to repeat the spraying every 5 to 7 days, to kill any new bugs that hatch from eggs that might be present on the plant. Usually 4 sprayings will clear up an infestation.
"Isn't it enough to see that a garden is beautiful without having to believe that there are fairies at the bottom of it too?" - Douglas Adams