bitmeh
Newly Registered
Posts: 6
Joined: Tue Nov 30, 2010 5:40 am
Location: Los Angeles

White Substance on my Indoor Plant

:cry:

I got this pretty indoor plant little over a year ago. The plant was doing well till a few weeks back when I noticed some white powdery substance on the leaves and the stem. I bought the Garden Safe Fungicide which I have sprayed once every week during the last 3 weeks. I also left the plant out in the sun for a few days to see if that helps. I now find that the leaves have started to brown a lot.

Would love some help on what I can do to save the plant. I don't know a lot but would hate to lose this lovely plant.

Thank you so much!

Hortman
Senior Member
Posts: 156
Joined: Tue Nov 02, 2010 4:00 pm
Location: Chicago area

Hello, bitmeh. Let’s see if we can save your indoor plant.
I don’t the name of your plant but leaving it out in the sun
is probably the cause of the leaves browning. Indoor plants
don’t want direct sun for any length of time. Give it indirect
light near a window.
As far as the white powdery substance is concerned, it’s most
likely powdery mildew and the Garden Safe should take care of it.
Just remember, don’t get the leaves wet when you water. That
will help the formation of the mildew. I hope that helps and keep
me posted on how your plant recovers.
Ken here with The Home Depot in the Chicago area

User avatar
applestar
Mod
Posts: 27894
Joined: Thu May 01, 2008 11:21 pm
Location: Zone 6, NJ (3/M)4/E ~ 10/M

Hmm, I wondered if they might be mealy bugs.
What kind of plant is it?

Good advice for powdery mildew issues, hortman, but what is Garden Safe?
I like using 10% Milk Solution for powdery mildew, even (or I might say particularly) for indoor plants. I spray the solution on the plant in the bathtub to prevent spray getting everywhere. It's easier to wash down the overspray that way. :wink:

bitmeh
Newly Registered
Posts: 6
Joined: Tue Nov 30, 2010 5:40 am
Location: Los Angeles

Thank you Hortman & Applestar!

It was a stupid idea to leave the plant out but I thought it will be ok since it wasn't actually sunny but was raining. If it is fungus, I think that additional moisture worsened the situation, right?

Unfortunately, I don't remember the name of the plant. It has long leaves. The leaves are slightly darker than lime color on the sides, but are dark green in the middle with white lines marking the boundary between the dark green and the dark lime color. Does that help?

Hortman: I was reading about powdery mildew but this seems to be different. The white powder is more like specks of chalk powder. All the leaves have 7-8 such specks. In one of the leaves which is badly affected, there are yellow spots under the white specks. Do you think it is powdery mildew?

I have been using Garden Safe Fungicide and have been spraying once a week as per the directions. Should I increase the frequency?

Thanks for the tip on watering the plant.

Applestar: I just read up a little about mealy bugs but that doesn't seem to be the problem. The powdery substance is more like specks of chalk powder as I mentioned above. What is the 10% Milk Solution?

If you don't mind sharing your email with me, I can mail you some images. If not, that is absolutely fine as well.

Thank you for your help.

User avatar
rainbowgardener
Super Green Thumb
Posts: 25303
Joined: Sun Feb 15, 2009 11:04 pm
Location: TN/GA 7b

post your pictures here.

Here's the instructions for posting pictures:

https://www.helpfulgardener.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=3724

Lots of people look who haven't commented yet, you never know who might be the one who recognizes your plant and its problem.

58 heads (the number of views your post has had so far) are better than one!
Twitter account I manage for local Sierra Club: https://twitter.com/CherokeeGroupSC Facebook page I manage for them: https://www.facebook.com/groups/65310596576/ Come and find me and lots of great information, inspiration

User avatar
applestar
Mod
Posts: 27894
Joined: Thu May 01, 2008 11:21 pm
Location: Zone 6, NJ (3/M)4/E ~ 10/M

I agree! :D

bitmeh
Newly Registered
Posts: 6
Joined: Tue Nov 30, 2010 5:40 am
Location: Los Angeles

RE: Indoor Plant

Thank you rainbowgardener and applestar. Here are the links now:

https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/CGrZqfkyzFrO3W35ea2HsWU-iv2rCz9H_NO1jIHlo9U?feat=directlink

https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/9IMCwpAHTSPgSywlLlfO_GU-iv2rCz9H_NO1jIHlo9U?feat=directlink

User avatar
Kisal
Mod Emeritus
Posts: 7648
Joined: Tue Jun 24, 2008 5:04 am
Location: Oregon

I'm pretty sure that's a mealy bug infestation. It's definitely not powdery mildew, anyway.
"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

DoubleDogFarm
Super Green Thumb
Posts: 6113
Joined: Mon Mar 29, 2010 3:43 am

Unfortunately, I don't remember the name of the plant. It has long leaves. The leaves are slightly darker than lime color on the sides, but are dark green in the middle with white lines marking the boundary between the dark green and the dark lime color. Does that help?
Is it a Spider Plant???


Eric

bitmeh
Newly Registered
Posts: 6
Joined: Tue Nov 30, 2010 5:40 am
Location: Los Angeles

RE: Indoor Plant

Thank you DoubleDogFarm & Kisal.

The white comma (,) like specks are neither attached to the plant nor do they move. I can easily brush them off actually. Are they still mealybugs? If so, what can I do to get rid of the bugs?

It is not a spider plant but is similar. The plant is taller as in it has a tall stem and the leaves are shorter & broader. I'll post a pics in a bit.

Thank once again!

User avatar
Kisal
Mod Emeritus
Posts: 7648
Joined: Tue Jun 24, 2008 5:04 am
Location: Oregon

Can you blow the white specks off the leaves of your plant, like blowing out a candle? I ask because, years ago, I thought one of my dieffenbachias had been attacked by mealy bugs. It turned out that some pollen had fallen on the leaves from a flowering plant that was hanging nearby. :roll: Of course, there would have to be a source for the pollen, for this to be the case with your plant. Are there any plants with open flowers near the plant you've shown pics of? (Btw, I'm guessing your plant is one of the Draecena genus that are commonly known as Corn Plant, but that's just a guess. :) )

I Googled that fungicide you mentioned, and according to what I read, it's neem oil. Sometimes, plant treatments can cause yellowing/browning of leaves. It might simply be that the spray was too concentrated for the particular species of plant, or it might be a reaction to one of the "inert ingredients". Some plants are more sensitive than others.
"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

bitmeh
Newly Registered
Posts: 6
Joined: Tue Nov 30, 2010 5:40 am
Location: Los Angeles

RE: Indoor Plant

That is a great guess! I think the plant belongs to that genus.. it looks very similar. Knowing the name has certainly helped me find some good information on the plant. For instance, I may have been watering the plant more than required.

I can't quite blow off the specks and don't have a pollinating plant close by. I can rub the specks off though. I just pruned the plant to get rid of all the heavily browned leaves. Incidentally those leaves also had a lot of the specks. And yeah, the fungicide could have been too strong for the plant.

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.

Thanks again for your help!

bitmeh
Newly Registered
Posts: 6
Joined: Tue Nov 30, 2010 5:40 am
Location: Los Angeles

RE: Indoor Plant

Confirmed! The name is Dracaena Lemon Lime (https://www.fantasticgardensaruba.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=8&Itemid=16)

User avatar
Kisal
Mod Emeritus
Posts: 7648
Joined: Tue Jun 24, 2008 5:04 am
Location: Oregon

Re: RE: Indoor Plant

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

Return to “Organic Insect and Plant Disease Control”