Houseplant scale.

Discussion in 'Gardening & Plant Propagation' started by dlangland, Jul 16, 2005.

  1. dlangland

    dlangland dlangland

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    I know this isn't a true gardening question, but wondered if anyone has a natural cure for a large tropical houseplant, unknown name, with scale. I don't believe in chemicals. Seems I have read homemade remedies using dishsoap, etc. I also can't understand why of all my many houseplants, this is the only one that is afflicted. Thank you. ;)
     
  2. Jen H

    Jen H Well-Known Member

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    Scale has a hard waxy coating, and the bugs themselves are underneath that sucked down tight to the plant. So there really isn't any kind of spray you can use. I just take the edge of my fingernail and scrape them off (icky, yes, but it's easy to wash your hands after). Scraping them off kills them. Keep this up once a week or so and you'll put a real dent in the problem - make sure you wash your hands before taking care of any other plants so that you don't transfer any of the mobile larva to anything else.

    Only the baby scale are mobile at all, and they don't move far. They're very light green and really small, but you can see them if you really look (I use reading glasses for extra magnification). They can't fly, they just crawl around looking for a good spot to suck down on. Once they're adults they don't move at all.

    The scale probably came in when you bought the plant to begin with. It can take a long time to notice an infestation.
     

  3. dlangland

    dlangland dlangland

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    I certainly appreciate it.
     
  4. Meg Z

    Meg Z winding down

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    I've had scale on a few or my orchids each year when I bring them in for the winter. I use alcohol to get the little buggers. Repot first, to get rid of what's in the soil. Spray the base while it's out, but not the roots. Spray bottle set on mist, alcohol diluted 1:1 with water, and spray well, including the base, the underside of the leaves, etc. I usually do it once a week for two or three weeks. It's a recommended solution for the orchids, and I've used it on other tropicals, too. It basically dessicates the scale, but it doesn't hurt the plants.

    Meg