Saturday, May 16, 2015

Help-My Indoor Palm Has Problems!

Rhapis Palm with Insect Problem

Indoor Potted Palm Problem

A recent email from Ernestine about a plant problem that needs a solution...

 My Rhapis Palm has mealy bugs as there are white masses on leaves and stems.  I have sprayed with Confidor two or three times, but, the palm still has white areas on leaves and stems.  Could you suggest a better solution for me to attack this pesty little beast!!! Thank you for reading my notation.


It sure looks like mealy bug but could possibly be some kind of scale. I personally would just wipe this off with a sponge or rag with some water/alcohol mixture or water/soap mixture. Another option is a hard spray from a hose to just rinse them off. This is best done outside, of course and must be repeated.

Mealybugs are hard to get rid of and the only other things I might use would be Safers Insecticidal Soap or 1600 X-clude. Don’t know if they are available where you live but if you do use them, make sure to always read and follow the label directions. 

In my opinion, it is always best to avoid using commercial pesticides and insecticides.

Most insects have an incubation period of 7-10 days so anything you do needs to be repeated every week for a month to 2 months to eradicate new generations as they appear.

Rhapis Palms have a lot of hiding places for bugs so it will be a challenge, but it can be done. I have done it before, you just need to keep treating until you are sure they are gone.

One more thing, removing any badly damaged leaves or fronds is often helpful. This physically removes a big part of your problem. However, with a palm do NOT cut off the newest leaf at the top of any stalk as this will stop further growth from this point.

Also, mealybugs may be present under the pot, in the pot, in or on the topsoil, on walls and carpets or anything nearby, so make sure to vacuum, wipe walls and basically keep the area clean as well as your plant. Read more about Rhapis Palm plant care...

Good luck with your Rhapis palm plant!

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