Is My Plant Sick?


Hi there we have a fern type tree with a new growth is this diseased? If so how do we dispose?


It is difficult to tell from your photo however, it appears that your palm plant is definitely infected with either scale or aphids or both. Firstly, it is very important to isolate this plant from your other houseplants. Make sure that you check your other plants for a few weeks thereafter for infestation.

We receive numerous questions on how to deal with these pests. The following information on how to control these pests is from is from a few of our earlier posts:

Scale insects have a simple life cycle of egg, nymph (crawler), and adult.  Indoors, eggs can be laid any time under the protective shell.  The crawlers will look like tiny yellowish spots.  Scale can be controlled by rubbing the infested areas gently with a soft toothbrush or picking them off by hand.  If the infestation is large, you may need to spray the plant with a horticultural oil spray, which you’ll find at most good nurseries.  Follow the instructions on the bottle carefully and you may need to repeat the treatment several times.  It usually takes a month to six weeks to see any significant improvement.  In particular, you’ll want to treat the tiny crawlers as it’s at this stage that scale is easiest to control

To control aphids a strong blast of water from your garden hose can dislodge the adults along with repeated application of insecticidal soap to catch the nymph stages can help control the population of this leaf sucking insect. When spraying with insecticidal soap, make sure to spray both the tops and underside of the leaves.

If you decide not to treat your plant do not dispose of it in your compost,  however you can put it out for municipal yard waste pick up. They are able to treat the material at a very high heat which will kill all the eggs and nymphs on the plant.