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How to Get White Stuff Off Houseplants

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You may think that houseplants, being indoors, would be protected from diseases and insect pests. Unfortunately, that is not the case. Insect pests can hitch a ride indoors on other plants and pets, and some houseplants are even infected or infested when purchased. The white stuff on your houseplants is likely mealybugs or powdery mildew. The former may be confused for the latter, according to the University of Minnesota Extension website.

Identifying Mealybugs

When on a plant, mealybugs look somewhat like tiny pieces of cotton stuck to the plant. In fact, the pests secrete a cottony substance in which to lay their eggs. Mealybugs cluster along the undersides of leaves and where the leaves meet stems. These sap-sucking pests drain a plant of its juices. A few mealybugs here and there probably won’t severely affect the health of your plants, but enough of them can cause the plants’ leaves to turn yellow and drop off.

Getting Rid of Mealybugs

Chemical methods usually are not recommended for getting rid of insect pests, especially on houseplants. Light infestations of mealybugs can be removed by picking them off the plants. Kill them first, if you prefer, by dipping a cotton swab in rubbing alcohol and dabbing the swab on the mealybugs. Because rubbing alcohol may damage or discolor some plants’ leaves, test it on an inconspicuous portion of a plant’s leaf before you use it on another portion of the plant. If a plant is heavily infested with mealybugs and is very weak or damaged as a result, then simply throwing away the plant may be the best option.

Identifying Powdery Mildew

Powdery mildew is a fungal disease. It usually appears in winter on plant leaves and flowers. Signs of the disease first appear as small, white spots that quickly grow and merge. Entire leaves may be covered with the thin, white layer of fungus, which may be mistaken for dust. Unlike dust, however, simply wiping off the substance is not enough to help an affected plant.

Getting Rid of Powdery Mildew

As with insect pests, chemical controls are not recommended for use in getting rid of powdery mildew, especially on indoor plants. Move an infected plant away from nearby plants, and then remove infected parts of the solitary plant. As you clip off infected leaves and/or stems, dip your cutting tool into bleach to disinfect it. Taking that measure helps to prevent the fungus from spreading to other parts of the plant. If an infection is severe, the plant may need to be thrown away, according to the Purdue Plant and Pest Diagnostic Laboratory website.

How to Get White Stuff Off Houseplants. You may think that houseplants, being indoors, would be protected from diseases and insect pests. Unfortunately, that is not the case. Insect pests can hitch a ride indoors on other plants and pets, and some houseplants are even infected or infested when purchased. The white …

White Leaf Spot Control – How To Treat White Spots On Plant Leaves

It’s late spring and the leaves of your trees are almost full sized. You take a walk under the shady canopy and look up to admire the foliage and what do you see? White spots on the plant leaves. If that tree you’re standing under is a nut tree, the chances are good that you’re looking at a case of downy leaf spot, also known as white leaf spot.

Control and elimination of this downy spot disease will probably be the next thing on your mind. You’ll want to know what to do for white spots on the leaves. Will it harm your tree? First, let’s take a closer look.

What is Downy Spot?

Early on, downy leaf spot presents itself as small (about 1/8 to 1/4 inch)(3 to 6 mm.), white, furry areas on the underside of the leaves, and pale green spots on the upper side. If some of those white spots on the plant leaves have fused together to become blotches, they should look like white powder. If the disease attacking your nut tree fits this description, you’ve got downy spot.

The proper name for your leaf destroyer is Microstroma juglandis. It is a fungus that commonly attacks host trees such as butternut, hickory, pecan and walnut trees. It’s found anywhere in the world where these nuts are grown.

Those white spots on the plant leaves are fungal structures and spores that thrive in the warming temperatures and rains of spring. As the downy spot progresses, the upper sides of the leaves become chorotic, that is, show yellowish spots that will eventually turn brown. Affected leaves will fall from the tree by early August.

As time passes, the ends of the branches may develop witch’s broom formations. The newly growing leaves will be stunted and malformed and will appear more yellowish than green. Many of the broom leaves will shrivel and die over the course of the summer, but before they do, these witch’s brooms can grow to be several feet (1 m.) in diameter.

White Leaf Spot Control – How to Treat White Spots on Plant Leaves

Unfortunately, the answer to what to do for white spots on the leaves of your nut tree is nothing. Commercial growers have the advantage of proper equipment to reach the full height of these trees and to spray the entire tree with commercial fungicides not available to the home owner with only one or two trees.

The good news is that the life of your tree won’t be threatened by white leaf spot. Control of future infections is largely a matter of good sanitation practices. All leaves, infected or healthy, and all shucks and nuts should be cleared and destroyed each winter or in the early spring before buds begin to swell. Infected leaves and nuts that are left to overwinter on the ground are major sources for new infections in the spring. Removing damaged twigs and limbs, including the unattractive witch’s broom, should also be practiced during the dormant season, if possible.

While downy leaf spot won’t kill your tree, any infection will weaken it and leave it vulnerable to more serious infections. Keep your trees well fertilized and watered, and they’ll stay strong enough to easily survive this fungal disease.

White spots on the plant leaves – what is it exactly? Read this article to learn more about downy leaf spot and what to do for these white spots on leaves. Click here for more information.