I'm an office worker in IT and have just enough knowledge of flora to know that these office plants are probably not healthy, but I have no clue what this is or what should be done with it.

I would appreciate any pointers, and I assume both plants suffering from this condition would welcome it as well.

enter image description here

Edit: Here is another, hopefully better picture

enter image description here

  • Hi Zovits, your picture is very inaccurate. Could you post a better one? If these are small white moldy beasts, they could in fact be fast-spreading / difficult-to-eradicate some orchid mites (Mealybugs) or spider mites.
    – J. Chomel
    Jul 11, 2017 at 8:30
  • 2
    Might be mealybug rather than scale, but this might be of interest gardening.stackexchange.com/questions/1761/… if you find any similar objects along with the white fluffy bits. If not, its just mealybug
    – Bamboo
    Jul 11, 2017 at 10:03
  • I'd say you need just a bit more visual detail on the pests for a confident answer. It could be mealy bugs. It could be aphid exoskeletons, maybe (but that would be a lot of them for not seeing any actual aphids). Jul 11, 2017 at 23:47
  • Can you visibly see any pests moving at any point? (e.g. when you jostle the leaves) Jul 11, 2017 at 23:51
  • 1
    @Shule so far I did not see any movement, nor any visible feet or legs.
    – zovits
    Jul 12, 2017 at 3:38

1 Answer 1


That I believe is white fly. I would take that plant into the shower and turn cold water on it. I would then transplant into fresh potting soil maybe a bit larger pot. Spray with the correct mixture of NEEM. Top and undersides of leaves.

What have you done with fertilization? How do you water? Have you used JUST potting soil in that pot? and is there a big drainage hole at the bottom and JUST potting soil in the pot?

  • Thank you for the answer! Fertilization: nothing. Should something be done? Watering: once a week with tap water until the soil can't take more and the rest drips from the drainage hole(s) in the bottom. I haven't used any kind of soil, the plant was bought in a store in this configuration (pot, soil, plant, without the pests). Drainage hole is definitely there, but as I did not plant it I can't say if there is anything else in the pot, but probably nothing else. Showering would be a wee bit difficult, as this is a quite large plant and we are in an office setting with no showers nearby.
    – zovits
    Jul 12, 2017 at 3:48
  • That would be difficult. Take it outside, use a nozzle that softens the spray so you aren't ripping the skin off this plant, just the eggs, adults should fly away and their 'honey dew' or excrement. While you are out there and after hosing your plant down to get rid of as much as you can, repot with new potting soil and a larger pot. I think you could go as large as 8 or 10". Just potting soil and use Osmocote 14-14-14 for fertilizer. You'll only have to use this twice per year. Follow directions. Spray with NEEM lightly. Keep an eye on your plant and if you see any more spray again.
    – stormy
    Jul 12, 2017 at 20:07
  • Thank you, I'll try to get these done and I'll return with the results. Meanwhile take my upvote as a token of my appreciation of your time.
    – zovits
    Jul 12, 2017 at 20:46

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