I have a white residue spreading across my dracaena at home. I tried wiping it with wet sponge when it was on one leaf only but its come back and spreading across now 50% of the plant. Some of the leaves are turning brown as well. The white residue doesn't move to naked eye. When I looked through jewellers loop they look like grains of rice. Soil looks clear - but they are on the stem as well as leaves. Please help! Can I save this plant? Should I cut off any browned leaves?
I think the white things are insects (scales), they suck sap from the plant which is of course harmful for the plant. You see that yellow spots exists where they were sucking. You can try to wipe them away with a wet towel, and maybe use some biological pesticide.
The brown leaves are not caused by these insects, but is probably a sign of too much water, or too much direct sunlight.
Meet the mealybug family:
A sap-sucking unarmored scale that is commonly considered a pest because it weakens the plants it feasts upon, its sugary excrete can feed and foster fungal infections and they can transmit diseases by biting into the leaves.
So you want to get rid of them. From manual removal (wipe often, note that they tend to hide in crevices) over biological methods (beneficial insects, fungi) to insecticides, topical or systemic, there are various options. Removing the browned leaves won’t help, though.