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Are those spots on my plant at my desk at work anything to worry about?

  • there are some tiny white specks, as Stormy says in a comment below - but if its whitefly, you can check by giving the plant a little shake - they should rise up in a sort of cloud....they seem to be on leaves attached to that yellowed stem, centre of the plant, but I'm not sure from the image. Check the whole plant closely...
    – Bamboo
    Dec 9 '17 at 0:40
  • @Bamboo I have tried to do that little shake and I have not seen this little cloud ever happen. I am quite disappointed! Maybe the leaves get so sticky over time with honey dew that the white fly are able to stay stuck to the leaf and can survive weird earthquakes? Grin!
    – stormy
    Dec 9 '17 at 3:22
  • @stormy you've obviously found nymphs rather than adults then - adults will fly up if you blow on the plant, if they're present, though to be fair, they usually are present if there are nymphs
    – Bamboo
    Dec 9 '17 at 13:35
  • That's partly true. There are always different generations going on when I've taken the time to look with my trusty little loop. Maybe my eyesight is so bad I've never seen them flying? I see 'em I neem 'em...well, depending on the plant and timing. They loved my peppers last year and I had tons of peppers coming on and the leaves were peppered with white fly. Lots of flowers. So I just let it go. Gooey, sticky leaves. Great harvest of peppers out of 4 and some 6 inch pots. But although I know that they fly up when shaken they've never done it in front of me, sigh.
    – stormy
    Dec 9 '17 at 20:32
  • @stormy - just be grateful - its horrible being enveloped in a cloud of whitefly!
    – Bamboo
    Dec 9 '17 at 21:03

Your plant appears to be Zamioculcus zamiifolia (more easily known as ZZ plant). These dark blotches or spots are quite normal and nothing to worry about - they develop on older stems. The stem I'm uncertain about is the more yellowish coloured stem with blotches in the forefront of the picture, that one might have a problem, because of its yellowish colour rather than the blotches, although the leaves coming off it look perfectly healthy. If the leaves start to turn yellow, then clip that stem out and adjust your watering as described below, if that's not how you're watering currently.

Getting the watering right is important - they need to dry out a little between waterings, so water when the surface of the potting soil feels just dry to the touch, water well, and empty out any excess from an outer pot or tray 30 minutes later. They tolerate various light conditions, but prefer relatively bright light, though never direct sunlight, and temperatures between 13-26 deg C. Usually, overwatering shows itself by yellowing leaves rather than a yellowing stem; the colour of that stem may not be particularly significant, though the need for repotting might be a possibility, I'm unable to tell because the pot is not visible in the photo. More information here https://www.ourhouseplants.com/plants/zzplant

  • Wow, thank you for the detailed explanation!
    – John
    Dec 9 '17 at 0:05
  • 2
    I am seeing something different that might have been misconstrued. John, what blotches were you meaning? I see white fly on the undersides of your leaves, easy to control but necessary to control. I distinctly see white insects in the shadows of the leaves in the center of this picture. Is that what you meant? @John ?
    – stormy
    Dec 9 '17 at 0:25
  • Is then Araucaria araucana known as AA plant? There should be an expression 'from Araucaria araucana to Zamioculcus zamifolia'...
    – VividD
    Dec 9 '17 at 0:36
  • @stormy - well spotted - I had to magnify twice in order to see those flecks! I think I need new specs...
    – Bamboo
    Dec 9 '17 at 0:48
  • @stormy i’ll double check when I get back to work on Monday, but no I don’t think those are bugs on the leaves. I think it’s just how my phone took the photo. However I was referring to the blotches on the stem.
    – John
    Dec 9 '17 at 0:51

The whitish spots look like pesticide residue to me. This is most likely on a new plant. One of the last things the growers do before shipping is an application of pesticide to take of insect pests. It could also be dissolved salts from alkaline water.

Take a cloth and rub the leaves, if it comes off it is a residue. Wash your hands afterwards in case they used something with residual activity.

Otherwise your plant looks very healthy

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