I'm a total amateur and not sure what is wrong with our magnolia plant. Here is a picture of white stuff that is on both sides of many of the leaves: white stuff on both sides of leaves

Any ideas on what this is and how/if we can cure it?

EDIT - Additional pictures

The plant overall is about 6.5 feet tall: pot

Stem closeup: stem

Closeup of leaf: closeup


I think its Magnolia scale - the stems are out of focus in the image, but there might possibly be adult hard scales on there, as well as the crawlers on the leaves. Plants which are stressed are more likely to be infested; your magnolia does not look in very good condition and needs either a larger pot or transferring to the ground so it can produce more growth. You can wipe off the white crawlers with a cloth, otherwise use Neem spray or horticultural oil spray, further information here https://www.mortonarb.org/trees-plants/tree-and-plant-advice/help-pests/magnolia-scale-neolecanium-cornuparvum

| improve this answer | |
  • It has quite a large pot that we moved it into about 6 months ago. Also, I don't notice anything on the stems like in that link. I'll try to get some more pictures if it will help further identity the issue - or do you think that it is 100%? – G_P Sep 17 '19 at 19:51
  • I can't see the whole pot, but judging by the bit I can see, unless its very deep, it likely isn't large enough - either that or its lost a lot of foliage for another reason. 90% sure its probaby magnolia scale - have a look at the white areas with a magnifying glass, you should see creatures in amongst the fluff if it is. – Bamboo Sep 17 '19 at 21:02
  • I added some additional photos. There does appear to be some small amount of the white stuff on the stems, but it doesn't seem to match with the stem photo from the link you posted. I appreciate your help. – G_P Sep 18 '19 at 13:25
  • The image in that link just shows the adult form of the scale - not seeing those on your plant yet, just the juvenile form, which suggests the obvious leaf loss and ladck of growth is down to not enough root room. . I'd treat for scale as suggested, but your plant needs a pot probably twice the size of the one its currently in - either that or a pot that's not necessarily wider, but much deeper, 2 feet deep if possible. – Bamboo Sep 18 '19 at 15:58

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.