I’m worried about my cat palm. I got it maybe 6 weeks ago. I repotted it within a few days and seemed to be ok. Its growing new fronds but I noticed a couple of leaves at the bottom went a bit yellow and brown. I removed them and cut back on watering. However, I noticed there is this white chalky substance on the underside of the leaves so sprayed it with neem oil and water. I think it removed most but some still there. Is this a bug infection that’s killing the plant. Any advice appreciated!
The white chalky substance is either pesticide residue or hard water deposits from overhead watering at the grower. Neither of these harm the plant. Your test would be getting a damp cloth and wiping the fronds. It should wipe off and not return.
A no risk solution is making a solution of dish soap and water and wiping the top and bottom of each frond. Wait a minute then give it a rinse in the shower. Soap solutions can be hard on the foliage if they are mixed too thick. This will remove any residue and spider mites if they are present. Repeat at five to six day intervals to catch any eggs hatching.
This will take care of white deposits and any spider mites that may exist.