my young Meyer lemon tree has been growing something I though was bark. However it is not bark but brown spots with tiny white dot in the middle. They come off easily as you can see some of them on my fingers when i was holding my worstly infected branch:Worstly infected branch

Those white dots are spreading to other branches and leaves. And it is probably deadly because leaves of my worstly infected branch are yellow and dead. I don't know if it is related to this but I had 4 lemons growing and 3 of them fell off during last week. Is this really some disease? And if so how to cure it? I've been looking over the internet but couldn't find anything.

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Thank you for your help!

  • Looks to me like an infestation of scale insects. Commented Jul 19, 2021 at 19:03

1 Answer 1


This is scale. I looked up a great reference here on scale only to find that there are more types, colours and shapes than I could possibly imagine. I think your plant has soft brown scale. Scale on citrus is one of the most likely pests.

This is an advanced infestation but you can verify my diagnosis by confirming that the rim of the pot and around it is sticky. Scale insects exude a sugary sap when feeding on plant juices.

Control is not hard but is time consuming. You will need 5 ml dish soap to 1 liter of water and a soft toothbrush. Dip the toothbrush and scrub the scale off. Cover every leaf and stem. You can use a rag or cloth as well.

The key to success is to repeat the treatment at five to six day intervals to get any eggs that hatch. For this plant I recommend at least three follow up cleanings.

The tough love approach is to cut the plant back hard to reduce the amount of foliage and stem to clean as citrus buds out easily from old wood.

  • Thank you very much for answer and link to scale article! I'll begin cleaning it tomorrow. I'm also hoping to buy some natural parasite of this parasite, to teach them lesson about infecting my tree. I'll let you know about the result. One more thing. What do you think are those white dots? Are those eggs?
    – deeet
    Commented Jul 20, 2021 at 22:17
  • @deeet I believe the white dots are either young scale or stuff they exude.
    – kevinskio
    Commented Jul 21, 2021 at 11:20

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