my areca has developed these white spots on its leaves and stems. I had wiped out most of the ones on the leaves a week back, with neem oil solution. I spotted these on the stems today. Are these scales? Would wiping these out with neem oil help with keeping them away? Should I do the wiping regularly, weekly maybe?

Also, one frond has turned yellow (towards the bottom and old) and some others are gaining yellowish shade, although I doubt it could be for an unrelated reason.

When I got the plant (almost 2 months back), the stems had the whitish powdery look(more or less the same as seen in the pictures, I didn't spot any clear spots though), but, on a little browsing it seemed to be normal, so, I ignored it.

My soil mix consists of 75% cocopeat, 25% soil. I had fertilized when first potting it and again two week ago. I keep it near a south-facing window (dim light), and shift it to east-facing balcony every now and then (for 2-4 days period). I've probably over-watered it a couple times, as the soil never really feels much dry.

I'm attaching a handful of pictures below.

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2 Answers 2


I had a similar situation with my Areca Palm and some other plants.

I was able to curb the mealy bug problem largely by following the steps mentioned in kevinskio's comment. Additional thing I did was constantly be on the lookout for these pests and target and remove them using a cotton bud dipped in soapy solution. Do make sure to isolate the infested plant as these bugs can easily infest nearby plants.

In my case however the situation did get out of control as the infestation had spread to many other plants. Even though each plant only had a small infestation, I could never get rid of these pests completely as I wasn't able to systematically keep up the regime on all the plants.

I tried using a systemic chemical insecticide - Thiamethoxam 30% FS (locally available as BEEMA+ Systemic Insecticide)

  • Approx 5ml in 2l of water and sprayed a little on each of the infected plants.
  • It's mode of action is systemic which means that it is absorbed by the plant and then it affects the pests.

With just one application this worked really well in eradicating the bugs from all of my plants.

PS: do take all the necessary precautions while using these chemicals. Make sure to use masks, gloves and ensure to take the plant outdoors before you spray.


This is mealy bug and hard to get rid of on palms as they hide in the leaf sheaths surrounding the new growth.

More details are here but soap and water or neem oil applied at least three times at five to six day intervals are where you want to start.

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