I'm trying to determine if my dracaena marginata has spider mites. A little history about the plant: I got it about 5 months ago and it seemed to be an outdoor plant with the previous owner. Since bringing it home with me it now lives only indoors. I noticed some small cob webs as seen in the photos but I think those have been there since I got the plant. I recall seeing those little webs when I got it. As seen in the photos there are some small holes on the leaves but those have been there since I got the plants. I don't think the holes got bigger. I'm thinking the plant had spider mites at one point but they might be dormant now? I don't see any moving things on the plants at all. I sat and looked at a lot of the leaves but haven't seen 1 moving thing on it. This makes me think the plant once had spider mites but now it doesn't. If you think it does have spider mites, what is the best way to treat it? I saw a video of people wiping down every leave with a homemade solution but there are probably around 100 individual leaves on this plant and that would take forever. I'm very new to houseplants so any info is appreciated. enter image description here

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  • There are sucking insects like spider mites and chewing insects (Japanese Beetles) like the ones biting your leaves. Your pics don't show much webbing. @kevinskio suggest a soapy bath, and so is a soapy spray and shower. Commented Jan 11 at 19:39

1 Answer 1


Dracaena marginata are a favorite host for spider mites. Here are the indications:

  • lower leaves are shedding
  • webbing
  • small specks the size of a grain of salt are visible on the underside of the leaves

Control is with dish soap and water at 5ml/liter applied at least three times at five to seven day intervals. Repeating the applications is critical to success so you get the next generation of spider mites that hatch from eggs the first spray did not get.

Application with a hand pumped sprayer or you can go all out. Fill the bath tub with soaping water, put the plant foliage in the water for a minute and remove. Wait a few minutes for the soap to clog the spiracles of the spider mites and then rinse with clean water to remove the soap.

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