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tiny spots on my dracaena?

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by slowjane on May 23, 2004 09:59 PM

so my dracaena colorama has tiny white/yellow spots on a lot of its leaves - sometimes just a few and sometimes a whole grouping of them...from what i've read, this could mean spider mites. what to do? also, i'm afraid it's going to spread to my other plants...should i be? are schefflera's vulnerable to spider mites?


by Will Creed on May 24, 2004 12:46 AM
Hi Jane,

Spider mites suck little pinpricks of color from leaf tissue. They leave an overall mottled appearance to sections of the leaves. The mites look like tiny specks of dust on the bottoms and sometimes tops of leaf surfaces.

Schefflera actinophylla is a favored host of spider mites. Other Schefflera species are mor resistant.

If you confirm that you have spider mites, let me know and I will provide treatment instructions.
by slowjane on May 24, 2004 08:06 AM

thanks for your response.

the leaves definitely have tons of tiny yellow spots....that look as though the chlorophyll is missing, not as though there is something on the leaf. i haven't found any actual mites - but it's tricky because the water is so hard here that the undersides of the leaves look dusty anyway because of water deposits.

i gave the dracaena a lukewarm shower and washed all the leaves today. even if that doesn't get rid of the mites, maybe it will get rid of some of the dust so i can tell if in fact does have mites....some of the leaves are starting to bend from it though, and i'm a little worried...

perhaps i'll try to take a picture and post it... would that help with the diagnosis?

in the meantime, the schefflera is now on the other side of the room. do you know if wandering jews or african violets are vulnerable? maybe i should move them too...

thanks again for your help,

by Bill on May 24, 2004 02:13 PM
by slowjane on May 24, 2004 07:51 PM

here are some pictures of my dracaena. let me know if this doesn't work...


by Will Creed on May 31, 2004 02:14 AM

I checked out your photos and I didn't see anything that looks like spider mite damage. The photos aren't all clear, so I cannot say for sure, but I don't think you have a problem.

Wiping your plants down with soap and water is a good idea anyway. Once you have wiped them down thoroughly, then they are no longer a threat to your other plants.

Wandering Jews and AV's don't often get spider mites.
by slowjane on June 03, 2004 07:36 PM

sorry the pictures weren't so may be right about the dracaena - but i still can't figure out where all these spots are coming from. i gave her a soap bath - but the soap got into the leaves where the spots had punctured them...and now those bits are turning brown.

so, this morning, i found mites on my ficus. and this time, i actually found webs and little black bugs - so small i couldn't tell what they looked like, but they squished so i'm sure they are bugs. and the leaves are spotted. so far it's only on a few of the branches. tempting to just trim those off but i guess that wouldn't solve it?

what was your method for getting rid of mites will? i'm suspicious of the dishsoap thing, but maybe i shouldn't be?


by weezie13 on June 03, 2004 08:27 PM
Hello Slowjane, [wayey]
(That's a good name, I should have did that,
SlowWeezie~because I AM!!)

Anyhow, got a question for you!!!

Can you tell us some about the growing situation it's in???
A. Soil
B. What you feed it/or don't
C. Where it is to a Window, Heater, Vents, Cold, Etc.
D. Watering practices???

That might help pin point it a bit more for you!!!

Welcome by the Way!!!

* * * *

Don't forget to be kind to strangers. For some who have
done this have entertained angels without realizing it.
- Bible - Hebrews 13:2

by slowjane on June 03, 2004 09:01 PM
hi weezie!

as for the dracaena:

A. Soil - when i bought it a month or two ago, i repotted it with Scott's potting soil
B. What you feed it/or don't - i don't fertilize it, because the soil supposedly has fert in it at least for now
C. Where it is to a Window, Heater, Vents, Cold, Etc. - by a window but a white canvas curtain in between - the sun here in NM is harsh. east light. no vents. it's warm and dry here. in the 90's during the day (but not that hot in my apt.)
D. Watering practices??? - i water when the top inch or so is dry. plants dry out more quickly here so i check often.

as for the ficus -

A. Soil - what it came with from the nursery.
B. What you feed it/or don't - i fertilize it maybe every other week with regular miracle grow diluted.
C. Where it is to a Window, Heater, Vents, Cold, Etc. - it's downstairs in my apt where the window is small and doesn't open. no vents, stable temp in the 60's -70's. it's growing like mad so it seems really happy.
D. Watering practices??? - i water it when the top inch or so is dry. again, it's got loads of new growth (after it dropped all its leaves in a dramatic show upon entering its new home)

does that help? i know that mites like hot and dry - so NM couldn't be more perfect...nuts.

by Will Creed on June 06, 2004 04:47 AM

It is unusual for Ficus trees to attract spider mites. Spider mites are not usually dark color and they are too small to squish. I am not convinced your Ficus has spider mites.
by slowjane on June 07, 2004 04:13 AM
hmm - i wonder what they could be. there were fine webs underneath the leaves...and the bugs i squished were about the size of a pen dot. but black. you're right i guess about the color - i've read about red ones and two-spotted ones, but not black ones. and there were little yellow spots...what in the world? is there another bug that sounds like that?
by slowjane on June 10, 2004 09:12 PM
the dracaena infestation continues and the latest development is that i have been seeing drops of 'water' near the new growth, on the top of the trunk. i've heard of something called honeydew, that some bugs excrete...i still haven't found any bugs though. seems like aphids are big enough to see right?

i gave her another hose-down and washed the honeydew away, and sprayed it down with an insecticidal soap.

any thoughts about which bug it might be since i've found the honeydew?

geez louise. [scaredy]
by Will Creed on June 14, 2004 12:54 AM

Marginatas often secrete beads of sap. It is not an indication of a problem and not the same as honeydew.

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