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 Post subject: Powdery pest on zebra plant
PostPosted: Tue Jun 08, 2010 11:35 am 
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Joined: Fri Oct 16, 2009 8:38 pm
Posts: 89
Location: sacramento, ca
Hi! Can you help me identify and treat this? I haven't had any luck finding pictures of it online. I also included pics of the whole plant in case I've got more than one problem...the leave tips are starting to brown.

This plant is in my office, with indirect light and flourescents above, and gets thoroughly watered once a week. As soon as I see the soil isn't moist on the surface I give more water as the leaves tend to wilt. Also, I used Miracle Grow fertilizer back in early May.

Thanks! This is my first zebra plant!

File comment: Brown leaf tip. This is the largest of the spots. The other leaves have about a 1/4 inch on the tips.
browning.jpg [ 25.74 KiB | Viewed 856 times ]
File comment: Back view. Note the leaves all face forward, and how many are missing below.
back side.jpg
back side.jpg [ 40.37 KiB | Viewed 855 times ]
File comment: Front view.
front side.jpg
front side.jpg [ 43.79 KiB | Viewed 855 times ]
File comment: Here is the powdery pest. I couldn't get a closer shot without totally blurring the image.
unknown pest.jpg
unknown pest.jpg [ 68.45 KiB | Viewed 856 times ]
PostPosted: Sat Jul 17, 2010 8:24 am 
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Joined: Thu Sep 28, 2006 5:22 pm
Posts: 3821
Location: Tucson, Arizona
Did you ever solve your Zebra Plant buggies? I just ran across it and the best I can make from the picture is White Flies. Google it to see.
I use sticky sheets( fly traps) and a simple mixture of Murphy's soap (1 to 2 tbls), isopropal alchohol (1/2 cup) and the remaining room in the 2 cup hand sprayer with water. That knocks out all the adults and after a few treatments over a couple weeks should take care of the larve that are left.
Prevention is easy with any type of air flow in the area. White Flies can not fly in even the slightest breeze. I have ceiling fans but cheap little battery operated ones will suffice.
Hope I'm not too late,

"Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better."
Albert Einstein (1879-1955)
ArizonaEd--Tucson Cactus and Succulent Society--

PostPosted: Mon Oct 25, 2010 10:07 am 

Joined: Wed Sep 29, 2010 3:17 pm
Posts: 30
Ah, the perils of houseplant ownership! Question: do you have other plants and do they show any signs of being affected the same as the pictured one.
There are many causes of what can cause brown leaf tips: from too much heat through the window glass, to too much, or too little watering. Too much fertilizer and any of the above.

You water on a schedule.....your schedule, not the plant's. Seasons change, the sun is going lower, the heat of our homes is being brought up when the furnace is brought on. They require less water as the season of growth diminishes....since the sun is less intense, the plant needs to get along with less.
I've never been a fan of artificial light, especially as it comes down from a ceiling having tube lighting--its just too far away to have any effect. Plants need light that is as close as inches....not feet. And it has to receive it from the centre of the spectrum.
About watering. When you water, try using your finger, down to the first knuckle at least....the second knuckle is being more kind, then water to drainage. Let the plant drain, then dump any excess in the saucer. Never leave the water sitting there for much longer than 10 or 15 minutes.
As far as the white specks, cant comment what it might be.....but pests usually cause damage that you should be able to see. Leaf tissue that turns a lighter green, or holes in leaves that show a pest is eating, or part of the leaves turn brown or yellow...maybe the lower leaves first since they are closer to the soil where eggs/larvae/adult stage of bugs come from.
Any sign of a stickiness on the leaves. That could be a sign of 'honeydew'...secretion from the pest and is a danger if not controlled.
Since there is many pests and many remedies from them, it can be dangerous to spray for one, and not find the right one, its sometimes better to let the bug have its bite, then move on than to spray something that is dangerous to the whole plant.
The one method you can safely use for all, is WATER. Put some water into a hand sprayer and hit the plant hard. Knock off the bugs, then find out what bug you have to best treat. The brown of the tips should be scissored to keep the dead material from inviting further damage. If it is a pest, isolate it, so to keep your other plants safe from cross infestation.

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