Trouble in House Plant Paradise


These are my 2 birds nest ferns–along with some assorted air plants.


I should have realized there was a problem with this one immediately. It just doesn’t have the glossy leaves that it should have. And if you’ll notice, in the full frond on the lower left, you can see full blown scale on it there. But it’s nothing like what you’ll see below–and what I should have noticed.


It took this cluster of scale to alert me. Sigh.

The house plants have been in the house almost 2 full months now and that’s long enough for all of the issues that they had had before they went outdoors to begin to return. These two birds nests ferns are on this table because I remembered that they were “scaly” before they went out and I had wanted to isolate them from the rest of my collection. I am glad that I did.

I am also seeing scale recurring on my citrus, osmanthus and a bonsai. As soon as I can lift them (well, I can lift the bonsai now, but the others I am still a little afraid to haul up for fear of splitting my shoulder open) I will take them to the sink and scrub them down.

This plant may become compost though. This is a bit too serious I think. But it’s not as if I don’t have  a few other plants to tide me over the winter….

3 thoughts on “Trouble in House Plant Paradise

  1. roberta4949 November 13, 2016 / 9:25 am

    you can try insecticidial soap, also to increase your plants resistance try giving them epsom salts the magneisum will make them more vibrant and the sulfer makes their tissues more resistant to pests. it wont hurt them just dont put alot on you can sprinkle on thesoil or dissolve in water and water them with it. dont get it on the leaves. I use it all the times for all my plants inside and out it makes them vibrant especiallyif they flower and makes the leaves healthier looking. I seldom have pest problems, tho I am having a problem with my rosa rosa rugosa they seem to be getting a pest inside the branches that causes that branch to die, so i remove them and another gets infected I may have to just chop them down to the ground to refresh them and see if that helps.

  2. gardendaze November 13, 2016 / 11:10 am

    Hi Roberta,
    Thanks for the tips. What I have done for the moment is pruned off the worst parts. Then I will scrub the scale off with some plain old soap & water when it recurs. I will just have to watch the plant a lot more closely.

    About your rugosa roses. They most likely have a disease spread by a tiny insect. I am blanking on the name at the moment. I will have to get back to you about it in my next comment.

    Unfortunately, if it is what I fear, they recommend removal of the plants. But you certainly can try cutting them back hard before you take that drastic step.

    Let me research that disease and I will put it up in my next comment.

    As always, thanks so much for reading and commenting.


  3. gardendaze November 13, 2016 / 11:15 am

    Okay, the disease I was thinking of was rose rosette disease but I suppose it is possible that you could just have a type of cane borer. Once you have those, they do cause the sort of damage you are describing. At least cane borders are a bit easier to manage with pruning. Best of luck to you with them!


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