Cycad plant from Lowes- scales? Already??!

jeffpasMarch 30, 2014

Hi All,

Purchased a cycad plant from Lowe's garden center today and was checking online as to what to expect, how to care for etc.
The sales pitch on the tag labeled it a "Plant of Steel" meaning very low maintenance easy house plant, "Just a cup of water every two weeks is all it needs".

I looked up possible pests to be aware of and mostly it talked about scales, tiny legless eyeless critters that look like white powder and eventually can take over and kill a cycad.
Well, on closer inspection of the trunk I see this. Tell me the thing didn't come pre-loaded with scales? Or is it supposed to look like this. :/ I've never owned one before.

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jeffpas

here's the whole plant. Sorry, no rotate ability

    Bookmark   March 30, 2014 at 11:02PM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

i dont see any scale in your pic

but then i never saw a scale that looked powdery ...

regardless ... what are you thinking??? .. RETURN IT..

whats your alternative.. spend twice the plant cost in remedy???

ken

    Bookmark   March 31, 2014 at 7:52AM
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jeffpas

thats why I posted- to see if this is normal or if I should return the plant. I would prefer to keep it if it doesn't have any problem.
I've searched online and I can't seem to find a closeup photograph of the top of a potted sago palm trunk.
Is this powder, or fur? It looks evenly distributed all round the plant, and nothing is on the leaves.
If its not scales, what is it?

thanks

    Bookmark   March 31, 2014 at 10:03AM
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jeffpas

maybe its just a harmless mold, perhaps they've been misting it at the store?

    Bookmark   March 31, 2014 at 10:04AM
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jean001a(Portland OR 7b)

Or it could be normal. Check out other cycads to verify or not.

    Bookmark   March 31, 2014 at 11:54PM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

Are you SURE that there's nothing on the fronds?

    Bookmark   April 1, 2014 at 7:28AM
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jeffpas

yes except what looks like fur maybe on stalks. Plant looks healthy enough. What in the world is it? I give up.

    Bookmark   April 1, 2014 at 11:36AM
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jeffpas

OK I got an answer from a plant specialist at a nursery.
It is NOT scale. The white powder is mildew from spraying, the brown fuzz is part of the plant.
Scale will be larger and look like little bumps that squirt when you smash them.
Cycads like this also get mealy bugs but those look like little bits of cotton.
Healthy plant.

    Bookmark   April 1, 2014 at 1:28PM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

who-rah ...

knowledge is power ...

i hope.. you see now .. the value of the specialty nursery.. over bigboxstore ... insure you spend some money with them ... in the future .... we are losing too many of them ....

ken

    Bookmark   April 2, 2014 at 8:23AM
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JoppaRich(7b)

Most of the pests I've gotten have been from specialty nurseries, not big box stores.

    Bookmark   April 4, 2014 at 1:48PM
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