I love palms but I hear that they are mite magnets. What is the most effective thing to use on indoor palms to prevent or rid a palm of mites? Would neem oil work?
I am far from an expert but I have been advised to use a fan on your plants. Mites hate wind. I am sure there are many other ways. You can wash them off if you find them.
Neem oil works but so does a mild soapy mix
we use the mild soap mix (dishsoap in a spray bottle) along with the fan thing... works well if you keep it up.
If you mist your palms regularly that helps a lot. If they a manageable size giving them a thorough rinsing in the shower every few months will also do the trick.
i just found some spidermites on my indoor robellini. I have had them before and used SAFERS mite spray that you can find in any Home Depot or nuresery. They disappear after few days. I have that problem with my indoor odura elephant ear at least once a year. SAFERS works every time. Sadly, I am not receiving any commission for this shameless plug.
Have you considered leaving it outside for the summer (even if shade). a couple of months in the wind and rain will clear the problem out.
protempsfish - sometimes its not about the money, its about helping people.
Thank you all.
"Sadly, I am not receiving any commission for this shameless plug." LOL
If you don't feel like lugging it to the shower, try taking some paper towels, dip them in a bowl of water with some liquid Ivory soap added, and wipe down the top and underside of each frond (put one paper towel on top of the frond and one on the bottom, like a mitten, and wipe from the center stem out to the tips). This works really well on stiffer leaved palms like kentias. Do it every month or so and mites shouldn't be a problem.
Thanks for the tip Watergal.
You guys want to use something a bit more tasty? :)
PAM works charms in stopping spidermites and scale on indoor plants. Make sure the ambient temperature is below 85F when you spray. I know it sounds crazy.
All of those methods may work but even if you kill them off you still have a nasty film on the leaves. Unless you have a palm so big and heavey you cant move it, it only makes sence to take it out for the summer. months of rain really clean it up. In addition you will get your strongest growth out of it. I have a double roebi that has about a foot of trunk and is ablut 2.5 feet overall. They were languishing in a grocery store parking lot when I got them last October for 8 bucks. I had to cut off quite a bit of the fronds as it was pot bound, under-watered, and getting no sun. I repotted it and it made a SLOW comeback over the winter. It's been outside in full sun since the first week of May and it looks good as new. it has already become one of my most attractive palms.
hi andyandy. I would definitely bring outside if i could. I agree that mother nature is a fine remedy to many a problem. My palm is in a huge pot in my living room. Too much to lug it out in the summer! Thanks for your comment opalm. I will heed your advice and not take any commission for plugging SAFERS. Even if they offer it, I will politely decline because of you and your wisdom. PAM eh? The things you learn on this forum! I am happy to see that Grice has a profound sense of humour :)
Cfking, Pam? The cooking spray? Lol. You learn something new everyday huh? How did you come across that remedy?
Protempsfish,it's the sense of humor that keeps me going.
Basically any oil or soap that won't hurt the plants will smother mites and many insects. I've used PAM on waterlily aphids and it works great.
Professionally, we often use aerosol leaf shine, which is basically oil and water, as a pesticide as well as a leafshine. Quite convenient, completely safe and fairly effective. It does leave a residue, and we have to use it quite lightly on the hairy leaved kentias. I like the paper towel and Ivory method better for kentias, but the shine works well on Chamaedorea seifriziis.
PS - I think I may be the one who is guilty of using the phrase "palms are mite magnets".