Canela Tree - scale insects??

ak2525October 31, 2011

I have a Canela tree I keep in my living room. Its got the bigger, thicker leaves - not like Cinnamon trees I've been finding more info on.

I've had it for a little over a year, and I've noticed between some clusters of leaves there is clear, sticky sap-like liquid on them. And mostly on the underside of the leaves there are hard, white, flat spore-like things as well. (The spores look similar to the pepper flakes you sprinkle on pizza, but white-ish). The darker specs on the image are spots on the other side of the leaf.

I've taken a wet paper towel to wipe down the leaves, but the spores and sap come back. To the point that I have plastic bags under the tree as to not ruin my hard wood floors.

I wiped it down with a wet paper towel, but not sure this well end this oddity. What can I use to rid of these things?


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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

They are scale insects. Notice that they have attached themselves along the veins which is the vascular system of your plant. That's where they get all of their food. The clear, sticky stuff is what they excrete. It's sticky because it is very sugary from the high carb diet they take absorb in large amounts.

Does this tree stay inside all of the time? How big is it? CAN it be moved outside, temporarily?

    Bookmark   October 31, 2011 at 4:50PM
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The tree does live indoors year round. I keep it by the windows for ideal light exposure. I could move it outdoors for some time if needed (to my bf's house).

Where would such bugs come from? (My open window)?
How long should I move it outside for?
Will it be okay exposed this winter?
What is the best way to rid of these bugs? EW.


    Bookmark   October 31, 2011 at 5:15PM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

The reason I asked about moving it temporarily is so that it can be treated safely....meaning without harm to you and your indoor environment.

Those who might be able to assist you in means of control will want to know your approximate location.

You might also want to post this in the Houseplant Forum.

    Bookmark   October 31, 2011 at 10:52PM
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I came across a previous post in this forum that discusses these bugs. Sounds like I need to wash it, change the soil, and spray/oil it up. I will probably try to treat it outdoors at my bf's house.

I am in the NYC area. And the tree is nearly as tall as me, and I'm 5'4".

Thankfully the bugs haven't hurt my money tree or bromeliad. But they are across the room. Should I be worried?

Thank you!!

    Bookmark   November 1, 2011 at 12:59PM
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jean001a(Portland OR 7b)

No need to change the soil. Scale isn't in soil.

    Bookmark   November 1, 2011 at 1:28PM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

I'd be really cautious about putting this outside in NYC, unless it's a warm day. Do a 'test' application with any horticultural oil you may select. I know nothing about this plant so I don't feel comfortable about making any recommendations. Some plants are sensitive to hort. oils but most are not.

Don't use cooking oil.

    Bookmark   November 1, 2011 at 10:12PM
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ak2525, I found your plant here:
It sounds like a bad infestation of a scale insect. The good news is that wiping down with a wet paper towel is the way to go. The bad news is that there is a long and tedious way yet to go. The best suggestion for the hardwood floor is to set the plant on a piece of carpet that you will throw away eventually. It must be big enough to catch any honey dew drips and overspray that you will apply.
Obtain a misting bottle (make sure that it is comfortable to use!) and add a few (very few) drops of lemon-flavored dishwashing liquid after you have filled it with water.
Practise with that misting bottle on an outdoor plant until you have got the correct orifice opening and you can sweep it just right to get a "dew" on the leaves (minimal run off).
Every 7 days, mist the whole plant. Wipe down the leaves (or as many as you can) with dampened sponge. Use one palm to support a few leaves and use the sponge to wipe them - on both sides! It takes the right sponge(slightly abrasive) and the right amount of pressure to get the scales off. It takes time and persistence but it can be done. Misting plants regularly keeps them looking clean and keeps out mites- the bane of indoor plants.
I set aside two hours every Saturday to clean up a 6ft. Ficus benjamina. I had a CD player and a splendid collection of West Indian calypsoes to help me through but I got it done in 6 weeks.... well, I did cut away the worst infested parts.

    Bookmark   November 2, 2011 at 12:01PM
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