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I bought this palm about two years ago. When we moved to our new apartment I put it outside. It got these weird white spots all over it. I figured it was a fungus or bug of some kind and moved it away from my other plants, figuring it would just die eventually. Well right when I thought it was dead, four brand new little leaves popped up through the middle! So cute!


I went through and cut all the old leaves off that are covered in this white stuff. The new green leaves are fine. But there's still some of the white stuff left at the end of the stems of the old leaves. Does anyone know what this is? Is it something to worry about? Can I get rid of it somehow?


Here's a (sideways) picture I took a month ago or so. Now all the old leaves are dead (just cut them off) and there's happy new green leaves growing out of the middle.



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It looks more like scale. If you didn't get all of it off the plant, the stem, AND the roots it will come back.


Use a soft-bristle toothbrush and warm, very mildly soapy water to gently clean off all the scale you can see anywhere on the plant. Be sure to check the undersides of the leaves again.


Rinse the plant well and pot it in new CLEAN potting mix.


Check once a week for any new scales. If you find any use a Q-tip dipped in rubbing alcohol to wipe the scale off the plant.


Dont put the plant in the full sun 'til it starts to grow again and then move it out gradually (each week) into brighter and brighter light.


Good Luck with your plant.



Paul M.


PS - The scale may be being farmed on your plant by ants. If there are any ants on or around the plant and scales keep appearing than you'll need to get rid of the ants.


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Is it a palm or a cycad? From the photos, it looks like a cycad...they are surprisingly hardy, although sometimes the outer leaves do die off. Keeping it clean and replanted should help...we had something similar on another type of indoor plant, and repeated washing of the leaves and cutting back all the old leaves and stems did finally work.

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