The white spots on Areca Palm leaves are often caused by powdery mildew, a fungal issue that results in white, powdery patches on plant tissue. Other possible causes of this issue are mealybugs infestation, scale infestation, or bacterial spot infection.
To treat this problem, you will have to follow a combination of cultural practices, such as increasing air circulation and reducing moisture around the plant, and using fungicides or insecticides as needed.
Let's learn more about it in detail below.
What Are Areca Palm White Spots?
As I mentioned earlier, the white spots issue is one of the deadliest. It often happens for three main reasons, i.e., mealybugs infestation, scale infestation, and fungal problems.
The worst thing about the white spots is you could simultaneously have all three issues in your plant. But let's not think about the multiple infestations at this moment.
Let's try and understand what these white spots are all about.
1. Mealybugs Infestation
Mealybugs are a common problem in indoor as well as outdoor plants. They usually live in colonies and form fuzzy spots on the stems of the plants. You can find these colonies on the bottom part of the stem of your Areca palm.
As for the bugs, they will have cotton-like bodies that are easily identifiable from a distance.
2. Scale Infestation
Scale infestation is pretty similar to mealybugs infestation. It also happens due to white pests that feed on the plant's juices. This issue is quite common in palm plants, and you will see many waxy-bodied insects on the different parts of the plant.
Since these insects feed on the plant, the leaves and stems turn yellow or brown. In later stages, the infestation intensifies further and becomes unbearable for the plant. If you don't take care of the plant at this stage, it won't survive for too long.
3. Fungal Problem
The third problem could be the fungal attack on your Areca palm. If you live in humid weather and there is too much moisture in the soil, you will see this problem in your plant. The white fungus issue often arises from the soil.
So, if there is an overwatering situation in the pot, it might lead to a fungal attack on the plant.
Note: The fungi may also appear in other colors, including black and gray.
Let's look at the following section, where I've shared a few tips to deal with this problem in your Areca palm.
How To Fix White Spots On Areca Palm
Here's what you need to do -
1. Inspect The White Spots
To get to the main cause of this problem, you will have to inspect the plant thoroughly. When you inspect the plant, check the bottom of the leaves too.
Sometimes, the bugs hide under the leaves so that they remain protected from sunlight, hot weather, and predators. So, it's essential to inspect the underneath of the leaves.
2. Prune The Heavily Affected Leaves
Once the inspection is over, it's time to get into action mode. Get the shears or scissors and try to identify the leaves that seem more affected by the problem.
Although there are a few ways to tackle these issues, you should also get rid of the damaged leaves from the plant. When you remove the heavily affected leaves from the plant, it makes things even easier for you to carry out the next stage of action against the pests.
So, prune the leaves that are wilting or look greatly infested by the bugs.
Once you remove such leaves, put them in the bin. Do not use these leaves for composting or any such activity in your garden. You must discard them, as the issue may spread further in some of your other favorite indoor or outdoor plants.
3. Clean The Stem And Branches With Rubbing Alcohol
As soon as you remove the affected leaves, prepare a solution of rubbing alcohol, dish soap, and water. It should be a dilute solution so that it won't affect the tender parts of the plant.
Here are the steps to follow in the cleaning process -
- Wear your gardening gloves.
- Get a cloth or cotton swab and dip it into the prepared rubbing alcohol solution.
- Clean the stem and leaves affected by the problem.
- Wait for the solution to dry out completely.
- Rinse the plant with plain water.
The drying period may take up to 5-6 hours, so you will need to wait for this period. Ideally, you should perform this task in the evening and rinse the plant in the morning with your gardening spray.
4. Spray Neem Oil On The Affected Parts
Neem oil is one of the best organic products to deal with pest or fungus infestation on plants. It works well with such issues!
However, if you have already used the rubbing alcohol method, you can avoid spraying the plant with neem oil. Instead, you should wait for 4-5 days before you can spray the plant with neem oil.
Note: Before spraying, you should carefully examine the plant. If it doesn't look fresh, there is no need to spray the neem oil or any other solution. Wait for a few more days to see if there is a resurgence of the bug problem.
If you see any new growth, you will have to repeat the alcohol method several times more. The interval between these processes should be around 4-5 days, or you can wait for a week.
5. Add Dry Soil Or Dried Leaves To The Pot
When you are done with the spraying task, you can add some dry soil on top of the existing soil in the pot. If you don't have dry soil, you can also use dried leaves from the garden. This will allow you to balance the moisture content in the soil, which will further help prevent the growth of fungus.
Since most fungi grow in a damp environment, you should try to create a barrier by providing dry soil to the plant.
6. Repot Or Transplant The Areca Palm
Alternatively, you can resort to the tried and tested method of repotting the plant.
This method helps in completely getting rid of wet soil from the pot. So, if you have a fresh soil mix, do consider this option. It may take some time to repot the plant, but it will surely be helpful to get your plant back to the growth phase.
Apart from the repotting method, you can also consider the transplanting process. This method will be useful to regrow your Areca palm plant in a completely new environment.
7. Move The Plant To A Sunny Location
Now, move the plant to where it can receive a good amount of sunlight throughout the day.
The Areca palm is known to do well in sunny and bright locations. This type of location also helps in limiting the fungal growth in the plants. So, try to find a place in your home and move your plant there.
You should know these few things while addressing the white spots on your Areca palm.
If you see similar spots again on the plant after a few days, you should repeat these processes a couple of times more. You may not get a 100% result with the first application of solutions or spray, as the bugs are often resilient. They will make a comeback with more colonies in a few days.
So, be prepared to take the necessary action again.
As explained above, the white spots on the palm are mainly because of the mealybugs or scale infestation. However, the plant may also be suffering from a white fungus issue.
You can use rubbing alcohol, neem oil, soap, etc., to eliminate white spots on your houseplants. If you want more robust options, you can also use easily available fungicides on the plant.
The vinegar spray is quite effective against the powdery mildew problem in your indoor plants.
The white spots are related to pest infestation or fungal issues on your plant. You need to inspect the plant deeply if you want to confirm any of these issues in your plant.
It depends on the type of bug problem you have in your plant. In general, you can use dish soap or neem oil to spray on the affected parts of the plant. Both these solutions are effective in getting rid of different types of bugs from the plant.
Over To You
As you know, the white spots issue can be a difficult one to control for gardeners. It spreads so quickly that you may or may not even get a chance to revive the plant thoroughly. Hence, it is crucial to take action immediately.
Meanwhile, if you have any more doubts, feel free to ask them in the comments below. If you enjoyed this guide, share it with your friends and family.