Cat Palms are one of the easiest to take care of palms, among other palm plants.
This plant is pretty, moderate in length, and can brighten any space it is kept in.
For new plant owners, this plant is nothing short of a dream.
Cat Palms are pretty hardy, but one of the things that can damage this plant is spider mites.
If not taken care of quickly, the mites can damage the plant entirely.
This article will guide you through the steps you need to take to eliminate spider mites if you find them wreaking havoc on your plant.
What Are Spider Mites And How Do They Affect Cat Palms?
Spider mites are arachnids that leech onto palm trees and can damage the plant severely.
They can attach themselves to any plant in the house, and then they take out the cellular matter of the plant.
This issue is not just related to palm plants.
This type of pest infestation can happen on any plant in your indoor as well as outdoor garden.
Talking about the Cat Palm, a couple of spider mites will not cause much damage to the palm tree, but an entire colony of spider mites can kill the palm.
It won’t take them long to spread across the plant and cause significant damage.
If you don’t address this issue well in time, you may lose the plant in a couple of weeks.
Yes, that’s all the time the mites need if the infestation is too high.
So, how do you know if there is any such infestation on the plant in the first place?
The signs that your Cat Palm has spider mites are:
- Lack of vibrant colors on the leaves
- Discoloration or yellowing leaves
- Webbed leaves
- The leaves have a coarse, papery texture instead of a fine one.
Light or moderate infestation can be prevented easily.
Major infestation is harder to control, and if you have other plants around the house, it is better to get rid of the plant entirely.
Otherwise, the colonies will move on to the next plant once they are done feeding on the existing plant.
Now, let’s see how you can tackle this issue altogether.
3 Tips To Fix Cat Palm’s Spider Mites Problem
If and when you spot spider mites on your Cat Palm, take quick action so as not to let this infestation get out of hand.
1. Use Water Spray
Firstly, take the entire plant with its pot and place it in a tub.
Using a showerhead or pipe, spray water on both sides of the plant.
If you cannot carry the pot to the shower, place a large sheet or tarp underneath the pot and spray the plant.
This is effective because the pressure from the showerhead removes mites.
Remove the sheet underneath and wash it throughout so that there are no mites.
Wipe the plant down with a cloth regularly to avoid dust accumulating on the leaves.
2. Homemade Insecticide Spray
If the spider mites are still lingering on the palm, you can follow a step-by-step process of treating the mites.
- Arrange the following materials before you get started: gloves, rubbing alcohol, dish soap, an empty spray bottle, a jug of water or a watering can, scissors, and tissue paper.
- Next, remove all leaves that appear heavily infected. The sign of an infected leaf is the change of texture from smooth to coarse.
- Clean the plant by making a mixture of alcohol and water in a spray bottle. The measurements should be 1 cup of alcohol diluted in 30 oz of water.
- Spray the solution on both sides of the plant and wipe it down with paper towels.
- Next, make a special solution that will prevent further infestations.
- The mixture should consist of the same above solution but with the addition of a few drops of dish soap.
- Apply this mixture twice a week to the whole plant until the mites disappear completely.
So, these are a couple of quick ways you can fix this issue.
If you want an even more effective solution, you can think of using any specific insecticide spray to get rid of the spider mites infestation entirely.
Of course, you need to take care of your plant while using such products, as they may lead to other issues like leaf burn and curling.
Do read the instructions available on the product and use it accordingly.
How To Avoid Spider Mites On Cat Palms?
Spider mites can be a big issue for indoor gardeners because an infestation can destroy other plants in your home.
If you are worried about a spider mite infestation, consider the following tips to keep the pests at bay.
- Examine the plant thoroughly before you bring it indoors.
- Make it a routine to check your plants thoroughly at least every 7-10 days.
- Wipe down the surface of the leaves every week with a damp paper towel.
- Spider mites can be avoided if the palm is misted with water.
- The plant should remain hydrated at all times. Avoid overwatering and underwatering.
- Neem oil is an effective way to keep spider mites away. It is natural, does not harm the plant, and will repel all sorts of insects. Spring and summer are when you need to use Neem oil the most.
- Lightly spray neem oil all over the plant every two weeks during spring and summer.
As you can see, Neem oil is an effective solution to work against this issue.
In the following section, let’s have a look at the frequently asked questions by the readers.
The first signs of spider mites are small brown and yellow spots on the surface of the cat pal, leaves.
If the infestation is heavier, the entire plant stands the risk of being damaged.
The plant will stop growing entirely, and the leaves of the plant will turn yellow.
Plants with only a few leaves damaged can recover quickly without needing extra care, but when the whole plant is infested, necessary precautions need to be taken for the plant to be healthy again.
Spider mites can essentially survive at any temperature.
In winter, they hibernate so the cold does not affect them too much, and during summer, they multiply.
These mites thrive in temperatures above 80 degrees.
Yes, spider mites can infest a house with plants in it.
However, they might not do real damage to the house itself except for stained walls or decorations when squashed.
The pests do pose a heavy threat to plant life at home, though.
Since the mites love warm temperatures, they might infest your home during warmer months of the year.
Yes, there is a good chance vinegar can kill spider mites as mites dislike acidic substances.
Make a solution consisting of vinegar, baking soda, and dish soap, and spray it on the entire surface of the plant to kill it effectively.