Scales on sago palm

Sago palm

I you find white scale on your sago palm, prune the plant and treat with horticultural oils.

(|The Times-Picayune archive)

Question: My sago palms have white scale under their fronds. How can I control this? — Jacob Davis.

Answer: Scale is fairly common on sagos (Cycas revoluta) and can be destructive if not controlled. First, prune off any fronds that look sick or are heavily infested. Promptly bag them and discard. Next, spray your sago with a light horticultural oil such as Year Round Spray Oil or All Seasons Oil. Make the application in the early morning while it is cooler. Complete coverage is critical, so make sure you get the spray on all surfaces. Since this scale is typically heaviest on the underside of the fronds, make sure you do a good job of spraying under them. Make two to three applications following label directions.


Love to read about gorgeous gardens? Sign up for the weekly online newsletter, and you’ll get gardening guru Dan Gill’s latest tips delivered once a week to your inbox. It’s easy and free. Just click here. And while you’re at it, check out the new New Orleans Homes and Gardens page on Facebook.

Garden Q&A: White spots on sago palm are scale insects — and they can kill the plant

I have a problem with white mold on my sagos. Can you tell me what to do about it?

Two types of scales attack sagos, and one of them, the Asian cycad scale, is the most damaging of the 20 or so scale insects in Florida.

The small individual insects suck sap from the fronds. They build to very large numbers and by cumulative effect weaken the plant enough to sometimes kill it.

Controlling them takes persistence and thoroughness.

You can spray with a horticultural oil (be careful to check the temperature restrictions) or Organicide, a chemical that is 95 percent fish oil. The oils are effective because they are able to coat the exterior of the scale insects and suffocate them. You must spray the tops and bottoms of the fronds and the trunk thoroughly to kill them. Recommendations are that you spray once a week for three weeks, then hose the plant off the fourth week.

There will probably still be some stragglers who reinfest the plant. But you may get 6 months of protection before they begin to build up numbers again. As soon as that begins, start the spraying cycle again. You can also call a commercial pest control company. They have a systemic product called Safari that is very effective. This type of scale insect can also feed on roots underground and this is the main reason these scales resurface on the leaves.

Sagos used to be considered a trouble-free plant. But there is hope – predatory insects have been released in Florida and are building up populations and spreading.

I am recycling orchids. I have found several plants that have already bloomed and were being tossed out and I’m going to try to keep them and bring them back into bloom.

This is a wonderful idea because orchids are really pretty easy to grow and keep happy. After some discussion, we determined that you definitely have phalaenopsis orchids and probably have a type of dendrobium. These are the most commonly found kinds of orchids and their needs can be met indoors, especially in the winter.

Phalaenopsis need more water than some other kinds of orchids. You’ll want to keep them evenly moist – they do not like to dry out. They do best with bright light or indirect sunlight. East and north windows are good spots for them, although set back from a window on the south or west side is OK. Phals prefer temperatures in the 60s at night and 80s during the day. They don’t rest like other orchids and live on a bloom-and-grow, bloom-and-grow cycle. They are getting the right amount of sun if they are olive-colored. Too dark green means too little sun, while red edges mean too much sunlight.

Your dendrobium orchid can get a little drier than the phal. It likes to get more sunlight than the phalaenopsis and can tolerate direct sun early or late in the day. One critical difference between phals and dendrobiums is that dendrobiums have a resting cycle. They go through a period of growth (look for roots and stem/leaf growth) then rest, then flower. When they are resting, they need less sun, a lot less water, and no fertilizer. Once they begin to look like they are perking up, move them closer to the windows again and start fertilizing. Dendrobiums like to be in smaller pots, so don’t rush to repot, and when you must, choose a small pot.

During periods of growth, many orchid growers follow a “fertilize weekly, weakly” policy. Neither orchid is very tolerant of the days when our thermometers top 95 degrees, so you may want to plan ahead to bring them indoors then.

I have a gloriosa lily that has produced seed. How do I grow them?

Gloriosa superba (sometimes the names do fit) is a beautiful bulbing plant from South Africa. The 4-5-inch flowers are striking with red and yellow recurved petals. The flowers grow on a vining plant that can stretch up to 6 feet tall. All parts of this plant are poisonous, so it should be planted where children and pets won’t be able to get into trouble with it.

To germinate the seeds, they have to fully mature. When they are mature, the pods will split and the red seeds (which look a bit like tiny tomatoes) will be revealed. They can be sown in a well-drained sterile seed soil mix. If you have any doubts about how well your seed mix drains, you can always add some perlite or vermiculite to the mix to aerate it further. It should take a few weeks for seeds to germinate.

The seeds will take 2-3 years to reach blooming size. Faster, more reliable results can be gained by planting a tuber. Bulbs can be divided for propagation.

Because these bulbs are from South Africa, they are acclimated to a very dry rest season and a hot, wet growing season.

Becky Wern is a master gardener with the Duval County Extension Service and the University of Florida/IFAS.

Recently, I was contacted by a homeowner who was distraught over a white substance that appeared to be killing her cherished sago palms.

Sadly, it turned out to be a terminal infestation of the cycad aulacaspis scale. Those types of calls always make be sad because I know that it’s never easy to lose plants that were labored over and cared for over the course of many years.

So this week I’m dedicating my column to the sago palm and its arch nemsis, the cycad aulacaspis scale. After reading this, hopefully those of you that have sagos and other cycads will know how to identify this serious pest.

Cycas stems from the Greek name cyca, which means “palm.” Though palm-like, Cycas are an ancient type of gymnosperm and are unrelated to true palms, which are actually angiosperms (flowering plants).

The sago palm (Cycas revoluta) is one of the most popular types of cyads grown. This evergreen cycad is native to the tropical islands of southern Japan, but it grows well in the subtropics of the United States, particularly in Florida, California, Puerto Rico and parts of Georgia.

Sago Palm Problems: Tips On Treating Sago Palm Diseases

Are you wondering how to treat sago palm problems showing up on your tree? Sago palms aren’t actually palm trees, but cycads – ancient cousins of pines and other conifers. These slow-growing tropical trees are relatively disease-resistant, but they are susceptible to certain sago palm tree diseases. If your tree isn’t looking its best, read on to learn the basics of identifying and treating sago palm diseases.

Getting Rid of Sago Palm Diseases

Here are some common diseases of sago palm and tips on treating them:

Cycad scale – This sago palm problem isn’t a disease, but the powdery white substance on the leaves may lead you to believe your palm has a fungal disease. Scale is actually a tiny white pest that can destroy a sago palm very quickly. If you determine your tree is affected by scale, prune heavily infested fronds and dispose of them carefully. Some experts advise spraying the tree with horticultural oil or a combination of malathion and horticultural oil once a week until the pests are gone. Others prefer to use a systemic insect control. Contact your local Cooperative Extension office to determine the best remedy for your tree.

Fungal leaf spot – If you notice brown lesions, or if leaf edges turn yellow, tan or reddish brown, your tree may be affected by a fungal disease known as anthracnose. The first step is to remove and destroy affected growth. Be sure to keep the area under the tree clean and free of plant debris. Your Cooperative Extension agent can tell you if you need to treat your sago palm with a fungicide.

Bud rot – This soil-borne fungus usually strikes in warm, damp weather. It is most evident on new leaves, which may turn yellow or brown before they unfurl. Fungicides may be effective if you catch the disease in its early stages.
Sooty mold – This fungal disease is easy to spot by the powdery, black substance on the leaves. The fungus is often attracted by sweet, sticky honeydew left behind by sap-sucking insects – usually aphids. Treat the aphids with regular application of an insecticidal soap spray. Once the aphids are eradicated, the sooty mold will probably disappear.

Manganese deficiency – If new fronds are yellow or display yellow splotches, the tree may be lacking manganese. This often occurs when the tree is planted in manganese-poor soil, which is common in tropical climates. This deficiency is easily treated by applying manganese sulfate (not magnesium sulfate, which is completely different).

White Scale on Sago Palm/white bugs on sago palm/mealeybugs

Before After

So I look at my sago palm and there is white scale all over it.All my sago palm leaves are brown.I thought is this a white fungus on my sago palm?I live in St Augustine Florida and I have seen this everywhere.

At first I did not know what it was, All I knew is, my sago palm leaves were turning white, then brown, and dying.There are so many different bugs and etc. than lets face it,I’m thinking mealy bugs but after a few hours of research I knew my solution.

My neighbors had cut theirs out, but I liked them so I wanted to save them.Are your sago plants dying?There is help.


Well I had been playing around with a product that was all about hydrogen peroxide,a powder that was dissolved in water so I could spray it.Well lo and behold all my sago palms are better now.What i found was the Simix loosens the scale so they are easily rinsed off of the plant.I do have to spray them down about three times a year as the scale seems to return.However one of my Sago palms has remained scale free.

The appearance of white fuzzy stems, leaves and trunks signals a huge problem. Scale is a tiny sucking insect and, in high populations, the bugs can sap the plant of much of its life-giving fluid and kill it. The insects have a protective waxy armor, which is white to yellow. They are so tiny that finding the problem before the plant is overrun is almost impossible. Once the population has bloomed, all parts of your plant can be infected and the pest’s presence is obvious.They are like little vampires that bite in and suck the life out of the plant.

White Scale beginning

Scale in 3 months

White Scale if you let it go

You can prevent what you see on the right with a proper maintenance.It does take maintenance and I have found about every six months.

The product is called Simix all Purpose cleaner.It cleans virtually everything including plants.It is all about the hydrogen peroxide that this product produces.There are also some trade secrets in this product that helps fight fungus on every surface it is applied to.It has been effective on potato blight,citrus greening and several other plant diseases.

Simix AgPlus treats white scale and scurf on sago palms. ​Simix AgPlus also treats the root cause of yellowing and yellow fronds on a sago palm. Yellowing can be caused by nutrient imbalances. Simix AgPlus can help your palm regain nutrient balance and become healthy and lush again.
Simix AgPlus is easy to use. You just dissolve Simix powder in water, and then spray on the fronds, trunk and ground. It’s safe for pets and other plants.

Works on all plants

  • Tomato
  • Potato
  • Beans
  • Peppers
  • Vines
  • Annuals
  • Perennials
  • Rose bushes
  • Ground cover
  • Citrus trees
  • Fruit trees
  • Nut trees
  • Shade trees
  • Flowering trees

Jasmine with black mold before and after

Close up of black soot on jasmine

Ficus tree Lima peru

Organic Farming FAQ: How Simix Works

Frequently Asked Questions about Simix ​How soon will I see new growth? On herbaceous plants (tomato, potato, beans, melons, etc.), you should see results within days. When it comes to trees and shrubs, it depends on the plant. With citrus trees, you should see results within 30 days or with the next flush. With other woody plants, you should see results (ie, new growth) in less than 30 days.

Why do I have to keep spraying every week or month?Some plants stay clean for months but some need more attention. Pathogens are being constantly reintroduced to your plants via pests, wind or contamination from other sources. You need to reapply Simix to protect your plants from the ongoing invasion. During periods of high heat and humidity, you may need to apply Simix every 3 days on trees and shrubs and every two weeks on other plants.
Why do I need to apply to the soil? Pathogens found in the soil spread easily on the plant or tree. Plants absorb what’s in the ground. Eliminating pathogens from the soil will improve your odds of producing more fruit and vegetables. Your fruits and vegetables will be stronger and tastier, and last longer on the shelf.
How does help the plant? Pathogens that are airborne or are brought to the plant by insects are not able to get a foothold due to the high alkalinity of Most plants are veritable buffets for pests and microbes. makes plants less hospitable to microbes and pests.
What makes You may remember from science class that any substance with a high pH could be considered dangerous to humans, plants and animals. That’s where Simix’s breakthrough technology comes into play. Using nanotechnology, Simix maintains a completely safe high pH. Simix has been laboratory tested on humans and found to be completely safe.
​How long has been in use? More than ten years. is the same formula that Simix has been using to remove algae on rooftops, bacteria in hospitals, and germs in laundry for more than a decade. It has been thoroughly field tested in the United States, Peru, China, Canada, and Australia. It has been shown time and time again to remove algae, bacteria and germs without hurting a single tree, plant, person, fish or pet when used as directed.

Why does contain titanium dioxide? Titanium dioxide is recognized by the EPA as an environmentally biofriendly biocide. It is a safe ingredient that is consumed daily by billions of people and is found in millions of consumer products including milk, cheese, instant mashed potatoes and sunscreen. Simix AgPlus™ contains nanoparticles of titanium dioxide that work as a photocatalyst, interacting with the sun to keep your soil and plants clean and free of pathogens.

This all purpose cleaner will clean anything so it is very versatile.From laundry to concrete.It is being used in hospitals for bacteria and virus control and in grocery stores,schools,airports all over the world.The Chinese government has shown interest in the product for their crop issues.

Simix all purpose Cleaner is the same as Agplus

sago palm leaves turning white scurf on sago palms systemic insecticide for sago palms sago palm scale coffee sago palm scale malathion cycad scale treatment sago palm mealybugs how to treat scale on palm trees

A clean house is a healthier house

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *