The Q&A Archives: Scale On Bay Leaf Plant

Question: I have been fighting scale on my favorite house plant, a bay leaf plant. I occasionally spray it with a home made mixture of 1 qt water, 1 tablespoon of dish detergent and 1 tablespoon of alcohol. I even tried a systemic poison. Nothing seems to permanently rid the plant of scale. Otherwise the plant is healthy and growing large. Please advise if there is any other way of getting rid of the scale once and for all.

Answer: Scale is notoriously difficult to control. You might try using commercially formulated insecticidal soap according to the label instructions and when the scale are soft and moving or crawling. Be sure to spray the top and bottom sides of the leaves as well as the brnaches and stems and especially where there are joins. Also, a weekly search and destroy mission done by hand under a bright light can make a big dent in the population; gently pop them off with a fingernail. This is the time of year when they seem to peak.

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