The Q&A Archives: Palm Tree w/ White Growing Fuzz?

Question: I have an indoor Palm Tree that is about waist high, appears to be growing well - the leaves are dark green, wide & the trunks are thick - however the leaves are starting to have a white cottin-like fuzz growing on them. It will start with just a few leaves and then spread to the ones around it. I usually wipe it off with a wet paper towel - only to see it reappear in a few weeks. I have another identical palm tree in the home and it does not do this. Any thoughts as to what this mysterious white fuzz could be?
Thank You!

Answer: The white spots may very well be mealy bugs. If you look at one of the spots under a magnifying glass, you'll be able to tell for certain. Mealy bugs look like little cottony masses. You can control them by dabbing them with a cotton swap dipped in alcohol. Don't let a population take over your palm, or they'll be difficult to get rid of. If the white spots are more gray than white, you may have Botrytis, or gray mold. Not likely unless the growing conditions are cool and humid. Cut off the infected parts of the leaves, increase air circulation around the plant, and warm the room up a bit.

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