falling leaves on desert rose - Knowledgebase Question

Port Charlotte, Fl
Avatar for acdelko43
Question by acdelko43
November 19, 2010
My desert rose had a white cottony looking growth on one of the flower clusters and some white spots on other leaves. I sprayed it with a rose and flower insect killer. The edges of many of the leaves turned brown and now many of the leaves have fallen off. What can I do?

Answer from NGA
November 19, 2010
The white cottony tufts were either mealybugs or scale insects and while the insect killer may have killed them, it sounds like your desert rose is quite sensitive to the oils in the spray. There's not much you can do to save the affected leaves but a healthy plant will develop healthy new leaves in a month or two. If you find the insect problem popping up again, try picking off the insects with tweezers or prying them off with a toothpick. This way you'll avoid burning the leaves with insecticides. Good luck with your desert rose.

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