Ask a Question forum→White puffs on gold dust croton. Should I worry?

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California (CA)
Skrishnamoorthy
May 16, 2020 3:15 PM CST
Hello,
I have an otherwise pretty healthy gold dust croton plant that's grown to over a foot indoors. I've noticed these puffs of white material at several spots where offshoots meet the main stem. Is this something to be worried about? If so, what's the best way to remove them? I've attached a picture.

Thanks for your help!

Siddharth
Thumb of 2020-05-16/Skrishnamoorthy/d4abfa

Name: Big Bill
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BigBill
May 16, 2020 3:21 PM CST
You have mealy bugs!
Insecticidal soap, or an alcohol/water spray! Repeat as needed.
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plantmanager
May 16, 2020 3:29 PM CST
I agree, and keep treating. Those are stubborn and hard to get rid of.
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Name: Will Creed
NYC
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WillC
May 17, 2020 9:30 AM CST
If you just treat the visible mealybugs, you will miss the translucent and nearly invisible juveniles that will mature and reproduce. Thus, it is important that you spray ALL leaf and stem surfaces until they are literally dripping wet. Thorough coverage is the key to successfully eradicating the problem and avoiding repeat treatments.
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California (CA)
Skrishnamoorthy
May 17, 2020 10:00 AM CST
Oh ok! Thanks for responding! Will a dilute solution of dish soap work as a disinfectant?
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plantladylin
May 17, 2020 10:34 AM CST
Yes, your Croton (Codiaeum variegatum 'Aureo Maculatum') has an infestation of mealybugs. You don't need a disinfectant but rather an insecticide. If there aren't too many of those little cottony blob insects, use a Qtip cotton swab, dipped in rubbing alcohol and dab or gently wipe them off. If the infestation is extensive, Insecticidal Soap works well as does Neem Oil Spray and you will have to thoroughly spray to coat every nook and cranny.
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Name: Will Creed
NYC
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WillC
May 17, 2020 12:28 PM CST
Dilute alcohol (5 parts water, 1 part alcohol) will help break through the outer coating of the mealybugs. Add a squirt of liquid dish soap to help get better coverage.
Will Creed
Horticultural Help, NYC
www.HorticulturalHelp.com
Contact me directly at [email protected]
I now have a book available on indoor plant care
California (CA)
Skrishnamoorthy
May 17, 2020 1:11 PM CST
Ok, will do. Thanks!

Apologies in advance if this is a dumb question - since rubbing alcohol is in such serious short supply, would a diluted acetone solution (nail polish remover) work the same?
Name: Will Creed
NYC
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WillC
May 17, 2020 1:15 PM CST
No acetone! If you cannot use alcohol, then use neem or just dish soap and water.
Will Creed
Horticultural Help, NYC
www.HorticulturalHelp.com
Contact me directly at [email protected]
I now have a book available on indoor plant care
California (CA)
Skrishnamoorthy
May 17, 2020 1:18 PM CST
Ok, duly noted Smiling

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