Houseplants forum: Plant ID and help, small white things are killing it!

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Dec 3, 2016 9:56 PM CST
Thumb of 2016-12-04/BeardedGlass/e776a5

We bought an indoor plant from Ikea and I lost the thing's small plant name tag. It had survived for more than a year now and so luscious... up until small white things started to appear on its leaves and on its stem. Most of which are bunched near the roots.

The leaves are now dying one at a time and no matter what kind of pesticide/insecticide I spray on it, nothing helps. I tried to put it out in the sun thinking the bugs are sensitive to it, but it only hurt my plant, I think.

I need help. We love this plant and it hurts to see it die like this. Please... anyone...

Name: Sally
central Maryland
Seriously addicted to kettle chips.
Charter ATP Member Native Plants and Wildflowers Region: Mid-Atlantic Composter Region: Maryland Birds
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Dec 4, 2016 9:16 AM CST
Not sure I know the plant, maybe Aspidistra? If it is, they tolerate low light well, but probably do better with more light than minimum.

The bugs could be mealybugs, and they are very tricky about hiding down in the plant (though this is very open and I don't see many hiding places.)
I'm not an expert on those either, have just discovered them on an Aglaonema, and have given up an African Violet rather than go through the battle.
(Lotta help, eh Hilarious! )
I'd be tempted to unpot, remove some dirt especially the surface, inspect, and pot into fresh good potting mix and slightly larger pot. Current pot is on the small size- careful with watering on demand and not keeping too wet, never sit in a puddle. Now wait and see what someone more knowledgeable says.
..come into the peace of wild things..-Wendell Berry
Life is a buffet (anon)
Name: Lin
Florida Zone 9b, 10a

Region: United States of America Deer Region: Florida Charter ATP Member Million Pollinator Garden Challenge I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
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Dec 4, 2016 2:14 PM CST
The plant looks like Cast-iron Plant (Aspidistra elatior) to me also but I can't really see the insects clearly enough to tell if they are Mealybugs: or Thrips:

Mealybugs appear as little blobs of white cotton, usually appearing in leaf nodes and nooks of branches, etc.

Thrips can be greenish to light brown to yellowish in color and they move around. They look like dust or silvery speckles on plant leaves, stems, etc.

To eradicate either of these pests, you can try using soapy water mixed with a little isopropyl/rubbing alcohol or check your local garden center for insecticidal soap or neem oil.
~ Playing in the dirt is my therapy ... and I'm in therapy a lot! ~

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