How do You Get Rid of Scale on a Bird of Paradise?

What is scale?

Scale appears on the underside of the plant’s leaves or stems.They can look like little spots that move. Once the scale has settled, they become hard and remain stationary. They then suck the sap, removing all the nutrients from your plant.

Types of scale

Did you know that you get different types of scale?

Armored scale is a harder scale which can be very invasive and hard to control once it matures. 

Soft scale secretes a thick liquid that encourages mold to grow. This mold is black, and it can stop plants from making food through photosynthesis.

Mealybugs are one of the most common types of scale. They appear as white clusters and are unfortunately a very common household pest.

Scale signs and symptoms

Scale almost always appears as clusters of mobile or stationary spots. They are oftentimes seen hiding underneath a plant’s leaves, so be sure to check there too!

Yellow and small leaves

If you notice your leaves beginning to yellow and new growth appears small, this may be a sign your plant is suffering from scale. Due to the pest sucking sap from the plant, the leaves may begin to turn yellow. New growth will be smaller due to the loss of nutrients 

Dull plant

As with the yellowing leaves, because the plant is having all its nutrients sucked out of it, it may appear dull and limp. The plant will look sickly and may infest other plants nearby.

How to treat scale

Scale can be invasive, so it’s best to not leave it. If scale progresses and takes over, it may even kill your plant. 

Lightly infested plants

Using an alcohol-dipped swab, scrub the leaves until the scale comes loose. Be sure to do this as gently as possible, as your plant is likely already very fragile from the loss of nutrients.

Each leaf will have to be scrubbed individually. Given the size that a happy Bird of paradise can reach, this is only recommended for very mild cases of infestation.

Moderately infested plants

An insecticide should be purchased from a nursery store.Weekly treatments may need to be done, and possibly even monthly if the infestation is severe.

Scale is most responsive to insecticides while still in the mobile stage. Once it hardens, it becomes much harder to treat.

Extreme infestation

In extreme cases of infestation, in some cases, it may be better to throw the plant away. Scale can be very hard to get rid of if it has taken over the plant. Not only this, but once out of control, it is able to spread fast and could attack your other plants.

In conclusion

While scale can be very stubborn and hard to get rid of, houseplants will sometimes surprise you with how resilient they are.

Treat your plant until no more scales appear for a week or two. Give your plant some time to recover and pay extra attention for the next few months to ensure the scale doesn’t return.