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How To Get Rid Of Mealybugs On Dracaena Marginata

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How to get rid of mealybugs on Dracaena Marginata? You can get rid of mealybugs on the dracaena by spot rubbing an alcohol solution on the plant. Soak some cotton balls or cotton wool in a 70% alcohol solution and press gently on the affected parts.

Pests of dracaena marginata are actually not that common, but mealybugs can be one of those irritating pests that take some work to get rid of.

Dracaena Marginata Plant

If left untreated, mealybugs can cause a lot of damage to your dracaena and, in some severe cases, even cause the plant to die.

How To Get Rid Of Mealybugs On Dracaena

As with many other plants and insect infestations, there are chemical and natural ways to solve the problem.

Many commonly used insecticides won’t work too well in getting rid of the mealybugs. This is because the bugs have a waxy coating that repels these solutions.

You can identify mealybugs on your dracaena when you see small, white bugs covered in a white film. Often, mealybugs don’t actually look like tiny insects and instead look like white fungus.

You can take several steps to eliminate mealybugs on your favorite dracaena plant.

Step 1: Spot Treatment Of Mealybugs On Dracaena

The first step in removing mealybugs from your dracaena is to do a spot treatment. Buy or make a 70% alcohol solution.

Dip some cotton balls or cotton sticks into the solution and dab it directly onto the infected parts of the plant.

Spot treatment is especially effective for indoor dracaena plants, as blasting them with a solution or even water would not be ideal.

Also, blasting the plant without doing the spot treatment will probably not be very effective to the structure of the dracaena’s leaves.

An important aspect to consider while doing the spot treatment is getting to the very young mealybugs that are much more difficult to see than the more mature ones.

The solution has to make contact with these bugs and the ones visible to you.

Step 2: Treat The Entire Dracaena With A Solution

After treating the specific spots where you can see the mealybug infestation, make a bigger alcohol solution. This solution includes 1 cup alcohol, 4 cups water, and a few drops of dish soap (the Dawn make is a good one).

You can use a spray bottle for this treatment step and spray the solution on the whole plant. Be thorough here, and don’t forget the underside of the leaves and the plant’s trunk. Also, spray some on the soil around the base of the dracaena.

The whole plant (leaves, trunk, and base) should be dripping wet from the spray when doing this step. The pests tend to return if the spray solution has missed even a small amount of them.

Step 3: Repetition Of Treatment

Steps 1 and 2 should be repeated about once to twice a week until the mealybugs are entirely gone. With regularly repeating the treatment, it’s essential to check for mealybugs’ return regularly.

It might be that the specific treatment you chose wasn’t that effective, or you need to do it more often. However, you will only know if you do an in-depth check often.

How To Get Rid Of Mealybugs On Dracaena Marginata

Step 4: Consider Other Treatment Options

There are different stages to a mealybug life. If they are in the so-called crawler stage, you could consider using neem oil as a solution.

Other options include insecticidal soap and horticulture oil for getting rid of the pests.

Another interesting at-home solution that you could use is soap. Apparently, this can also help get through the waxy outer coat of the mealybugs and get rid of them.  

If you can only see a few mealybugs on the dracaena, then it is suggested to spray them off with water only. It’s essential to use a high-pressure spray to ensure they come off correctly. You might have to take your plant outside to do this if it’s an indoor dracaena.

Quite a different approach to remove mealybugs from your dracaena would be to take out a chunk of the soil and dip the whole plant in an alcohol-based or soap-based solution. You could use a huge tub, for example.

How Mealybugs Can Damage Your Dracaena

Mealybugs can be quite damaging as they draw out the juice in the leaves, causing the leaves to turn yellow.

They do this by piercing the outer part of the leaves. The infected leaves that turn yellow will usually die and fall off.

Mealybugs cause damage to your dracaena by stunting its growth. Mealybugs also cause dracaena leaves to drop off.

Generally, you’ll also be able to see the damage on your dracaena from mealybugs. There may be leaves that are yellow and drooping or falling off and black-ish mold.

There are differing degrees of damage to the plant in the different stages that mealybugs go through. When mealybugs are crawlers in their early stages, they cause the most damage.

When the mealybug infestation is very severe, it can also cause the dracaena to die. The plant dying would happen over time and, of course, with no attempt at removing the pests.

How To Prevent Mealybugs On Dracaena

The best prevention of mealybugs to dracaena comes with checking regularly and keeping your dracaena as healthy as possible.

It’s important to check all parts of the plant, like under the leaves, the trunk, and the base. The quicker you notice them, the better.

It’s a good idea to check the dracaena you want to buy very carefully before making the purchase.

Usually, mealybugs tend to collect on the underside of the leaves, so it’s critical to check there too. Often you may unknowingly be taking some unwanted mealybugs home with you.

Isolate your new dracaena from other plants for the first bit to monitor them and see if you notice any infestations. A happy and healthy dracaena gets the correct amount of water and lighting.

One way to keep your dracaena healthy is to use filtered water. Fluoride in unfiltered water can damage the plant by browning the leaves.

Once a dracaena is more vulnerable, it is also more susceptible to pests such as mealybugs.

What Causes Dracaena Marginata Turning White

You may notice patches of white on your dracaena. These patches are usually an indication of mealybugs. From far, mealybugs can look like cottony white fungus, especially on the leaves.

These white patches are usually seen when the bugs have come together to form clusters. They do this when they have found a leaf of part of the dracaena that is a good spot to feed on.

On a closer look, you will be able to see that it is, in fact, these small white pests that are making your dracaena look white. Mealybugs are oval-shaped and have a waxy coat that can also be sticky.

How Dracaena Gets Mealybugs

Mealybugs, and other pests, on your dracaena are usually a sign that the plant was not too healthy in the first place. Inadequate lighting or incorrect water amount can cause stress on the dracaena, making it more vulnerable to pest infestations.

It’s best not to overwater your dracaena, as moist environments can cause a breeding ground for these pests.

Overwatering is also not good for the dracaena as the wet soil can result in the root rotting over time.

A great tip to use is to check whether the top inch of the soil is dry. If it is, then you can water the dracaena.

In terms of lighting, bright light is good for a dracaena, both indoor and outdoor. However, direct sunlight is too harsh and can cause the leaves to burn.

Can Dracaena Recover From Mealybugs

Your dracaena will be able to recover from its mealybugs infestation if you can treat it effectively. This means completely getting rid of the mealybugs.

It also depends on how badly the plant has been infected and how quickly treatment started.

The biggest problem for recovery is leaving the mealybugs untreated. Over time, your dracaena might be too weak to recover completely and be open to other plant diseases.