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House Plants/Mealy bug treatment


Hindu Rope 1
Hindu Rope 1  

Hindu Rope 2
Hindu Rope 2  
I fell in love with a hanging Hindu Rope plant, but I don't know anything about them. Some of the leaves are turning yellow, and now it has mealy bugs -- devastating with all those curly leaves! I followed your treatment recommendation (to  Rechelle 5/26/2006 Ivy plants) for a diluted alcohol spray bath and the situation is much improved, and I plan another treatment in a week, as they are not totally eradicated.

I'm wondering if it should be repotted as the soil is likely contaminated, but I'm unsure how to proceed and if this will be too much stress for the plant right now or should I wait (or do something else first?). It's in the original plastic pot from the nursery and I'm also unsure how to properly re-pot it. I feel terrible about letting it get so sick and want to do the right thing.

Hi Carol,

It is unlikely that your Hoya carnosa has mealybugs in the soil. However, your plant is small enough that I can suggest an alternative treatment. Fill your kitchen sink with the same solution of water, alcohol and soap. Then plunge the entire pot into the solution so that the entire plant is submerged and the soil is also saturated. Leave it for no more than a minute. Then, rinse the plant and flush clear water through the soil. That should take care of the mealybug problem.

I any case, do NOT repot as that will make matters worse.

I do not know the specific cause of the infestation, but I do know that pest infestations tend to take hold on plants that are under stress, usually from improper light or watering. Your Hoya needs to be kept tightly potted and located in a very sunny window. The soil must be allowed to dry at least halfway deep into the pot before any water is added. A plain wooden dowel may help you determine how dry it is. Do NOT rely on a moisture meter. Hoyas also benefit from occasional pruning. Finally, remove all dead or discolored leaves as they will not recover.

I have written detailed articles on treating indoor plant pests that I will email for free to you (or anyone else) who emails a request to me at I have also written an indoor plant care book in a PDF format that I can sell you if you contact me at my email address.

Please let me know if any of this is unclear or if you have any additional questions.

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Will Creed


I am the only expert in this category with professional hands-on experience and knowledge of all indoor plants. I can answer questions regarding light, water, fertilizer, repotting, pruning and humidity and temperature requirements. I can identify plant pests and provide information on safe, effective treatments. My answers are based on 35 years of professional experience and scientific research and are clear and easy to understand. I do NOT use search engines to find answers to your questions. If you read my previous posts here, you will get a good idea as to how thorough and professional my answers are.


I have over 35 years of professional indoor landscaping experience caring for plants in homes, offices, building lobbies, stores, restaurants, and other adverse environments. I have written extensively on the care of indoor plants, including a 260 page book. My specialties include Ficus trees, low light plants, repotting, pest control, and re-blooming holiday plants. Be sure to check my ratings and nominations to learn why I am the top-rated indoor plant expert. I am the only House Plant expert consistently ranked in the AllExperts Top 20.

BA, Amherst College

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