House Plants/Dieffenbachia


Ho i have a diffenbachia and i noticed white spots on the leaves .  The spots feel like cotton ? Could you please suggest the reason for this please.



Your dieffenbachia has in insect called mealy bugs. They attack plants that have been weakened by the air being too dry or from being overwatered or underwatered. Insect do not usually attack healthy plants.

This site has excellent advice on the care of this plant:

But first you need to get rid of the mealy bugs.

Mealy bugs are white, soft-bodied insects that suck plant juices. They are covered with white, waxy threads that protect them from predators. They are normally found where leaves join stems or along leaf veins, and their feeding will cause leaves to turn yellow and drop.mealy bugs

Plants most commonly affected by mealy bugs include aglaonema, most ferns, some palms, ficus, some draceanas, pothos, philodendron, Norfolk Island pine, schefflera, dieffenbachia, jade plant, African violets, streptocarpus and yucca.

Control mealy bugs by pruning infested branches and removing and destroying heavily infested plants. These pests may also be controlled with insecticidal soap. For heavy infestations, spray a mixture of 50 percent rubbing alcohol and 50 percent water directly onto the insects. For smaller infestations, dab the insects with a cotton swab dipped in rubbing alcohol. Repeat this procedure every week until the bugs are gone. Make sure to test the soap and alcohol mixtures on a small portion of the plant prior to full application because some plants may be sensitive to soap or alcohol.

Repeat the spray twice a week for 4 weeks. Consistent spraying is the key to getting rid of this insect as eggs can hatch out and produce additional mealy bugs for at least 3 weeks.

For more information, see the following Colorado State University Extension fact sheet(s).
Insect Control: Soaps and Detergents

If you have more questions feel free to write again. Good luck!


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Darlene K. Kittle


I have been an Advanced Master Gardener for 24 years and I raise around 300 houseplants and bonsai trees a year including tropicals, succulents, and cacti. I have also been a professional plant care person for businesses in the Fort Wayne, IN area and currently professionally care for bonsai trees for my customers.


I am also studying the Japanese art of bonsai with tropical plants and is President of the Fort Wayne, IN Bonsai Club.

Fort Wayne, iN Master Gardeners. President of the Fort Wayne Bonsai Club. Allen County Master Gardeners

I am not a hortculturist. I am a Purdue University Advanced Master Gardener for 24 years. I have studied plants on a personal level by growing hundreds of plants annually for the last 35 years. I have also studied under several nationally known American Bonsai experts.

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