1. I have this crazy neighbor who stole my madagascar palm off the front porch.
Like all good plant hoarders, I had a ton of plants all over the
place, so I didn't notice it at first. I had a suspicion of who it
was because I stupidly started the cold-war by loudly complaining to
another neighbor (cat shit in my beds- presumably from the 15 cats
across the street). So in a minor fit of disbelief, I marched over to
her backyard and saw... MY PLANT- which I promptly took back. Haha-
2. When I got it home, I found that the soil was sopping wet, and it
had a major lean. I was worried about overwatering/rot, and let it dry
out... maybe too well (and kind of forgot to water for some time too).
I wasn't too worried about it at that point- the leaves looked great,
beefy green, etc.
3. I repotted it to fix the lean, in new soil, and watered well.
4. Two weeks later, I noticed what I think are scale (new to me)-
ALL OVER the trunk. The base of the trunk was slightly brown, but very
firm. The crown had fuzzy mealies. The tip had this odd yellow/Brown
patch that I was worried was the start of rot- but it was still firm.
The leaves started to crisp up from the tips, curl, and fall off.
5. I applied what I had on hand- bayer advanced rose & flower insect
killer. I also doused the roots with diluted Physan 20.
6. Over the following week, I noticed that the mealies were gone. The
heaviest covering of scale on the trunk crusted up and turned Brown.
The upper part of the trunk started to turn from sickly green/yellow
to silvery green. The leaves still dropped. The brown patch at the tip
never got mushy.
7. I reapplied the bug spray and have watered lightly 1-2x since then.
What now (?):
I'm not sure where to go from here. I've been doing my best to pretend
that the poor thing doesn't exist, planning instead for potential
1. The mealies are back- only a couple at the tip.
2. It looks like the scale is creeping in, but not at all close to how
it was before.
3. The lean is still terrible.
1. I plant to retreat for bugs. Should I repot to see who's living in
the roots? Is there something better I should try? Is the brown
discoloration/crust on the lower trunk permanent?
2. I'm worried about the repot. I wonder if the roots were/are too
desiccated because I was so aggressive about trying to dry it out (or
she let it dry out in the full sun before doing her soak) I also know
I'm going to have to start watering at some point- Thoughts on that?
Thanks for your help!