Help with ponytail palm

Discussion in 'Plant Propagation' started by juniejane, Jun 15, 2009.

  1. juniejane

    juniejane Member

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    Salt Lake City
    I have a ponytail palm that is infested with mealy bugs. I can't get rid of them and the plant looks terrible. It may be dying. It is only about 2-3 feet tall. It was growing from two spots, one on each side at the top of the trunk when we got it. Absolutely gorgeous. It looks horrible now. What I'm wondering it possible if I cut the growth off completely, will it grow new shoots again or is it a gonner? I'm just wondering if it would react like a dumb cane will. I know you can cut them off and they will start growing again...anyone?
  2. LeftCoastAngler

    LeftCoastAngler Active Member

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    Ortho's Orthonex. Bayer's also makes a similar systemic in a blue bottle... Either or will handle the bizness.
    Quit watering it so much too.

  3. joclyn

    joclyn Rising Contributor

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    philly, pa, usa 6b
    you can also use rubbing alcohol to kill the mealies. either by using a q-tip and dip and touch them or put it in a spray bottle and spray - just make sure to cover the soil with plastic so the r-a doesn't drip down into it.

    if the infestation is very, very bad, i'd use the spray method...if it's bad, yet do-able with the q-tips, or even paper towels, i'd do that. with spraying, it's easy to go overboard and too much of the r-a will do damage...i err on the side of caution even if it takes longer to apply.

    make sure to get the crevises where the leaves attach to the base - both top and bottom sides.

    repeat treatment in 7-10 days and then again in another 7-10 if needed.

    after the second treatment, i'd also suggest repotting in a new container and fresh soil (or, you can bleach the current container and rinse 3-4 times to get rid of residue and then pot up again with fresh soil). when the plant is unpotted, take a good look at the roots...mealies usualy live on the upper part of the plants - there are some that also infest the roots. if you have root mealies, then a systemic treatment (ortho or bayer) would be in order.

    good luck!

    oh, yes, you can cut off the leaf parts and it should regrow - with possibly double sprouts. i'd only do that as a last resort though!!

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