What is this white discoloration on my Phoenix Palms?

Discussion in 'Indoor and Greenhouse Plants' started by Nick Bryan, Jun 2, 2022.

  1. Nick Bryan

    Nick Bryan New Member

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    Hi,

    During the last week I have noticed a progressive, I do not know what I should call, but I call it white discoloration for now, on some of the leaves of my Phoenix Canariensis and Phoenix Dactylifera seedlings.
    This is not scales, this is the leaf itself, kind of looks like powder or something, but it is the leaf itself because I tried to rub it off with my finger, and it was not attached, it was simply the leaf. This is not very very noticeable, I would think someone unfamiliar with this species might not even notice it unless it gets worse. I did notice it however, and you have to pay just a bit of attention, because as I said, it is not very noticeable so it would be perhaps ignored. Please ignore the dirt on the leaves.

    I have named all photos so that you have more context on what I am showing.
    I did notice that the older leaves seem to be somewhat more affected by the discoloration than the bigger younger ones, but even the younger ones are also getting this white stuff.

    Hope anyone can perhaps identify this as I understand this plant stuff is complicated sometimes! :)

    Conditions they are subjected to:
    26 C during the night, 30, to 35 C during the day, relative humidity mostly 80% to 85%
    I have this seedlings in a grow tent with 3 grow lights at a reasonable distance, 12 to 18 inches away, and they all get about 1000 PPFD at the distance I have the light from the canopies, lights are kept on 11 hours per day. it could be something with the soil maybe as they have been in that grow tent under those conditions for almost 4 months actively growing, and just until recently, 7 days, I started to notice that on the leaves. I can add I use a liquid fertilizer that instructs me to water them with it every 15 days. The amount is pretty much 1 cubic centimeter per 2 liters of water, so I get two liters of water and throw 1 centimeter in the water and mix it, of that concentrated liquid fertilizer every 2 weeks.


    Fertilizer:
    NPK
    647
     

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  2. Junglekeeper

    Junglekeeper Esteemed Contributor 10 Years

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    It looks suspiciously like the work of spider mites or thrips.
     
  3. Nick Bryan

    Nick Bryan New Member

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    Thank you. I think it is quite possibly an insect issue, yes. I started to look at the leaves even more closely, and while I did not see a whole lot of them, like for example aphids. I started to see some white incredibly small things, so small that are hard for me eye to even identify what that is. I saw just a few moving, then a poked some other little white things to see if that was part of the plant tissue or dirt or what, I poked it with my nail and it was also one of the other little white things that I previously saw crawling, it started to move when I poked it. I still do not understand what the heck they are. I saw no spider webs, just the white discoloration on the leaves that looks like a bit of powder, and a few of those little white things, most of them stationary, I realized they were insects and alive until I poked them with my finger nail.
     
  4. Nick Bryan

    Nick Bryan New Member

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    Should I just get an insecticide and spray them all?
     
  5. wcutler

    wcutler Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator VCBF Cherry Scout 10 Years

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    I would wash the leaves off with water, very carefully, every three days, for a month or so. The white discolouration won't go away - you'll just notice whether the new leaves are clear.
     
  6. Will B

    Will B Active Member

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  7. Junglekeeper

    Junglekeeper Esteemed Contributor 10 Years

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  8. Nick Bryan

    Nick Bryan New Member

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    Thank you all! It was certainly spider mites, and although I did not have an adequate magnifying glass, and I had a rather hard time trying to see for myself what they were, after having seen many pictures on the internet, I was able to compare them, and these were the so called two spotted spider mites. Even though they are too tiny, I could (in a difficult way) see their two spots. I also saw a solitary one crawling around that was totally red, not sure what that was. I have been spraying them with organic insecticidal soap well, and the new growth looks good and evenly green!
     
  9. wcutler

    wcutler Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator VCBF Cherry Scout 10 Years

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    Thanks for the status report. Nice to know your efforts have been successful.
    You can never totally relax about spider mites. You might have missed an egg! Or your plant can attract new ones. Keep paying attention. Ha! As I type this, I remember that I have a plant I should check on.
     

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