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Banana Shrub and the scale.

Monday, 20 Feb 12 Sunny 18°C / 64°F

The plant is looking MUCH better after vast applications of insecticidal soap. I apply a few times a week around the rain schedule and I’ve also been clipping off the most affected leaves. Here are some better pictures of what I’m up against. I don’t know, for sure, that it’s scale but the soap is working so I suppose it doesn’t really matter what it is but you know, curiosity killed the cat.
First – front leaf detail
Second – back leaf detail
it looks like two completely different organisms, I can’t tell if the back side is the ‘nursery’ of this thing or what, but it doesn’t crawl, from what I can tell – whatever it is, it remains stationary.


This entry is about

Day 320

Banana Shrub

Michelia figo



  • evergreengirl

    evergreengirl wrote:

    Magnolia scale comes to mind: http://www.donnan.com/Magnolia_scale.htm Apparently, banana shrubs are fairly susceptible to it, and cause significant yellowing of the leaves. I’m guessing the smooth ones are male, the fluffy ones the females, and the tiny ones on the underside are the nymphs settling down from their mobile phase. Once they are adults, they don’t move.

    Posted on 23 Feb 12 (over 3 years ago)

  • Gardenerd

    Gardenerd wrote:

    This is exactly what’s on my shrub! http://entnemdept.ufl.edu/fasulo/woodypest/205.htm
    According to that site, it’s “Magnolia white scale” aka false oleander scale.
    Thank you so much!

    Posted on 23 Feb 12 (over 3 years ago)

  • evergreengirl

    evergreengirl wrote:

    Ah, good sleuthing! My gender determinations were backwards, then – the females are the ones on the top of your leaf, and the males are the fluffy ones in the clusters underneath. One site I found says the best way to address them is to use horticultural oil when the nymphs are out, since the oil suffocates them. Hope that works for your plant!
    I have to say, I’ve wanted a banana shrub for a very long time, ever since I was an undergrad in Botany. I used to spend many hours in the teaching greenhouses, and study under the Michelia so I could smell it while it was in bloom. Maybe I’ll get it as a houseplant someday. :)

    Posted on 23 Feb 12 (over 3 years ago)

  • Gardenerd

    Gardenerd wrote:

    Yes! It said the nymphs usually come out in July or August but I tell you what – I’m spraying that plant several times a week, indefinitely, until it’s gone! :)
    I’ve heard that the sun is what gives the flowers their pungent smell – I had it in my house but it was right after I got it and it was already starting to bloom and thus, the flowers were intoxicating – better than any air freshener. I moved it outside at the advice of a user names “groovespirit” – then it got infested with the scale and I didn’t bring it back in… So, I don’t know how it would do as a houseplant but I love it enough to save it from this infestation :))

    Posted on 23 Feb 12 (over 3 years ago)

  • evergreengirl

    evergreengirl wrote:

    Good luck kicking the little buggers out!

    Posted on 24 Feb 12 (over 3 years ago)

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