Apartment plants


Question: cochineal

I have had a dracena for 20 years, it has always been in the apartment. Last summer I completely pruned it leaving only about 50 cm of trunk, because it seemed completely extinct. leaves there is a white substance like burr. That I do not want to lose it. Attention to thank you infinitely.

Answer: cochineal

Dear Marina,
congratulations for your plant and also for pruning, in fact these plants tend to recover without problems even when the pruning is drastic and this method is often used to renew old plants, or plants that have grown too tall. Now, the problem of cochineal is quite typical on houseplants, in fact these insects tend to develop more in case of dry climate and with poor ventilation; to avoid that it reappears, remember to periodically vaporize the leaves of your dracaena, both when it is outdoors, ineuta, and when it is in the house during the winter, when the heating system is active, which dries the air. To kill the scale insects on the foliage, special anticoccidial insecticides are used, often based on white oils; white oil is useful to ensure that the insecticide penetrates below the waxy layer that forms above the scale insects, to protect them from external atmospheric events. Remember that scale insects, once they have died because of the insecticide, generally remain in place, and you will have to remove them. Remember also that cochineals often tend to nest on the underside of the foliage, and in the insertion of the long leaves on the stem, so when you water you will have to go to wet all the parts of the leaves and the stem well. If the leaves attacked by the parasite are few, you can also simply remove the scale insects with an alcohol swab. If you do not want to spread insecticide on the terrace or in the house, considering that your plant is in a pot, large tablets of insecticide are available on the market, which dissolve with each watering; in this way the insecticide circulates in the plant, and also protects it from future attacks by other insects.