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The most common insect attack on grass trees

Finding a sick grass tree in your midst can be very disconcerting. Have you ever noticed that your grass tree leaves didn’t quite look right? And then upon closer inspection, you find that some of the inner leaves were brown. And then, perhaps, when you looked very closely you could see white, flakey, spots on the leaves? It’s the most common insect problem that grass trees encounter.

Unfortunately, there is so little information available to help resolve grass tree problems. Even many suppliers are inexperienced and have little help to offer. Having dealt with this particular insect problem for decades in our own nursery, and having helped hundreds of people deal with it in their own gardens, there is good news – it’s easy to treat!

White Wax Scale is a sucking insect that feeds primarily on the inner, softer, fresh growth of the grass trees. Left unattended to fester and multiply, the White Wax Scale can cause some serious harm to your grass trees. But simply by using a common white oil spray, the scales breathing pores are smothered and the insect suffocates. Repeat the process of generously spraying all the leaves with white oil every couple of weeks until there is no more scale present. And then check on the inner leaves from time to time.
After you have treated scale successfully, the leaves will have lost some colour in the spots where the scale have been sucking the nutrients. That’s ok, eventually those leaves will grow out.

Here are a few photos to help you identify the scale. As you can see, if left for a long time, it can affect the health of the plant.

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