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How to Care for White Spots on Pachira Plants

By Richard Kalinowski ; Updated September 21, 2017
A basic horticultural soap spray helps control red spider mites.
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The Pachira genus of trees contains several flowering, tropical varieties. These trees add color to your yard, but they require a lot of moisture to survive. This excess water makes them susceptible to white spots from mildew growth. White spots on your Pachira plants could also be caused by red spider mites, though this is less common since mites prefer arid conditions. However, mites attack a Pachira plant when no other food is available.

Inspect the tree to determine the source of your white spots. White fuzzy or powdery spots on your leaves or bark are indicative of mildew fungus. Whereas fungus grows on the outer surface, red spider mite damage creates whitish discoloration ingrained inside the leaves themselves.

Spray your Pachira plant with neem oil to care for small mildew fungus patches. If you only notice a few small spots of mildew, this natural plant-seed oil will fix the problem.

Clip off severely damaged mildew leaves to prevent further spreading.

Apply a chemical fungicide to your Pachira plant after pruning extensive damage. General-purpose fungicides help kill remaining mildew and prevent future damage.

Spray the plant with a soap-based insect spray to deal with spider mites. Chemical insecticides are not very effective against red spider mites. Damaged leaves usually recover and do not need pruning.

Introduce any species of predatory mite from the Phytoseiulus genus into your garden to eat the red spider mites. This method of biological control is very effective when soap sprays do not deter the mites. Once the spider mites are killed, the Phytoseiulus mites will die off from starvation.


Things You Will Need

  • Neem oil
  • Pruning shears
  • Horticultural soap spray
  • Phytoseiulus mite

About the Author


Richard Kalinowski began writing professionally in 2006. He also works as a website programmer and graphic designer for several clients. Kalinowski holds a Master of Fine Arts from Goddard College and a Bachelor of Science in education from the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater.