How to Care for White Spots on Pachira Plants
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.
Care For A Pachira Plant
The native habitat of a pachira plant (Pachira aquatica) gives a clue to caring for the plant either outdoors or indoors. Also called water chestnut, Guiana or Malabar chestnut, money tree or saba nut, pachira is happy with regular, deep watering or even flooding now and then if you plant it near a creek or stream. Leaf spots may indicate lack of potassium. Check the amount of the mineral in your fertilizer and add a supplemental potassium fertilizer as directed on the package label. * Cut back on watering to let the soil breath or repot the plant if your soil doesn't drain well. * Mold on the surface of the soil might mean you are letting the soil remain too wet, rather than simply moist. Fungus gnats, which look like tiny black flies, lay eggs on the surface of the soil. Or control the plant's size by cutting off one or two of the oldest and tallest stems in the fall.
- Neem oil
- Pruning shears
- Horticultural soap spray
- Phytoseiulus mite
- “Garden Pests and Diseases”; Lynne Gilberg and Susan Lang; 1993
- “Pests and Diseases”; Andrew Halstead and Beatrice Henricot; 2010
- University of California Integrated Pest Management Program: Powdery Mildew
- Missouri Botanical Garden: Pachira Aquatica
- Floridata: Pachira Aquatica
- Plantopedia: Braided Money Tree, Pachira Aquatica – How to Care