White "Pods" Under Leaves

Question:

I have 2 flowering maple plants sitting on my window sill in my kitchen (faces East - gets morning sun) and one of them has bloomed many times and is beautiful! The other hasn't bloomed once, but has nice green leaves. I have noticed that there are small white "pods" or eggs (maybe) that are all over the underside of the leaves.

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I also have a jalapeno plant on my window sill... there were the same white things on one of the leaves (I just picked it off and tossed it.)

Can anyone help!?

Hardiness Zone: 5a

Thanks!
Sarah from IL

Answer:

Sara,

Without seeing your plants, its tough to make an accurate diagnosis, and therefore difficult to recommend a treatment. There are three common houseplant pests that could pass for "pods." The first are aphids. They come in all shapes and colors. Some have tiny wings, while others are wingless. At times their movement isn't all that noticeable, but if you look carefully, you should detect at least a tiny bit of movement. You may also see a sticky substance on the leaves or under the plant. This is honeydew, a substance excreted by aphids while feeding.

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Two other possibilities are mealybugs or scale. Mealybugs don't really look anything like bugs. They almost look like tiny pieces of cotton stuck to the leaves, and are almost completely motionless. Mealybugs usually hang out at the point where the leaf meets the stem. Scale is another pest that sits motionless on plant leaves. They don't look like insects either. Their hard "shells" make the leaves look like they have scabs. Search the Internet for images of these insects and see if any of these match the "pods" you're on your plants.

If one of these pests is your problem, there are a number of things you can do. First of all, if picking the "pods" off by hand doesn't seem to harm the plant tissue in any way, it's a good solution. If you have a spray nozzle on your kitchen sink, the aphids can be blasted off with water. A cotton swab dipped in alcohol and daubed onto mealybugs will control mealybugs. Just don't get any on the leaves you you'll risk burning them. Horticultural oils are useful for smothering Scale. Spraying your plants with a mild insecticidal soap (a little dish soap in water) will deter pests, but that may be all it will do. They may just pack their bags and move on in search of other house plants. These soaps can also burn the plant's leaves if left on too long. If you use them, spray them outside in a shady location and rinse the leaves down within 10-15 minutes.

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If none of these pests sound plausible, look up whiteflies or spider mites. Methods of control will be similar-oils, alcohol, water or insecticidal soaps.

Good Luck!
Ellen

About The Author: Ellen Brown is our Green Living and Gardening Expert. Click here to ask Ellen a question! Ellen Brown is an environmental writer and photographer and the owner of Sustainable Media, an environmental media company that specializes in helping businesses and organizations promote eco-friendly products and services. Contact her on the web at http://www.sustainable-media.com

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August 21, 20060 found this helpful

Looking around Google, I found it might be either mold or fungus. You should be able to find a cure at any place that sells plants/plant things.

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