I have a sago palm and the bottom of the fronds are covered with a white material which resembles newly fallen snow. What is the problem with my sago?
This is a relatively new pest of sago palms in central Florida. It is called aulacaspis cycad scale and has the potential to kill your plant if it is not treated. It normally infests the lower side of fronds at first and then moves to the upper surface. They also infest the stem and roots down a foot or more into the soil which make total control difficult. A heavy infestation on a sago does resemble a fresh snow fall. The aulacaspis scale can be confused with the false magnolia scale which normally infests the upper side of the frond leaflets and generally is not a serious problem. Control at this point is not well understood and research is ongoing. Currently, it is recommended that all totally infested fronds be pruned and placed in plastic bags for disposal. The remaining fronds, particularly the bottom side, and trunk should be sprayed with horticultural oil, such as Organocide, Volck oil or Ultrafine oil, weekly for 5 weeks at which time the fronds and stem should be washed with