Garden

CYCAS


Question: CYCAS


SALVE MY CYCAS PLANTED IN THE GARDEN, HAS ALL THE LEAVES FULL OF WHITE POINTS AS A MACCHIOLINE OF PAINTING. WHAT CAN I DO?

Answer: CYCAS


Dear Patty,
often it happens that cycads are filled with white dots, which can be due to different problems. If you check under the leaves, and you see tiny, gray creatures, then your cycas has been attacked by the cochineal, an insect that loves warm, dry climates and poorly ventilated areas; you can eradicate this parasite by using insecticide oil at the end of the winter, to spread well over all the foliage. If your plant is living in always damp soil, then it could be affected by a root fungus, which develops especially in a humid environment; try to water the cycas less, and make a treatment with a systemic fungicide, to spray on the foliage, which will be absorbed by the whole plant, eradicating the parasite. During the cold months it leaves the soil mainly dry, so that no mushrooms or other pests of this type are formed. The problem, however, could also be linked to nutritional deficiencies, to prevent them from recurring, in the autumn and early spring, spread around your cycas some slow release granular fertilizer; on the market you will find appropriate fertilizers for cycads, if you do not find them, you can use a fertilizer for green plants, it is important that it is a slow release, so that its action lasts for a few months, while the fertilizer melts every time the plant receives water. Unfortunately this type of damage on cycads is permanent, meaning that nothing will allow you to make the yellow dots disappear, which are the result of the action of parasites, or nutritional deficiencies, and are not mere spots, but of the points where the leaf is ruined in depth. Fortunately, cycads periodically change the leaves, and so over the years the damaged leaves will be replaced by new leaves. I remind you that cycads love well-lit positions, even sunny ones, with a good change of air; watering must be provided in the warm months, from April to May, until September-October, avoiding however to leave the soil always damp: whenever you notice that the ground is dry, water it again; if, however, you notice that the soil is often wet for a long time, avoid watering, and eventually, in the case of very compact and asphyctic soil, in autumn it assesses the possibility of removing your cycas and improving the soil mix, adding sand or pumice stone, to improve water flow.