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All We Need is LOVE

I’ve been  thinking about Valentine’s Day decor and I had to have some of these

Wordless Wednesday

Picture of candy hearts with words

Houseplants, Scale, & Alcohol

How I Get Rid of Scale on My Houseplants

A few days ago I noticed my houseplants had scales. This isn’t the first time, and I know it won’t be the last time I fight against these little insects.

Scales are pesky little creatures that can  literally suck the life out of your houseplants. They are usually hiding beneath their hard outer shell. This shell is what makes them difficult to get rid of. They only crawl at a certain stage in their life cycle. Come to think of it I don’t think I’ve ever seen one crawl, nor have I ever seen a picture of one crawling. I’ve only read about them crawling after they hatch.

Here is a picture of the scale on my plant

The round little bumps are the scale.

These insects will kill your beautiful houseplants if you don’t take care of the problem. It’s also gross to think about insects all over your plants in the house. Cleaning your houseplants is a must if you want long living, beautiful, healthy plants.

More pictures of scale on different plants in my house

Symptoms of Scale Infestation

Scales are sneaky and they usually go unnoticed until your plant is looking sad, yellowed, and droopy.

The first thing people usually notice is a sticky sap like substance called honeydew on the surrounding area of the plant. You may also notice the stickiness on the leaves below the leaf with the scale. This stuff can ruin drapery, couch fabric, carpet, and wood. It’s not easy to remove the honeydew if you leave it sitting too long before cleaning it up.

I use the mixture I kill the scale with to clean the floor around my plants too. I have acid stained cement floors in my living, and dining room, so I don’t have to worry about  carpet being damaged. I also use the solution on my wood floors around my stairs to clean the sap off.

The best thing is to catch the scale before the honeydew gets onto any of your floors or furniture and ruins them.

Home Remedy For Getting Rid of Scale


I have used this solution on my plants many times without any damage to my plants. However, I strongly suggest testing on a couple of leaves before using this on your entire plant. If you don’t test, don’t blame me if your plant dies. You have been officially warned LOL.

I also like to use rubber gloves so my skin does not absorb the alcohol or dry out my hands. If your plants are too big to take outside make sure to protect your floors and furniture. This stuff will drip off the plant.

Homemade Insecticidal Soap Recipe

1 quart water
1 tsp detergent (I used a generic brand, you can also use plain Dawn)
3 Tbsp Isopropyl Alcohol 70%

Mix all the ingredients in a spray bottle and you are ready to go.

I use a moistened  microfiber cloth to wipe the plants.

Spray one section of the plant at a time saturating the entire leaf with the solution. Then carefully wipe each leaf to remove the scale and sticky residue. I go leaf by leaf. This can be a bit time consuming, but I found this works best for  my plants. Make sure you get all the nooks and crannies.

Here is a picture of a couple of the plants I had to work on. The tall one I used to take outside, but now it’s too big so I work on it in the house.

It’s a good idea to check your plants weekly or at least monthly to see if new scales show up. In my case they seem to come back in full force every few months. I try to catch them before there are too many. I just had to do major surgery on one of my large plants because I waited too long. Now it sits outside with one remaining leaf. It may end up in the trash, time will tell.


Here is a picture I took today, August 11, 2017. The plant continues to be healthy and happy. Also I mentioned earlier in my post that I don’t take this plant outside to clean because it was too big. I’ve changed that, now I do take it outside with help from my husband. It makes it so much easier to clean because I can spray it with water. I still go leaf by leaf and gently clean off all the dust and any pesky bugs that might be hiding.


I hope this post helped you

I’m not a plant expert, just someone who has loved houseplants since I was a kid.

Do you have problems with scale? I would love to hear how you get rid of them.

I love comments, so please feel free to leave one.