Apartment plants

Papyrus disease or parasite

Question: Papyrus disease or parasite

Good morning, at home I have a beautiful papyrus that has now reached two meters in height. I think it is a false papyrus, the stems are not so big and have never produced flowers, but the leaves are very beautiful. For about a week I have noticed that, especially on the lower leaves, white dots have appeared on the upper side and the leaves are turning yellow. A few dots, it is also present on the lower page. I don't know if it is parasites or fungi. The appearance of each dot is round, white or beige, in relief, waxy in size ranging from a few tenths of a millimeter to a millimeter. There are densities of dots closer to the stem. From the characteristics, for what I read on the internet, it could seem like cochineal but it is very very small. What can it be, how should I treat the plant so as not to lose it? Thank you very much for your expert opinion. Michela

Answer: Papyrus disease or parasite

Dear Michela,
your papyrus was attacked by the cochineal; these pests love dry clones and poor ventilation. Since it is a papyrus I therefore believe that the plant is placed in an area with little air exchange, given that the humidity around the plant should be good. Probably also that the scale insects have nested on the leaves in the summer, and that they are now preparing eggs for next year.
So first of all look for a place with more air exchange for your plant; for example in the apartment just move the plant from a corner and place it in a wider wall area.
Besides this, being the plant in a pot, you can use an insecticide in tablets, to be inserted into the soil of the pot. Otherwise the white oil is used against the cochineal, but it would be the chance to vaporize it on the plant when it is placed outdoors. You can also find insecticide sprays in the nursery, you can use those.
The ones you see on the plant are not examples of cochineal, but eggs; when you practice the insecticide treatment it is very probable that the larvae in the eggs die, but that the bags full of eggs remain well stuck to the foliage. Then after the treatment wait 4-5 days and clean the leaves with a damp microfibre cloth.