How to Treat White Spots on Leaves

Have you noticed white spots developing on your tree leaves lately? This could be a result of a disease, insect infestation, nutrient deficiency, or other causes. It can cause severe damage if you leave it untreated. 

In this post, we’ll discuss how to treat white spots on leaves, as advised by tree service experts in Falls Church. Keep reading for more information. 

What Causes White Spots on Leaves?

If you notice white stuff on your plant’s leaves but can’t see any insects after a thorough inspection, you could be dealing with a disease. Common diseases that cause white, powdery stuff on plants include:

  1. Powdery Mildew: This fungal disease covers stems and leaves in white powder. It’s most lethal in warm, dry, shady environments, as well as high humidity. The white stuff will often start on the upper side of your plant’s leaves. 
  2. Downy Mildew: This algae-related disease mostly attacks leaves in cool, damp conditions, and it spreads faster in crowded environments. The grayish-white fuzz normally appears on the lower sides of the leaves, whereas yellow spots affect the upper sides.

Various insect pests can also cause white spots on your plant’s leaves. These may include: 

  1. Mealybugs: These insects have white, meal-like powder covering their bodies, hence their name. They often appear in large groups, resembling a thick white mold. Fruit trees, citrus trees, and houseplants are the most vulnerable to mealybugs. 
  2. Scale Insects: These pests have a close relation with mealybugs. They appear in various colors, including powdery white. They gather in large groups during feeding, looking like cotton puffs wrapped around leaves and stems. Immature scales molt, littering leaves with white, cottony skins.
  3. Whiteflies: These little, winged pests have a waxy, white, powder-coated body. If you notice white powder on your lemon trees, these insects are likely the culprits. They gather on the lower sides of leaves, forming a layer of insects, waxy shiny-white debris, and glue-like honeydew. The white powdery stuff often takes flight when you shake the affected plant and returns when you stop shaking!

Treating White Spots on Leaves

Now that you’re familiar with the causes, it’s time to learn how to treat white spots on leaves. As you can see, this problem has several causes, so treatment options will vary.

Here are a few suggestions.

Remove the Affected Leaves

Do you suspect a disease is to blame for the white spots on your plant? Then consider removing and disposing of the infected leaves right away. 

Spraying the plant can also be a solution. But you should keep in mind that spray bottles may not be effective against some diseases. 

Water the Plants More Frequently

If the white stuff appears on the edges or tips of your plant leaves, water stress could be the culprit. Watering the plant more deeply or frequently could solve the problem. For severe damage, you may need to get rid of the affected leaves. 

Add Nitrogen-Rich Fertilizer

If the white spots appear on new foliage or on the edges and tips of leaves, your plant could be suffering from a nutrient deficiency. This is especially true if the affected leaves are smaller and yellow or pale green. 

Try fertilizing the affected plant with a nitrogen-rich fertilizer. For severe damage, consider removing and disposing of the affected leaves. 

Contact Your Local Tree Experts for Assistance

Need to learn more about how to treat white spots on leaves? G&V Tree Service is your go-to local arborist. We provide a wide range of services, including: 

  1. Tree Removal
  2. Tree Pruning
  3. Stump Grinding

Give us a call at 703.337.3080 for a free estimate or to learn how arborists observe trees!