Updated: May 14, 2022

Dragon tree plants are beautiful and popular houseplants that are easy to care for. However, they can be susceptible to scale infestations. Scales are small, round insects that attach themselves to the leaves and stems of plants, sucking out their sap and causing damage. If left untreated, scales can cause stunted growth and even death of the plant. Luckily, there are several ways to get rid of scales on a dragon tree plant.

Identify the Scale Infestation

Before you can begin treating your dragon tree plant for scales, you need to identify the infestation. Look for small, round bumps on the leaves and stems of the plant. These bumps can be brown or black in color and may have a waxy or shiny appearance. If you notice any signs of scales, it is important to act quickly to prevent further damage to your plant.

Wash Your Plant

The first step in getting rid of scales on your dragon tree plant is to wash it thoroughly. Use a gentle soap, like dish soap or insecticidal soap, mixed with water to wash the leaves and stems of the plant. Be sure to rinse thoroughly with clean water afterward.

Apply Neem Oil

Neem oil is an organic insecticide that can be effective at killing scales. Mix one tablespoon of neem oil with one quart of water and apply it to your dragon tree plant using a spray bottle. Be sure to cover all areas of the plant, including the undersides of leaves and stems.

Use Rubbing Alcohol

Another effective way to get rid of scales on a dragon tree plant is to use rubbing alcohol. Dip a cotton swab in rubbing alcohol and apply it directly to each individual scale. This will kill the scales and prevent them from reproducing.

Prune Infested Leaves

If your dragon tree plant has a severe scale infestation, you may need to prune away some of the affected leaves and stems. Use sharp, clean scissors to remove any leaves or stems that have a large number of scales. Be sure to dispose of the pruned material carefully to prevent the scales from spreading to other plants.

Prevent Future Infestations

Once you have successfully treated your dragon tree plant for scales, it is important to take steps to prevent future infestations. Keep an eye on your plant for any signs of scale activity and wash it regularly with soap and water to keep it clean. You can also use neem oil as a preventative measure by applying it to your plant once a month.

By following these steps, you can effectively get rid of scales on your dragon tree plant and prevent further damage.


Are scales harmful to humans?

No, scales are not harmful to humans. They are only harmful to plants.

Can I use other insecticides besides neem oil?

Yes, there are many insecticides that can be effective in treating scale infestations. Be sure to choose an insecticide that is labeled for use on houseplants and follow the instructions carefully.

Can I propagate my dragon tree plant if it has a scale infestation?

It is not recommended to propagate a plant with a scale infestation as this can spread the infestation to other plants. It is best to treat the infestation before propagating your plant.

Can I prevent scale infestations?

Yes, you can prevent scale infestations by keeping your plants clean and healthy, monitoring them regularly for signs of pests, and using preventative measures like neem oil.