Updated: July 2, 2023


Philodendron plants are popular houseplants known for their lush foliage and easy care requirements. However, like any other plant, they can be susceptible to pests. One common pest that can infest Philodendron plants is scales. Scales are small insects that attach themselves to the leaves and stems of plants, sucking out the sap and causing damage. If left untreated, scales can weaken the plant and even cause its death. In this article, we will discuss how to identify scales on Philodendron plants and provide effective methods for getting rid of them.

Identifying Scales on Philodendron Plants

Before we can effectively treat scales on Philodendron plants, we need to be able to identify them. Scales are small, flat insects that have a hard shell-like covering that resembles a scale or shell. They can vary in color from brown to black or even yellowish-white. Scales often cluster together on the undersides of leaves or along the stems of the plant. If you notice a sticky residue on the leaves or tiny black dots (which are their excrement), it is a clear sign that your Philodendron plant has been infested with scales.

Methods for Getting Rid of Scales

Once you have identified scales on your Philodendron plant, it is important to take action immediately. Here are some effective methods for getting rid of scales:

1. Manual Removal

One of the simplest ways to get rid of scales is by manually removing them from your Philodendron plant. Use a cotton swab dipped in rubbing alcohol or a solution of water and mild dish soap to gently wipe away the scales from the leaves and stems. Be sure to pay close attention to the undersides of leaves where scales often hide. After removing the scales, rinse the plant with clean water to remove any residue. Repeat this process every few days until all scales have been eliminated.

2. Neem Oil Spray

Neem oil is a natural insecticide that is effective in controlling a wide range of pests, including scales. Mix neem oil with water according to the instructions on the product label and spray it onto the affected areas of your Philodendron plant. Neem oil works by suffocating the scales and disrupting their reproductive cycle. Repeat the application every 7-10 days until all scales have been eradicated.

3. Horticultural Oil Spray

Horticultural oils are another effective solution for controlling scales on Philodendron plants. These oils work by smothering the scales and preventing them from feeding on the plant’s sap. Mix horticultural oil with water according to the instructions on the product label and spray it onto the affected areas of your Philodendron plant. Be sure to thoroughly coat both the upper and lower surfaces of leaves as well as the stems. Repeat the application every 10-14 days until all scales have been eliminated.

4. Systemic Insecticides

If manual removal and organic sprays are not effective in getting rid of scales, you may need to consider using a systemic insecticide. Systemic insecticides are absorbed by the plant and travel through its tissues, making them toxic to scales when they feed on the plant’s sap. However, it is important to use systemic insecticides sparingly and only as a last resort, as they can also harm beneficial insects and pollinators. Follow the instructions on the product label carefully and avoid using systemic insecticides on edible plants.

Preventing Scale Infestations

Prevention is always better than cure when it comes to dealing with pests like scales. Here are some tips to prevent scale infestations on your Philodendron plants:

  • Inspect new plants: Before bringing a new Philodendron plant into your home, inspect it thoroughly for any signs of pests, including scales. Quarantine new plants for a few weeks to ensure they are not carrying any hidden pests before placing them near your other plants.
  • Maintain good hygiene: Keep your Philodendron plants clean and free from dust and debris. Regularly wipe the leaves with a damp cloth to remove any potential hiding spots for scales and other pests.
  • Monitor humidity levels: Scales thrive in dry environments, so maintaining proper humidity levels can help deter their infestation. Consider using a humidifier or placing a tray of water near your Philodendron plants to increase humidity.
  • Prune affected areas: If you notice scales on a specific part of your Philodendron plant, consider pruning those affected areas to prevent the infestation from spreading further.

By following these preventive measures and promptly treating any scale infestations, you can keep your Philodendron plants healthy and pest-free.


Scales can be a nuisance for Philodendron plant owners, but with the right methods, they can be effectively controlled and eliminated. Whether through manual removal, natural sprays, or systemic insecticides, it is important to take action as soon as scales are detected to prevent further damage to your plants. Additionally, practicing good plant hygiene and implementing preventive measures can help deter scale infestations in the first place. By caring for your Philodendron plants and staying vigilant against pests like scales, you can enjoy their beauty for years to come.