Euonymus Scale in the Garden

When I am gardening this is one plant that I find in many gardens. The plant is euonymus and it is used as a evergreen ground cover. It seems that every time I find this plant I find scales on it. Scales attach themselves to the plant and suck sap from the plant. The white spots on the first picture are the male scales and the brown spots are female. The females spend the winter on the plant and in the spring lays their eggs. From the eggs hatch the young called "crawlers". The crawlers are able to move around on the plant until they attach themselves and start feeding on the plant. The young develop a shell over their bodies and continue to grow as they feed. The female lays her eggs underneath her shell.

Most people do not realize they have scale until the plant is badly infected. The scales are normally under the leaves and hard to spot. The best thing to do is inspect your euonymus during the growing season for signs of scales and if you find them, treat it early. There are volick oil sprays and systemic insect controls available to kill scale. You may have to treat the plant several times. Scale is not easy to get rid of in the garden. Discard any cutting that have scales on them to the trash can for disposal and not in the compost to prevent spreading. Euonymus scale is found all over the United States.

Look for yellow spotting on the leaves

Branches often die and the plant can be killed

Happy Gardening!

The Creative Gardener


Autumn Belle said…
This is an informative post. I have also experience this attack on my plants. I have to resort to plucking away the leaves. Does chilli or sulphur spray help?
Janet said…
Hi Debbie, wonderful examples of scale, I have removed many a euonymus because of the scale infestation. Seems to be a battle I don't want to have...just put in a better bush or groundcover!
lynn'sgarden said…
I lost my beautiful oleander standard houseplant to this problem :( The scales were so bad by the time I noticed them that the plant was a goner! Hope your euonymus bounce back well.
Anonymous said…
Interesting! I didn't know that about these little buggers! I love the smell of euonymus. Thanks for the lesson!