The Q&A Archives: Strange Brown Spots On Orange Tree

Question: I have an orange tree inside my house that's growing really well, but there are strange, hard, brown spots on the leaves. It sucks the leaves on the plant and the leaves are very sticky. We thought it was aphids but the spray we used did not get rid of the spots. We washed the plant and changed the soil and the pot, but still there are spots. The spots are as big as the head of a pin and very hard, and very hard to get off. Could you tell me how to get rid of them?

Answer: Your tree has scale insects. They can be controlled with a spray of horticultural oil which smothers them. Take the tree outside to spray it thoroughly with the oil. Coverage of the insects is critical for effective control. Other insecticides are available to control them, but most are not labeled for edible, fruit producing trees. Keep a close eye on them as one treatment is usually not sufficient.

Good luck with your orange tree!

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