The Q&A Archives: Ficus Tree

Question: We have an indoor ficus tree that appears to drop sap like crazy. The leaves get very sticky and it drops to the floor. Is this common or should we be concerned?

Answer: It sounds as though your ficus is being attacked by mealy bugs or scales. Both are common houseplant problems and both are sucking insects that excrete a sticky substance called 'honeydew'. Inspect your plant, especially the stems and under the leaves for signs of these insects. Mealy bugs have a white cottony appearance and scales often look like brown bumps. You can remove the insects by gently rubbing with a dampened soft cloth or cotton swab. Once you've rid your plant of the insects the sticky sap can be rinsed off and it shouldn't return.

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