The Q&A Archives: Jasmine Resin?

Question: I have a potted Jasmine Officianalis, approx. 5 feet tall that I have been growing in the house. It seems to be happy with the location -- northern exposure supplemented by artificial light. It has bloomed several times since I received it and has new foliage coming out. I recently noticed a sticky substance on some of the leaves. I suspected aphids or mites, but upon examination I couldn't find any pests. I hosed it down in the shower, though, anyway. Does Jasmine ever "ooze" on its own, without the presence of bugs? Also, it has what appear to be yellow toadstools growing in the soil, on the rootball. I've picked them off, but they come back. This plant was received as a gift from a florist, so I don't know if it was transplanted from an outdoors location or pot grown from the start.

Answer: First off, the toad stools are fruiting bodies of a fungus growing on some type of organic material in the potting mix such as bark. They would be a natural part of the decay process and should not harm the plant.

The stickiness is probably plant juice oozing from small holes caused by an insect feeding on the leaf above and dripping down. Scale is a common pest on this plant and it would be difficult to detect, but seeing that stickiness is often the first clue that they are in the soft stage and moving about on the plant and feeding.

If you examine the undersides of leaves you should be able to see them, small almost flat disks that seem suctioned to the leaves and stems. They can be scraped off gently with a fingernail when they are in the "soft" stage (very time consuming) or they can be treated with insectidal soap or with a very light, fine horticultural oil. Be sure to read and follow the instructions carefully and be very vigilant with the follow up as this is a difficult pest to control. when you spray make sure to contact all surfaces of the plant, top, bottom and sides.

Your county extension may also be able to help you identify the pest and offer control recommendations.

Good luck with your plant!

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