The Q&A Archives: Sticky Substance On Leaves Of Fica

Question: We bought both of these trees at Home Depot two years ago- one is a twisted trunk indoor fica tree- the other is a fica plant- large floor plant -both are green, not sickly but as of apporx 8 months ago oozing a sticky substance on their leaves- like like maple syrup. I have treated them with insecticidal soap at least 3 times- they are still at it- enough so I will probably shampoo the rug under them-
What could this be- please advise- I am ready to throw away both of them-thank you.

Answer: The stickiness is usually leaking from small wounds, most often caused by scale or other insects. Scale can be difficult to detect and difficult to control, but careful applications over all surfaces (bark, twigs, foliage top and bottom) according to the label instructions should do the job. It usually takes several applications to stop new generations as they develop. Be sure to read and follow the label instructions. You can also try hand picking them although it is tedious. They look like small dark flattened discs or little suction cups with a somewhat waxy texture and can be gently removed with your fingernail. Good luck with your ficus trees!

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