The Q&A Archives: Help for my Ficus

Question: My large (old) ficus tree has begun to shed its leaves and drip sap. The problem that concerns me most about my beloved tree is it has spider web looking things on it and sticky leaves with a ton of sap. Please help !!

from: Frightened ficus owner

Answer: You might want to inspect the undersides of the leaves and the stems again, looking for white cottony masses or brown bumps. Feeding insects can excrete a sticky substance called honeydew. The webbing you see is from spider mites. These pests can cause yellowing leaves. All of these insects can be controlled with insecticides (check in the houseplant section of your local garden center). One more thing to consider; your Ficus may be getting too much water. When tissues become engorged, the excess moisture can seep through natural openings in the leaves. Water your Ficus when the top of the soil just begins to dry out, but don't keep the soil soggy wet. Hope this helps remedy the situation!

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