The Q&A Archives: schefflera sticky leaves

Question: I have two different types of schefflera, one with big leaves that is bushy and the other has small leaves and is more tree like. They are both very sappy, the leaves are sticky to the touch and it makes the floor sticky beneath them. What is wrong and what can I do about it?
Thank You Bill Kiesler

Answer: I think if you look closely at the undersides of the leaves and the stems, you'll find an insect population. The sticky residue you describe is the result of insect feeding. When mealybugs, aphids and scale insects feed they exude a sticky substance called honeydew. This sticky substance is easily washed off but it will return unless you control the insects feeding on your scheffleras. Most of these insects can be controlled with Neem Oil but you'll want to throughly read the label just to make sure. Use products specifically labeled for houseplant use, not outdoor plant use, and follow label directions. Best wishes with your plants!

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