Schefflera Dropping Leaves - Knowledgebase Question

Weston, CT
Question by ajbuckner
November 29, 1997
My schelfflera arboricola is losing leaves - mostly with entire stems attached. The leaves are not discolored in any way. It is as if they are chewed off at stem. In looking at the plant, it appears to have leaf miners - raised tunnels in many of the leaves. I have tried insecticidal soap - doesn't work since it can't contact with them. What do you suggest and do you think this is why it is losing leaves? It looks very healthy other than the leaf loss.


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Answer from NGA
November 29, 1997

0

I wonder if you inadvertantly brought in a "pet" from outside...a slug or snail??? Usually the snails and slugs leave a tell-tale slimy trail (that can resemble leaf "mines") along the path they take. The next time you are ready to water this plant, try putting the entire pot into a deep bucket filled with water so the entire pot is submerged in water. Let it stay there for half an hour or so... If it's a slug, you'll get 'em! Then drain the pot well.

If the problem really is leaf miners...try just handpicking affected leaves. Clean up fallen leaves from the soil surface. The bugs lay eggs in the leaves and they drop down into the soil, only to go back up into the leaves. The bucket treatment should take care of any dropped bugs as well.

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