What is this growing on my gardenia? - Knowledgebase Question

San Jose, CA
Avatar for liolios
Question by liolios
September 2, 2005
I have a gardenia tree. It has been doing very well. Now it has some kind of white mossey stuff growing on the tips of every branch, at the base of every bud. It is sticky and when you pick it off and pinch it there are little yellow seed like things inside. I have been to the nursery and they didn't quite know what it was. Told me to spray with a rose spray for pests and fungus. This is not helping at all. Can some one please tell me what this is and what to use or do to get rid of it? Thanks

Answer from NGA
September 2, 2005
I really can't tell without looking at the mass under a microscope, but I suspect that either an insect or a spider is laying eggs and protecting them with webbing. Spraying insecticide probably won't work because the product would have to penetrate the mass to get to the eggs. You can handpick the masses and destroy them, or wait until the critters hatch and the webbing weathers away. Or, for a positive identification, take a few samples to your local Cooperative Extension office. (Santa Clara Cooperative Extension 408-299-2635) Knowledgeable folks there can help you find a way to deal with the problem. Best wishes with your gardenias!

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