Desert Rose Plant - Knowledgebase Question

Bradenton, Fl
Question by bowler732
October 28, 2009
I have 2 desert rose plants and some very small bugs were flying around. My husband sprayed the plants with myothalomate oil and now all the leaves are falling off. Also, the leaves are very sticky. Tx


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Answer from NGA
October 28, 2009

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Sadly, you've discovered that not all insecticides are safe to use on all plants. I'm not sure what product you used (myothalomate doesn't come up in any of my lists) but it is obvious that the oily residue was phytotoxic and that's why the leaves are dropping. The stickiness could be oil residue or it could be a substance called honeydew. Honeydew is the end product of feeding by insects such as whiteflies and aphids. As these pests feed they exude a sticky substance so even if you cannot readily see the pests, you can detect them by the honeydew on the leaves.

Now that your desert rose is losing all its leaves, the whiteflies or aphids will go elsewhere so they should no long be a problem on your plant. At this point all you can do is wait - and hope your desert rose produces new foliage. Hope it's soon!

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