Ask a Question forum: FICUS Tree with Brown Patches Under Leaves

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Trinidad & Tobago
Feb 21, 2018 3:38 PM CST

I bought a beautiful young ficus tree about 4 months ago and have been having issues with leaves occasionally turning yellow in no discernable pattern, and then yellow with some brown patterns before dying and dropping off.

Recently, I thought to check under the leaves and noticed brown patches under nearly half of them. The 1st half of leaves from the bottom up of the plant has brown patches on them. So the newest leaf growth do not have the brown marks.

I have sprayed the underleaves with an antifungal mix from the gardening center (originally bought for another plant) but it dowsn't seem to be doing anything.

Any thoughts as to what could be going on with the ficus? 🧐

Am based in Trinidad and Tobago, a tropical island.

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Name: Will Creed
Professional indoor plant consultan
Feb 21, 2018 4:21 PM CST
The brown patches may be a scale insect infestation, but it is hard to tell from the photos. If it is scale, the brown patches will be attached to the leaves, not part of the leaves and will scratch off easily with your fingernail. In addition, scale insects secrete a sticky substance called honeydew that falls on leaves and surface below.

If it is not scale, I do not know what is causing the brown patches.
Will Creed
Horticultural Help, NYC
Contact me directly at [email protected]
I now have a book available on indoor plant care
Name: Bill
Livonia, Michigan (Zone 6a)
Orchid Judge
Region: United States of America Echinacea Hostas Region: Michigan Butterflies Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge)
Orchids Cat Lover Birds Dahlias
Feb 21, 2018 5:04 PM CST
If it is confined to the undersides of the leaves, it could be false spider mites. Secondary fungal or bacterial issues can often arise.
Take a leaf off of the plant and look closely at the underside. If you tilt it a little in good light, you may see a gray or silvery sheen! False Spider Mite damage!!
Neem oil, 1/2 tsp per gallon mixed up in a pump sprayer will "knock their socks off"!!! Use a drop or two of mild dish detergent. Water in sprayer first then oil and soap, otherwise BUBBLES will be every where. Rolling on the floor laughing
I really spray the plants using a fine setting on the nozzle. Do it outside and return plant indoors when dry.
"Our children are the messages we send to a time that we will never see."

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