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Crystalized Sap
Crystalized Sap  

Crystalized Sap
Crystalized Sap  
My Aglaonema commutatum? (silver queen) has clear crystals on stems and sticky sap leaking from bottom of leaves. The sap is leaking from very very small brown holes. I've used insecticidal soaps all last spring/summer. Repotted last spring and today and I did not find any visible bugs to the naked eye. There is no webbing visible, and no visible bugs that I could see with a magnifying glass. No aphids, no scales, just visible crystallized sap or clear sap. Slowly my plant has been dying. Today when repotted I placed Bonide systemic 2 in 1 granules 2T just below surface and watered well. This plant has been with me for 20+ years can she be saved? She was repotted in a new 12" diameter pot.

Hi Mirtha,

It is quite common for some Aglaonema species to produce sticky globules of sap on the leaf stems and undersides of leaves. It is perfectly normal and not an indication of any pest or disease. It can safely be ignored or the droplets can be removed with soap and water if they bother you. There is no treason to continue the use of the pesticides.

If your Aglaonema is ailing, it is for some other reason. Improper watering is the most common cause. In any case, it is never a good idea to repot an ailing plant. I assume the new pot is larger and that you added more soil. That means there is a very good possibility that the roots may now rot because the added soil retains moisture for too long before drying out properly.

Your photo doesn't show the entire plant, so it is hard for me to know if it is correctly potted and just what the "dying" symptoms are that you have observed.

Aglaonemas do best when kept potbound, located in bright but indirect sunlight and watered when the top quarter of the soil feels dry.

I have written an article on repotting that I will email for free to you (or anyone else) who emails a request to me at

Please let me know if any of this is unclear or if you have any additional questions.

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Will Creed


I am the only expert in this category with professional hands-on experience and knowledge of all indoor plants. I can answer questions regarding light, water, fertilizer, repotting, pruning and humidity and temperature requirements. I can identify plant pests and provide information on safe, effective treatments. My answers are based on 35 years of professional experience and scientific research and are clear and easy to understand. I do NOT use search engines to find answers to your questions. If you read my previous posts here, you will get a good idea as to how thorough and professional my answers are.


I have over 35 years of professional indoor landscaping experience caring for plants in homes, offices, building lobbies, stores, restaurants, and other adverse environments. I have written extensively on the care of indoor plants, including a 260 page book. My specialties include Ficus trees, low light plants, repotting, pest control, and re-blooming holiday plants. Be sure to check my ratings and nominations to learn why I am the top-rated indoor plant expert. I am the only House Plant expert consistently ranked in the AllExperts Top 20.

BA, Amherst College

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