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House Plants/Benjamin ficus


I have 3 ficus plants each in 3.6L pots off to the side of a southern facing window. For years they have thrived however a year ago I noticed the floor around them very sticky. I did notice some white specks so I hauled them outside and sprayed them all over with Dawn liquid and water. I have done this numerous time and it seems to solve the problem only for a very short period of time and they come back in force. Today besides the sticky floors and white spots, I noticed grayish/brownish furry oblong tiny bugs now on the leaves of an amarillyis plant. Everything went outside - the amarillyis bugs were sprayed off with water as were the ficus, but I am afraid to bring the ficus in anymore.  What can I do to debug them permanently?


Insects can be extremely frustrating and difficult to eradicate. The white specks are most likely mealy bugs and they can be one of the most difficult insects.

Your other option would be to go to Walmart, Home Depot, Menards or Lowes and get a product called Bayer Protect and Feed Tree and Shrub Insecticide. You mix it with water and water the plant then it takes it up through the leaves and it kills the insects as they chew on the plant. It is a systemic insecticide. It is very effective and keeps insects off the plant for at least a year. It costs about $20.00. Follow the instructions on the label for potted plants. If you have to water frequently due to the heat it may take 2 applications about 2 weeks apart. If the insects are not gone in 2 weeks apply again, it will not hurt the trees.  It will protect a lot of plants. I use this on ficus bonsai trees.

If you have more questions feel free to write again. Good luck!


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Darlene K. Kittle


I have been an Advanced Master Gardener for 24 years and I raise around 300 houseplants and bonsai trees a year including tropicals, succulents, and cacti. I have also been a professional plant care person for businesses in the Fort Wayne, IN area and currently professionally care for bonsai trees for my customers.


I am also studying the Japanese art of bonsai with tropical plants and is President of the Fort Wayne, IN Bonsai Club.

Fort Wayne, iN Master Gardeners. President of the Fort Wayne Bonsai Club. Allen County Master Gardeners

I am not a hortculturist. I am a Purdue University Advanced Master Gardener for 24 years. I have studied plants on a personal level by growing hundreds of plants annually for the last 35 years. I have also studied under several nationally known American Bonsai experts.

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