Monique Reed monique at
Tue Aug 17 09:10:21 EST 1999

Look for scale insects.  They can look like little brown
bumps--motionless and appearing legless.  Ficus are especially prone to
infestation.  Scale excrete honeydew just as aphids do.  Ficus usually
do not ooze their white sap unless damaged.

M. Reed

David Hershey wrote:
> I have seen this same problem indoors on Ficus benjamina and a 7 foot
> tall potted grapefruit. I have not seen aphids or other pests so it does
> not seem to be an insect problem. It might be a physiological problem.
> It seems sap is oozing out of the leaf onto the upper leaf surface.
> Possibly it is coming through stomates or hydathodes? A wild guess is
> that when the tree isn't growing indoors in the winter, it still
> photosynthesizes and the excess photosynthates ooze out. Might be a good
> project for an plant anatomy class to study.
> On Ficus benjamina, I also notice a small accumulation of a white
> exudate on the underside of the leaf where the blade joins the petiole
> but it does not seem sticky. Another wild guess is might Ficus benjamina
> be an ant plant in its native habitat and the sugary sap be to feed ants
> and the white exudate be a food body?
> If you can give the plant a shower, you can wash the sticky sap off. I
> hose off the grapefruit tree in the spring when it is taken outdoors for
> the summer.
> David Hershey
> dh321 at
> Lee, Julia wrote:
> >
> > We are pretty lost, and need help...HELP... HELLPP!
> > We have a ficus benjamina, when we first moved it into the office, lost good
> > number of leaves, finally got it to do nicely, leaves came back, but not it
> > exudes a sticky substance....and it "rains" onto other plants (around, close
> > to it),  and fall onto an adjacent desk... we have inspectect it and do not
> > see any "buggies".... please HELP!!!! .... it it a beautiful 7 ft. tree....
> > THANKS!!!
> >

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