A potted gardena has white sticky stuff on it.
It has the right light and water.
This plant was very healthy and even had blooms.
I took it outside when this stuff first showed up and
washed it off, but the ? has come back.
I'd prefer not to use heavy-duty pesticide if there is
a more benign alternative.
This sounds like it could be mealybugs (or soft scale). Years ago, I got
rid of mealybugs by dipping a cotton swab in rubbing alcohol and touching it
to the individual bugs and the cottony residue they left. There are also
systemic controls for outdoor plants. A garden store could tell you about
controls for indoor plants. (Take an infected leaf with you for
identification purposes -- *in a plastic bag* to avoid spreading the
I lost one potted gardenia to scale. The cure was use of a systemic.
I leave my gardenias outside in warm weather and use systemic outside.
Spider mites were other problem but they respond well to water spray.
Normal insecticides would not touch the scale and spider mite problems I
had with my gardenias.
BTW,in last several years, I have been able to clone gardenias by
rooting under humid conditions in the hottest part of the year.
I gift family and friends with gardenias.
Sounds like it might be mealy bug. I've had a potted gardenia tree for about
7 years now. The first year, no problem, second year BIG problems. It had
infestations of mealy bug and scale and spider mite. I tried every 'kinder,
gentler' course of action suggested by every source I could find and was
still loosing the war against infestation. This tree was a gift from my son
so I really didn't want to pitch it. I finally resorted to Systemic
Houseplant Insect Control (NAYY). Now, once a year, just as the weather
turns and I put it outside on my balcony for the summer I use this pesticide
(only on the gardenia). I really hate the idea of using chemicals, I came to
the realization that it was that or the tree. I chose the tree. I
rationalized this use to myself since it wasn't in the ground and the
hummingbirds weren't feeding from it and it's the only plant I have
requiring this action. When I bring it back in the house at the first signs
of fall I put it in the bathtub, spray it down good with soapy water and
then give it a good rinse with the hand shower. Seems to work.
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