Help with Ficus Tree

Discussion in 'Gardening & Plant Propagation' started by MillsFarmFamily, Jan 4, 2006.

  1. MillsFarmFamily

    MillsFarmFamily Well-Known Member

    Nov 14, 2005
    I have a ficus that is big and beautiful. Only problem is now it has scale and spider mites? I have narrowed the problem down to those 2 things. My problem is that I can't get it to go away!! Please let me know if you know of somethign that I can use on my tree to save it. It is loosing leaves rapidly.
  2. kathy H

    kathy H kathyh

    Dec 9, 2002
    Olive oil on a qtip rubbed on scale, and any were mites are. You might give it a diluted tea drink to[ seep tea bag in water let cool add more water and water tree].

  3. TexCountryWoman

    TexCountryWoman Gig'em

    Jun 22, 2004
    Lexington Texas area
    Howdy! be sure that the ficus is indeed losing leaves from spider mites and scale and not from lack of light or watering problems. My ficus is 28 years old and it is that old because i am very careful with it. people think i am nuts because i am so precise with my directions for it's care when i go leave town or something, but that is why it survives.

    As far as the scale and spider mites, go to the Nursery or walmart and buy a product indicated for them...the advice Kathy gave seems fine. Mine has never been sick with bugs so i can not help you there. However, i will suggest lighting and watering tips, just in case. The ficus needs to be near a south window. Any other window and it will not do as well...and it CANNOT live if it is not near a window unless it has alot of artificial light. It cannot be allowed to dry out or the leaves will yellow and drop. Heating in the house will dry it out very quickly. If it is too wet and standing in water for any length of time, it will drown.

    Also, if like me, you take your ficus outside for the warm part of the year, it will develope "outside leaves" which are different that "inside leaves".The tree will often drop the outside leaves and grow inside leaves to accomodate thedifferent light.

    My ficus was 3 inches high with 3 leaves when i got it 28 years ago. It is now a 4 foot tree with a thick trunk, almost like a Bonsai. I prune it heavily each year, top and roots to keep it the size i want or it would require a much larger pot and be too big to bring in the house. I trim as much off the top as i do off the bottom. I guess i rattled on and on about stuff you probably already know. i just love my ficus so much i had to respond to your post!...Diane R.
  4. Marcia in MT

    Marcia in MT Well-Known Member Supporter

    May 11, 2002
    northcentral Montana
    Spider mites like hot, dry, dusty conditions, so you might try spraying your tree well with water -- tops and undersides of leaves -- and keep at it. I don't know if that would help get rid of scale; I usually take a great deal of satisfaction from squashing them with a fingernail . . . but that's not really feasible for a large ficus!
  5. woodspirit

    woodspirit Well-Known Member

    Aug 3, 2005
    Bristol, ny
    Wash the leaves with warm spray in your shower for the mites. Then get a little bottle of granular systemic insecticide that you put on the soil and water in. Buy some Schultz liquid fertilizer. 7 drops per Quart of water and use it till summer. It will look better than you've ever seen it.