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What is Wrong With My Schefflera?

Ask the Expert: Please help me identify the problem with this plant!

A dear friend of mine gave me a cutting off her HUGE and prolific plant about 1.5 years ago. Around the same time, I believe I brought some insects in with some bad potting soil. I have sprayed with Bayer Natria Insect, disease & mite control as well as another Bayer insect killer. After I treat, I usually find dead insects around the plant which look like fruit flies. The plant seems to put out new growth but looks wilted.

I forgot to tell you this plant usually lives on the windowsill facing south of our house which has blind-filtered light. I have moved it to other areas such as by a room with north and east facing windows with filtered light and a north window. The mother plant lives in a north-facing sliding glass door and is a prolific grower to say the LEAST! I have repotted twice in the 1.5 years. I water only when the surface soil seems dry.

Schefflera With Distorted Leaves Schefflera With Yellow Veined Leaves

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Help! What Are These Bugs On My House Plant?

Ask the Plant Expert:

Is this scale? Is this houseplant savable?! – Noah

Mealy Bugs on House Plant

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Help! What Is This Bug On My Schefflera?

Ask The Plant Expert:

What is this very small black bug on my schefflera? I just brought this plant home three days ago from a funeral. I kept it outside for one day, then re-potted it yesterday and brought indoors. Today, I noticed these black specks and took a picture so I could zoom in for a closer look.  There does not appear to be any damage, and the bugs do not seem to move. What are these critters, and how do I get rid of them? – Shelly

Small Beetle Identification Small Beetle Identification

Flower Shop Network Plant Expert Reply:


Looks like the larval stage of a type of small beetle. You can use a general purpose insecticide to get rid of them. Your local garden center and nursery should have something that will work. Please let me know if I can help with anything else.

Help! My Lucky Bamboo Is Infested With Red Spiders

Ask The Plant Expert:

Hello, my name is Ivy. I have a big problem on my lucky bamboo. [About a] month ago, it appeared to have a bug problem. Very small, red spiders and other insects that are so so small, they can hardly be noticed. They make the plant leaf turn lighter and slowly kill, and the leaf has sticky oil-like stuff coming out. Please help!!!

Red Spider MiteFlower Shop Network Plant Expert Reply:


You probably have a red spider mite problem.  Your local garden center and nursery should have an insecticide that will take care of it, and still be safe for your lucky bamboo.  Fertilome has a red spider mite spray in a ready-to-use container.  One or two treatments with the insecticide should take care of the problem.

Hope this information was helpful. Please let me know if I can help with anything else.

Have a plant question? Ask the expert now!

What Are These White Spots On My Eleagnus?

Ask The Plant Expert:

What are these white spots on my eleagnus? Are these harmful and how do I get rid of them.  Thanks!!

Flower Shop Network Plant Expert Reply:


What you have is an infestation of an insect called scale.  You will need an insecticide to get rid of it.  I recommend Malathion.  Your local garden center & nursery may have an insecticide specifically for scale. Whether you use Malathion or another insecticide be sure to follow the directions for eliminating scale.

Hope this information was helpful.

What Is This White Stuff On My Azalea?

Ask the Expert: what would get the white fungus off azaleas , leaf the azalea has white on them , on the leafs is it a fungus , what can spray on them will mild soapy water work. Janet

Flower Shop Network Plant Expert Reply:

First we need to determine if you really have a fungus. Is the white substance powdery and can you wipe it off. If so, you have a fungus called powdery mildew. Soapy water doesn’t work on fungus. You will need a fungicide. Your local garden center will have a general purpose fungicide that will work for well on powdery mildew.

If the white on the leaves is more of a lacy pattern on the leaf that can not be wiped away, your azalea has been attacked by an insect called lace bug. Soapy water doesn’t usually control this type of sucking insect. However, if a more organic approach is what you want – try it. If it doesn’t work, you will need an insecticide.

You have two choices when it comes to insecticide control for lace bug – topical or systemic. The topical insecticides work more quickly, but won’t protect as long. Systemic insecticides are slow acting, but longer lasting. Your local garden center will carry both of these products.

Keep in mind, the damage caused by the insects will not change. The plant will produce new leaves and they will eventually cover the damaged ones. So, it is important to keep the lace bugs from attacking these new leaves.

If you would like to read more about the lace bug on Azaleas, the Clemson Cooperative Extension Service has a great article: Azalea & Rhododendron Insect Pests

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What Is Eating My Pothos And Leaving Me A Nasty Present

Ask the Expert: Bugs
I have a huge Pothos Ivy plant on a trellis and it is outside on porch in shady area. Well it seems to be infested with something that can eat the whole leaf off or half of it and it leaves behind black poop or appears to be poop about half the size of mouse poop,the poop is also all around the plant on the porch and on the plant leaves.I have no idea what this is and never saw anything like it, one day after messing with my plants I did have a catapillar on me but I dont know if catapillars do this. I also dont know what I can safely use on this kind of plant to get rid of them. I do have some seven dust spray will this harm a pothos Ivy. Thank you for your time, Patricia

Flower Shop Network Plant Expert:
You have some type of caterpillar. To get rid of the caterpillar use a houseplant spray. Your local garden center should have one that is safe for pothos.

Black Bug Wreak Havoc On Penstemon

Ask the Expert: what is this small black bug in my flower garden?
This is a tiny black bug with a hard shell. It has antenna and six legs. It\’s eating the leaves of my gooseneck penstamon and the petals of my coneflowers. Last year I saw them inside the head of the coneflowers. They\’re very tiny and do a lot of damage. I thought they might be flea beetles, but they do not hop. However, they can walk very fast.
Thanks. Lynn

Flower Shop Network‘s Plant Expert Reply:
I am working on identifying the insect. It does sounds like a type of beetle. Can you send me a picture of the insect?

To keep this insect from damaging your perennials, you can use a systemic insecticide similar to the one used for roses or azaleas. You can get one that is mixed with fertilizer or you can get it in a liquid that you need to mix with water.

If you don’t want to use a systemic insecticide, you can spray the plants with an insecticide called eight.

Brown Seed On Schefflera Could Be Brown Soft Scale

Ask the Expert: schefflera problem
I have a schefflera plant which I take outside during the spring and summer months. It grows like crazy. Last year i noticed these brownish seed like things on many of the leaves. I cut it way back, and again this year thoughs seed like things are covering a good portion of it. I don’t know if its a bug or disease problem and haven’t been able to find anything that describes this problem. Stephanie

Plant Expert Reply:

Brown Soft Scale

Brown Soft Scale

It sounds like you might have an insect called brown soft scale. I found this picture of Brown Soft Scale From University of Florida” Does the brown scale look like the brown seed on your schefflera?

You will need to spray an insectide on your plant to kill these insects.  You will need one that is safe to use on houseplants.  Your local garden center should have one.  You can also try insecticidal soap which can be found at your local garden center.

What Is this White Bug With Antennas?

Ask the Expert: a friend of mine has 2 plants botha different kind they both have a lotof these bugs on them the bugs look like real small they have antennas on them like a long but not to long round body like a white body if any one can tell me i would appricate it thanks dee




It sounds like your friends has an infestations of whiteflies. Do they look like the picture to the right?  Although these insect can fly, they often are found on top of the soil.  They can do severe damage to your plants.  I would recommend using an insectide with resmethrin that is safe for housplants to get rid of them.  Fetilome has a product called whitefly & mealybug killer (the main ingredient is resmethrin)  that does a good job of killing them.  You should be able to find it at your local garden center.

Of course, this is just my first thought.  If you can take a picture of them I could give it a positive identification.

Good luck and keep me posted.