Interiorscaper suppliers make an effort of supplying healthy plants to their customers. However, with time, you may start noticing a few changes in your plants. One of the most common problem plant owners have is that of sticky plant leaves. Houseplants may have sap on their leaves as well as on the surrounding furniture and even floors. This is usually sticky but it is not sap. This is a common problem but how do you treat it? The purpose of this post is to help you with that.
What causes the sticky leaves?
One of the answers you will get from plantscaper suppliers is that your plant is infested by scales. These are small insects which latch on the plant and suck out the moisture and excrete it as the sticky substance known as honeydew. Scales will not necessarily cause harm to the houseplant but when the infestation is extreme, they will stunt the growth of your plant. The honeydew may also start spreading everywhere in the house. Getting rid of the infestation is important.
The first thing you need to do is to identify the scale that is on your plant. Focus on the undersides of the plant leaves and on the stem. The scale insects will appear as tiny bumps which are black, tan or brown in color. They resemble tiny seashells. You should note that these insects have hard outer shells that are impervious to insecticidal soap.
To deal with scales, the first thing experts in wholesale nurseries will tell you is to suffocate them. You do this by applying horticultural oil or soap. Apply this on the plant. The second option is to dissolve the hard shell of these creatures. You do this by swabbing with dish detergent that has been mixed with water. Mix 2 tablespoons of dish detergent with a gallon of water. Apply the mixture to the plant. You should then wipe with clean water. Applying a small amount of alcohol and rubbing on the plant will also help dissolve the armor. The process has to be repeated every few weeks. If the infestation is heavy, you should seek help from professional growers.
It is important to remember that sticky leaves are not always caused by scales. At times, the location of the houseplant will cause it to get sticky leaves. For example, if you place your dracaena close to the chimney or kitchen, it will be covered by cooking oil after some time. You have to clean it as often as you can. Always know what is causing the problem before you take action.
Clean sticky plant leaves
Cleaning your plant is the key to dealing with sticky plant leaves. However, if the leaves are completely covered in scales, the best option is to remove them. You should also consider separating the affected plant from the other plants so as to prevent the spread of the infestation.