White Sticky Growth on Variegated Lemon Tree

Asked May 29, 2013, 3:17 PM EDT

There has been white sticky growth on my 5' tall variegated lemon tree since about February that caused leaves to drop and a general failure to thrive. The plant was located on a sun porch and received plenty of good light. I have cut out the diseased parts, and since mid April have put it outdoors. New growth, including leaves and blossoms has resumed. But today I noticed the problem creeping back. The plant was repotted in good potting mix in January from the nursery container. It was a Christmas gift, and I'd hate to lose it. Presently there is a web like a spidery sticky stuff that is in the affected part. Of course, I got rid of it, but I'd like to stop the problem. Please assist!

St. Mary's County Maryland

1 Response

Sounds like your lemon tree has scale. You could consider purchasing imidicloprid that is labeled for use on houseplants if you do not plan to eat any lemons that you might get. If you hope to eat lemons, you could try insecticidal soap or horticultural oil that is labeled for houseplants. Give it as much sun as you can. Keep it washed off with a strong stream of water from a hose. vw