Gardenia illness

Asked March 6, 2018, 10:36 AM EST

I would like to know if my gardenia plant is sick, I noticed that on the leaves appeared of white growths, at first I thought an insect but it is not the case, all the branches have the appearance like if they are peeling. how can I help my plant?

Frederick County Maryland

1 Response

The white fluffy bits you see are the cast skins of insects. It could be white flies or aphids. We don't see any actual adult insects in the photos. Some of the leaves seem to show the dull gray-black coating known as sooty mold which grows on the sweet excrement of these insects.

At this time, you can put the plants in a shower or tub and wash off the leaves. You can also spray with an insecticidal soap or oil that is labeled as safe for gardenia.

When the weather warms up, put it outside so the natural insect predators can take care of it for you.

You can do a search for either aphids or white flies on our website.