Very sick jasmine plant

Asked November 29, 2018, 10:46 AM EST

This plant is two years old and it thrived all summer out doors. I brought it inside in October and it seemed to adjusting pretty well it spent last winter inside with no problems. I looked at it this morning and was horrified to see many growths on the trunk and branches. Some leaves are very withered an there is shiny sticky stuff visible. This change is quite sudden; I last checked it on Monday of this week (now Thursday). Looks like a sudden and devastating attack by aphids. Is there anything I can do to save it or should I destroy it?

Anne Arundel County Maryland houseplants insect or spider id pest insects and mites scale insecs jasmine with scale

1 Response

This jasmine has soft scale, insects which (like aphids) suck juices from the plant and excrete a sweet sticky substance known as honeydew. Scale insects have a cover, or shell, similar to a turtle, which protects the soft body parts underneath.

You can scrape off the scale with a stiff (not metal) brush. You can also squish and rub off the scales (probably want to don latex or rubber gloves first!)

You can prune off the most heavily infected branches.

Here is info about scale and options for tackling it: https://extension.umd.edu/hgic/topics/scale-insects-houseplants

In the crawler stage (unprotected by their covers) scale is susceptible to horticultural oil sprays. You'll probably want to take it outside to do that. Read the oil label very carefully for air temperature limits.

ECN