house plant - pest?

Asked August 28, 2019, 8:35 PM EDT

house plant (unknown species) lost leaves. I saw little brown nibs, and sticky on leaf front. Other plants in same room - separated, but I fear contagion Thank you

Baltimore County Maryland

3 Responses

How attached are you to this plant?
That is an intense infestation of sucking insects, both scale and spider mites. The sticky leaves are from the 'honeydew' they excrete after sucking sap.
They absolutely could get on other plants and you should watch for them.

Here is our page on houseplant insects, including these two where you can see and read about them:

We think it is a scheflerra plant that has grown long and lanky instead of kind of bushy as they normally grow.
We would suggest either getting rid of it and starting over, or doing a complete renovation.
Renovation would consist of cutting it all the way back and re-potting it in a new pot with fresh soil.
Yours may need more light. They need the brightest light you can give them without direct sunlight. They like humidity if the temps are warmer than than 60-65 degrees. Indoors, put it on a saucer of damp pebbles, especially during the winter.
Apply a standard liquid fertilizer every two weeks from spring to fall.
Moving houseplants outdoors in the summer if you are able can help with insect problems.


Dear Christine,

Thank you so much for such a rich answer!

P.S. The schfelerra is Gone!

All the best

Arthur Solomon