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White coating on Ficus Benjamina

My ficus houseplant has developed what I presume is mould? on the actual stems (not leaves) - would this be as a result of overwatering or is it too cold for it?

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  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 82,298
    Could you post a photo of the problem please?
    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh








  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 82,298
    Oh dear ... that goes all fuzzy when I try to zoom in on it. 

    Any chance of a better pic, more in focus? 
    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh







  • Will try again shortly
  • BobTheGardenerBobTheGardener Leicestershire, UKPosts: 11,391
    I zoomed-in and can see either aphids or whitefly I think:

    As this is a houseplant and unlikely to be visited by beneficial insects, I think you could consider spraying it with a general bug spray from the garden centre (find one which states it is suitable for houseplants, if you can.)  That will also deal with mealy bugs which may also be present judging by the white blob on the stem.  For low/non-chemical treatment, a few thorough sprayings with slightly soapy water should eventually clear them.  Whatever you decide, make sure you treat the underside of evey leaf as most will likely be luking there.
    A trowel in the hand is worth a thousand lost under a bush.
  • Thanks for replying Bob. I don't think they are insects because the white stuff feels more like some kind of mildew. Will post another pic shortly
  • ObelixxObelixx Vendée, Western FrancePosts: 28,587
    Ficus benjamina are prone to spider mites, thrips, mealy bugs and scale insects.  I cannot see any mildew on yours and think it's more likely to be mealy bugs.

    I suggest, if you can, that you place it in the shower and give it a thorough spraying of lukewarm water all over and under the foliage then let it drain dry.  Afterwards, give it a spray of some houseplant insecticide but be prepared to do repeat applications as mealy bug can be hard to shift.

    See here for more info on what they look like and how to deal with them - https://www.rhs.org.uk/advice/profile?pid=201

    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • Thank you, have posted another pic if this helps. Will look at the website too
  • Yes, it looks like it is mealybug
  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 82,298
    Sorry ... I got distracted by a pile of ir**ing 🙄 but I see I left you in safe hands 😊 
    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh







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