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Schefflera & Senecio Plant Problems » Indoor Plant Consultant | New York, NY | (917) 887-8601

Schefflera & Senecio Plant Problems

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Question:

I have two problems I would like to ask about.

1) My boyfriend has a Schefflera arboricola that is sickly and sappy. It DOES NOT have scales. I have dealt with scales many times and have hand-picked thousands of them off of plants in my day.  I cannot see any visible type of pest and his other plants are healthy.  The sap does not appear to be dripping off of the plant, it is clear and sticky on the plant.  What could this be besides scales?

2) I took a cutting of what I believe is a Mexican Love Vine or Senecio confusus.  It has rooted and is getting new leaves.  However, the new leaves are stunted, misshapen and have little, transparent spots all over them.  Any idea what this could be?

Answer:

Arboricola flowers can produce sticky residue, but you didn’t mention any flowers. They don’t look like conventional flowers, so perhaps you do not recognize them.

Mealybugs also produce honeydew, but you didn’t mention seeing mealybugs.

Scale insects in their juvenile form are very small and translucent and may not be what you have seen in the past.

Assuming, none of the above, then what you are seeing is probably sap secretions that Arboricolas sometimes produce, especially in strong light. These secretions are not a concern and there is no reason to remove them.

When new leaf growth on Senecios is deformed or discolored, it is usually indicative of a root problem. Most often it is a result of inadvertently keeping the soil too moist, especially if the cuttings are not in very small pots. Root systems of new cuttings are very fragile and do not tolerate any watering lapses at all.