Friday, November 16, 2007

I'm better....but my ficus isn't

I'm definitely on the mend with just that nagging bitchy little cough hanging in there (but I've opened up a can of Halls whoop-ass to beat it into submission).

However, I can't say the same for my ficus tree. It's in a pot in my dining room. It's not lookin' too good - but no ficuses (fici?) look good this time of year, right? Hmm. There's little fluffy, white, cottony stuff on a lot of the branches - right at the point where many of the leaves depart from the branches - i.e., in the little nook. It's worse on the dead branches which are inside. There doesn't *seem* to be any visible bugaboos on it, but what the hell do I know? I don't over-water, in fact I kind of underwater some time. Does anyone know what this is? Medieval Mom says I should trim a branch and take it to my local gardening center. She said it might have to "be destroyed." !?! Like it's a level-three biohazard or something? This makes me just want to put it on the sidewalk and leave it there, but that would be ficus abandonment.

A plea to the internets.

P.S. If anyone's really interested, I'll take and post a picture of the offending matter in situ.


Notorious Ph.D. said...

Don't ask me -- I once, in the same month, killed both a cactus and an ivy. Granted, that was a long time ago, but still...

heu mihi said...

I don't know about white fluff, but I had a ficus for years (still have it, sort of--it's spending the VAP year with Mihi Mom) and it never got any white fluffy business on it, so I don't think it's a *normal* part of the ficus life-cycle. I agree with Medieval Mom--you might want to check it out. (Once you're well, anyway! Glad you're feeling better!)

Sisyphus said...

I don't know from ficus, but my mom had to throw out all the houseplants we had once when I was a kid, because of "mealybugs" --- the bugs themselves were almost invisible, but they either made homes or webs or larvae or something that looked like little mealy bits of cotton.

Mom tried spritzing with a diluted solution of hydrogen peroxide but the stuff would just keep migrating from one set of plants to another.

So, yeah, go get it checked out. Sorry there.

medieval woman said...

Holy SHIT, Sis. You're brilliant, have I ever told you that?? Brilliant! After doing 5 whole minutes of internet research on mealybugs, I now know that that's EXACTLY what is wrong with the ficus! The pictures could have been from my plant. They have invaded and I will withdraw. They seem to be hard buggers to kill and it would involve me going outside in the cold and drenching the plant with a high-power spray of water and then spritzing it with soapy chemical water of some such and then hoping the shock doesn't kill the damn plant. Or, apparently I could release mealybug predators directly onto the plant.


Nope. So, out it goes. A pity, but them's the breaks.

Fortunately the ficus does not sit next to any of my other plants (like my *beloved* jades - no one touches my jades without pulling back a bloody stump...), so I don't think there's any contamination.

Yuck. This makes me feel icky.

squadratomagico said...

That's got to be one of the worst compound words in the whole lexicon:

mealy + bugs


Sisyphus said...

Brilliant? Me? Heh. At least I'm someone whose mom's had pest problems! Glad to be of help. Or the bearer of bad tidings. Or whatever.