Umbrella tree with Scale?

Jaycee27August 4, 2013

Hello Everyone!
I'm new to the forum and have a few concerns I was hoping to get some help addressing. First being this little guy. I haven't had experience dealing with disease so i'm not sure what to do. Is this Scale, if so what should I be doing to fight it.
Symptoms: Small brown bumps mostly on stem but on a few leaves and dark soil(sooty mold?)

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I think that's how the trunks look naturally. I thought the same thing when the umbrella at work had scale. bumps looking very similar to that on the leaves with sticky substance also on the leaves.

    Bookmark   August 4, 2013 at 12:50PM
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Hi Jaycee, Welcome to GardenWeb.

Yes, I'm afraid your Schefflera/Umbrella has scale.

Many here have their own methods. From organic to chemical insecticides.

I prefer not to use chemicals unless absolutely necessary, so for scale-bug I spray with Fish Emulsion.

Fish Emulsion is organic, mainly used as fertilizer, but rids scale in no time.
The only con is FE has a fishy odor that lasts 2-3 days, 'indoors.'
But, FE is chemical-free so you don't have to worry about breathing harmful fumes or absorbing through pores.

Since my battle with scale on an Olive tree, shipped to our house from an online nursery, I now spray leaves/stems/trunks as a prevetative.
In other words, the olive tree arrived 1999..after spraying w/FE, I never saw another scale again. However, as I stated above, I spray ALL plants w/FE as a preventative.

BTW, scale is highly contageous, so inspect all your plants, look for brown bumps.
Please isolate your Schfflera and/or any other plant that may have scale.

If you decide to use FE, the dose is 1 capful to a gallon of water..Placed in a sprayer, shake well, then spray entire plant..
This dosage can be divided if you're only spraying Scheff..

Remember, all parts of your plant need spraying. Leaves, upper and lower, stems, trunk, etc.

Hopefully, others will chime in with their methods of ridding scale. Good luck, Toni

    Bookmark   August 4, 2013 at 12:55PM
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Hi Sradleye. I thought the same about bark but Jaycee said his/her Scheff has bumps on leaves.

Yep, I agree, Scheff trunks' natural bark have markings, but when leaves have bumps, it's no longer natural. :)

What did you do w/your Scheff? You said leaves contained bumps and sticky?

    Bookmark   August 4, 2013 at 1:03PM
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That is what I was thinking at first and then another one of my plants was invested with fungus gnats so now if in full blown paranoia. It does have some brown spots on the underside of some of the leaves, they doesn't feel sticky to me though. The soil is dark even when it isn't moist. Thanks for your help sradleye, you've helped calm my nerves a little.

    Bookmark   August 4, 2013 at 1:08PM
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oh ok good! im scrambling around my apt staring at umbrella trunks and taking pics! lol both the variegated and non trees I have in here have the bumps on trunk but not leaves.

the one at work by the time I figured out what the hell was going on was way past treatment or at least in that setting when I cant/don't want to mess it with it every five minutes. I hacked off all the leaves, every one. and then sprayed regularly for a few days to a week with rubbing alcohol and/or dish soap. several trunks to this one all coming back now, I will snap a pic when I head back to the office.

    Bookmark   August 4, 2013 at 1:16PM
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Oops, wrong photo. On the underside of the leaves they don't look like bumps, more like scares. The leaves don't feel sticky to me. Hopefully the picture with help. Thanks Toni for the advice, that is a wonderful Idea, scale or not!

    Bookmark   August 4, 2013 at 1:19PM
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well the in my instance it was very clearly on the top side of the leaves, but the underside is a common spot for pests. the sticky stuff is the excretion of the insects and was obvious.

the fe might be a good thing to do anyway or the rubbing alcohol with a few drops of dish soap. they wont harm the plant at all.

also toni does not do justice the fe odor! its putrid, spray and keep the plant outdoors for a day or so if possible.

oh and definitely quarantine the guy until paranoia subsides

    Bookmark   August 4, 2013 at 1:28PM
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LOL, wrong pics.

Jaycee.. Did you rid fungus gnats?
Be sure soil dries between waterings. Dry, stale air and over-watering attracts gnats. Reduce watering and open windows, if possible.

You said, soil is dark even when you don't water...what type of soil do you use?

Your last photo...don't want to frighten or cause anxiety, lol, Leaves don't always feel sticky when insects are present.

However, the markings on your Scheff are scars. Nothing to fret over.

But, I must admit, I'm a tad confused. :)
How many Scheffs do you have, and which have brown bumps on leaves?

Sradleye..I can imagine your running through your appartment, w/camera in hand, checking each plant. lol.
Been there, done that.

Okay, bumps on Scheff trunks but not leaves mean your plants 'should' be insect-free. Great!

You wrote, 'several trunks to this one all coming back now.'
What's coming back? New foliage or bumps?
Hopefully leaves, but have a feeling you mean bumps. :(

Via my experiences, Rubbing Alcohol and soap 'sort of' rids Mealy, but not scale.

Although mealy and scale are related, 'I think,' two different products are needed to rid/kill either bug.
For instance, RA is supposed to kill mealy.
Oils, such as Fish Emulsion kill scale.
As far as I'm concerned, RA doesn't rid all mealy, only mealy that is visible.
FE kills scale, but doesn't even reduce mealy population, let alone kill them.

    Bookmark   August 4, 2013 at 1:46PM
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Srad, lol. You wrote, 'Toni doesn't do justice for FE odor.'

You're right, FE sure doesn't smell like fragrant roses. lol.
But, guess in my mind, I'd rather deal with a natural odor than one w/chemicals, certain it will kill unwanted pests.

Ever see the commercial for Raid, insect spray? New scents. Cover-up chemicals. lol.
Raid kills bugs dead! Sure because of chemicals, no matter if it smells like Mountain Rain or Spring Blossom. lol

I'd rather smell natural yuck to fragrant poisons. But, that's me.

Srad, love your last sentence. lol. Toni

    Bookmark   August 4, 2013 at 1:59PM
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i meant this plant still wants to live despite me chopping off all foliage, here it is today

    Bookmark   August 4, 2013 at 2:04PM
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It wasn't the same plant that had the fungus gnats(I don't know what kind of plant it is). I honestly panicked and completely repotted that plant after giving him a root bath to wash away infected soil.. I may have gone overboard.

I went through grooming and checking all of my plants yesterday. All of them looked well except for the Scheff in question. I only have the one Scheff.

I am starting to think I am just paranoid but the FE does sound like a grand idea even if it is precautionary measures.

As for the fungus gnats, I'll be watching my other plants carefully to be sure it hasn't spread. If I do see more pop up I need to allow soil to dry out, what else should I do?

Thanks for all of the help already, I very much appreciate it! Loving this forum already! I'm hoping you won't get sick of me due to the many question I have.

    Bookmark   August 4, 2013 at 2:12PM
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Srad....Your Scheff is a fighter.

What was its height/width before pruning?

How much light is it getting? Shade, medium, bright, full sun?

My Scheff's are fairly slow-growers, but neither are getting enough sun.
They did fantastic outside, but because of ant problems, I refuse to set outside during summer anymore. Wish the ants would leave!

Jaycee..don't consider yourself paranoid.
I don't know how many plants you have, but the more you acquire, there's more worries.

My plants were insect-free for years. I make a batch of home-made insecticide, and spray throughout the year.
Anyway, about 4/5 summers ago, the ant population in our area increased x's 100. :)

Well, ants and mealy work together. So, over the years, even though my plants were w/o pests, 'pretty sure I know the online nursery mealy was present,' mealy, which is more contageous than scale, spread amongst my plants.

Talk about anxiety attacks! No matter how much Rubbing Alcohol I sprayed, mealy would not die.
I ended up tossing, 30-something African Violets, all but one Clivia, 'some Clivias came from China,' and 90% Hoyas. So, don't ever think you're paranoid or goiing over-board..better safe than sorry.

Jay...regarding FE. Most of my citrus came from a nursery in Fl. The owner and I talked on the phone often.
She's the person who told me about FE. Their citrus trees are sprayed w/FE as a preventative, but it also KILLS scale.
She gave me the dossage...she even suggested, 'since my Olive was badly infested,' a second application may be needed. Actually, the first ap did the trick, but I sprayed a second dose as a precaution.

I spray FE and other household products on plants before they're brought back indoors in autumn.
So, the combo works as an insecticide and last, foliar feeding of the year.

The only thing I'd do to rid gnats is water when soil feels dry, 'to a degree,' and provide fresh air.
We keep windows opened, and run a ceiling fan. Rotating fans work well,, too. As long as air isn't aiming at a plant. Same w/a/c and heat.

Who gets sick talking about plants? lol. Toni

    Bookmark   August 4, 2013 at 3:09PM
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toni, I never measured the plant it was quite full probably three feet above the top of that "pot" and a foot or more wide in any direction. it was quite the haircut.

its now in any enclosed space outside the building but still sheltered I would call that spot medium light. its on the south side of the building but there is a large tree there maybe a small amount of direct light in the afternoon. the air is a lot better there. it spent most of its time in a north facing window in our conference room. Its a miracle anything could survive with all the "hot air" in that room ;)

    Bookmark   August 4, 2013 at 3:22PM
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Srad..You'd be surprised how 'un-shady' an outdoor area we deem shady really is, even when obstructed by trees and buildings.

A shady spot outdoors can have harsher rays than the sunniest south or west, unobstructed indoor window.

Can't tell you the number of plants that sunburned in 'shade,' outside.
That's why I prefer hauling plants out during cloudy, drizzily days/week during spring.

I don't have the luxury like people with lots of land who can first set plants in shade then place in brighter light.
Lucky people. :)

LOL too funny, your conference room has all that 'hot air.' lolol.

    Bookmark   August 4, 2013 at 4:00PM
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this place is actually completely enclosed with door and windows. kind of a sun porch type set up. but it still has much better than air flow than a real indoor spot, warmer in summer and colder in winter than traditional indoor spot.

    Bookmark   August 4, 2013 at 4:56PM
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Thank you very much for the advice Toni. I have about fifteen plants so I'm still freaking out a little.

    Bookmark   August 4, 2013 at 6:17PM
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