Does your Ficus Tree have curled leaves?

gillnurseryProblem Solving6 Comments

Cuban Ficus Thrips have been attacking these trees for several years now. The new growth is curled with small white and black insects inside. Since the leaves are curled the thrips can be hard to kill with contact insecticides. Neem Oil, Spinosad and Pyrethrins are organic recommendations to help control. If possible I would also trim off the new growth where the leaves are curled and discard the bugs first before attempting a spray. A systemic liquid or granule applied into the root system may be a more effective way to control these pests. Bonide Systemic Granules work great in pots applied every 6-8 weeks. For larger trees planted in the ground, Bayer Tree and Shrub Protect and Feed applied as a soil drench around the base of the tree may be an easier option applied every 9 months to a year. Regular watering of your ficus will keep it healthy and allows the plant to withstand and outgrow thrip damage. Excessive, fast release or improper nitrogen fertilizer application can stimulate a flush of tender new growth particularly attractive to thrips. These insects will not kill your trees, they just make them unattractive with leaf droppage.

Photo: Missouri Botanical Gardens


6 Comments on “Does your Ficus Tree have curled leaves?”

  1. The new growth after trimming became infected, so i cut it all off. it seems that I may need to change the soil. and the pot it resides in. there are four trunks , i got it half dead from a garage sale, until i trimmed it.

  2. I was doing some research today on pest management in gardens and I read several of your articles on managing pests in flowers.
    I wanted to let you guys know about a guide I wrote here:
    all about Thrips.
    It is pretty thorough and might be something that could be helpful to your readers, if you think it might be something you’d want to link to.

    Keep up the great work!
    -David Carver

  3. Hi can someone help me figure out what the problem of my trees ficus hedge ?? I’m locTed in Los Angeles Ca and have these white and black bugs inside the curled leaves with black spots. They look like eggs. Took photos I’d love to share here…

  4. Hello,

    I had my two big ficus in one of my Bedrooms now I have an infested room full of small black little flies that look like fruit flies but they are brown. They keep appearing everywhere even after I took the plants outside. I have a new born baby so I need something natural to get rid of them please help

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